The Phantom (1943)

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The Phantom (1943) Poster

Professor Davidson and his niece Diana Palmer search Africa for the Lost City of Zoloz, reputed to be the source of a large hidden treasure. Also searching is a local crook, Singapore Smith... See full summary »


7/10
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31 July 2004 | claudio_carvalho
9
| A Great Hero From a Romantic Time
When I was a kid, `The Phantom' was my hero number one. I liked also the magazines of `Mandrake', `Superman', `Batman', `Tarzan' and `Zorro' (in this sequence), but I would not dare to compare any of them with `The Phantom'. For my surprise, the Brazilian distributor `Classicline' released an unknown (at least for me) 1943 version of a serial of `The Phantom', in a double DVD without any extra. The story is composed by fifteen episodes as follows:

1) The Sign of the Skull (`O Sinal da Caveira');

2) The Man Who Never Dies (`O Homem Que Nunca Morrre');

3) A Traitor's Code (`Um Código de Traidor');

4) The Seat of Judgement (`O Banco de Julgamento');

5) The Ghost Who Walks (`O Fantasma Que Anda');

6) Jungle Whispers (`Sussuros da Selva');

7) The Mystery Well (`O Poço do Mistério);

8) In the Quest of the Keys (`Em Busca das Chaves');

9) The Fire Princess (`A Princesa do Fogo');

10) The Chamber of Death (`A Câmara de Morte');

11) The Emerald Key (`A Chave de Esmeralda');

12) The Fangs of the Beast (`As Presas da Fera');

13) The Road to Zoloz (`O Caminho Para Zoloz');

14) The Lost City (`A Cidade Perdida'); and,

15) Peace in the Jungle (`Paz na Selva').

The plot begins with the death of the `old' Phantom and his son (Tom Tyler) assuming his spot with his dog Devil (Capeto, in Portuguese). Meanwhile, there are two expeditions trying to reach the lost city of Zoloz: the good one leaded by Professor Davidson (Frank Shannon), with his daughter Diana Palmer (Jeanne Bates) in the team, having the intention of archeological research for an university in Melville. The evil one leaded by the diabolic Dr. Max Bremmer (Kenneth MacDonald), who is serving a foreign country, and having the intention of building a hidden airport. The foreign nation is not specified in the story, but in 1943, there were the World War II in Europe, therefore it is not difficult to guess which power Dr. Max Bremmer was serving. For reaching his intent and find the city of Zoloz, Prof. Davidson has a partial map composed of six ivory pieces, needing the last one to complete the track. The story follows the pattern of action movies of those romantic times: the hero never bleeds; the villains use the most complicated ways and tricks to get rid off the hero; in the end of each chapter, there is a missing scene, where the hero escapes from a dangerous situation (explosions, gas, avalanche of stones, fire, water, shot etc.); the heroin always screams when in danger; when a porter dies, nobody cares. Further, it is politically incorrect in the present days, having an animal hunter as Phantom's best friend. This naive type of story may be silly in the present days for the younger generations (and indeed it is), but it brings parts of my childhood back to my mind, and consequently I love it. The athletic actor Tom Tyler is in an excellent shape. I have no idea whether stunts were much used in 1943. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): `O Fantasma' (`The Phantom')

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