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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SF camp classic looks terrific on DVD
Phantom Planet is a generally-overlooked but thoroughly enjoyable slice of early-60s SF cheese. Not really good enough to be a "good movie," not really bad enough to achieve Trash status; but I could watch this one every six months without getting tired of it. Dean Fredericks in the lead makes a quite unappealing, unsympathetic `hero,' lending a strange atmosphere to the...
Published on October 25, 2001 by Surfink

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Late Night fun as a kid
This film is no classic but it is a fun one i remember as a kid. I saw it late night of course and enjoyed it then and i have seen it since and realize that you should take it as it is and not look for extreme quality acting but if you are a sci fi fan and enjoy old flicks then you will have fun with this one. Break out the popcorn and gather the kids for a good viewing.
Published on October 3, 2000 by tvrepairman


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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SF camp classic looks terrific on DVD, October 25, 2001
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This review is from: The Phantom Planet (DVD)
Phantom Planet is a generally-overlooked but thoroughly enjoyable slice of early-60s SF cheese. Not really good enough to be a "good movie," not really bad enough to achieve Trash status; but I could watch this one every six months without getting tired of it. Dean Fredericks in the lead makes a quite unappealing, unsympathetic `hero,' lending a strange atmosphere to the movie right off the bat. Francis X. Bushman (the silent Ben Hur) and Anthony Dexter (fallen far from 1951's Valentino) lend kitsch appeal, and Coleen Gray and Dolores Faith, as the `mute girl,' provide potential love interest for drippy Fredericks. If you watch this with the mindset of a 10-year-old there's lots of fun and clever ideas and effects: the shrinking thing, passable outer space/rocketship sequences, the disintegrator floor panels and duel of death, the flaming Solarite death ships, etc. And the sad sack monster, played by clumsy giant-for-hire Richard Kiel (`Jaws'), has to be one of the most lovably moth-eaten, pathetically unthreatening creations to grace any B-flick; kind of Paul Blaisdell-meets-Harry Thomas at the thrift store. You could probably suspend your disbelief and really enjoy this movie on a comic book level, or have a few friends over and laugh yourselves silly. Highly recommended.
For long-time fans of this movie, Image's DVD delivers a fine print of the film: sharp and detailed, great tonal scale, virtually spotless save for some very light speckling and a rare blemished frame. You'll never need to worry about upgrading from this one. It blows my VHS TV prints right off the map. Unfortunately, there is no trailer for the feature, and the only other `extra' is the chapter stops. There are five trailers included in an `easter egg,' but they're the same ones as on every other Image release. Considering all the movies in their catalog, they could dish out a few new ones already! A minor gripe though, and if you love this movie you'll want this disc anyway.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Late Night fun as a kid, October 3, 2000
This film is no classic but it is a fun one i remember as a kid. I saw it late night of course and enjoyed it then and i have seen it since and realize that you should take it as it is and not look for extreme quality acting but if you are a sci fi fan and enjoy old flicks then you will have fun with this one. Break out the popcorn and gather the kids for a good viewing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Phantom Planet (1961) ... Dean Fredericks ... Legend Films (2008)", December 9, 2008
This review is from: PHANTOM PLANET (DVD)
Legend Films presents "PHANTOM PLANET" (13 December 1961) (82 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in COLOR and Glorious Black and White --- The mysterious appearance of an unknown planet brings miniature people, giant monsters, beautiful women and undaunted heroes to the screen --- The self-contained planet "Rheton" has the ability to move in and out of galaxies to escape their enemies --- Earth sends an astronaut team to investigate, which discovers miniature people. One astronaut survives to help them fight off monsters and Solorite attacks --- The leader of the miniature people is Francis X. Bushman who was once a popular romantic lead in silent movies.

Under the production staff of:
William Marshall - Director
Fred Gebhardt - Producer / Screenwriter
Fred de Gortner - Screenwriter
William Telaak - Screenwriter
Elwood J. Nicholson - Cinematographer
Hayes Pagel - Composer (Music Score)
Hugo Grimaldi - Editor
Donald Wolfe - Editor
Robert Kinoshita - Art Director
Joseph Kish - Set Designer
Marla Craig - Costume Designer
David Newell - Makeup
Studio Film Service - Special Effects
Jane Huizenga - Production Director

Story line and plot, Astronauts Frank Chapman (Dean Fredericks) and Ray Makonnen (Richard Weber) are sent out from Lunar Base 1 to determine what's happened to a couple of ships that simply disappeared in outer space --- A meteor storm damages their propulsion system, and while making repairs, Chapman is knocked unconscious by a stray light flash --- With the Pegasus IV captured by a gravity ray, the ship is brought down to the living planet Raton, where miniature people marvel at the gigantic newcomer --- Will Captain Chapman shrink down to their size, as a result of the planet's atmosphere.

Of course the newcomer is tested by his captors, put on trial for "harming" one of them, and is punished by allowing him freedom on Raton with his choice of two beautiful women (Colleen Gray and Dolores Faith) --- Our hero Chapman is no Captain Kirk, and he can't be moved by the wiles of his female companions, all the while trying to figure out how to get back home --- In the mean time, he must battle a jealous Ratonian in hand to hand combat, and team up with him to defeat the threat of an evil Solarite (Richard Kiel in a wild alien costume) --- Kiel who was "Jaws" in the James Bond film series.

"The Phantom Planet" is a wild ride, and you'll have fun with it as long as you have patience and a good sense of humor --- This film had me right from the get go --- What other sci fi film can you name that uses the word "azimuth" even once, while here it's referenced a good half dozen times! --- Just remember click your heels three times and repeat, "There's no place like home"

the cast includes:
Dean Fredericks ... Capt. Frank Chapman
Coleen Gray ... Liara
Anthony Dexter ... Herron (as Tony Dexter)
Francis X. Bushman ... Sessom
Dolores Faith ... Zetha
Marvin Miller ... Introductory Narrator (voice)
Richard Weber ... Lt. Ray Makonnen
Al Jarvis ... Eden, the judge
Dick Haynes ... Col. Lansfield
Earl McDaniels ... Capt. Leonard - pilot (as Earl McDaniel)
Mike Marshall ... Lt. White (as Michael Marshall)
John Herrin ... Capt. Beecher
Mel Curtis ... Lt. Cutler
Jimmy Weldon ... Lt. Webb - navigator
Akemi Tani ... Communications Officer
Lori Lyons ... Radar Officer
Richard Kiel ... The Solarite

BIOS:
1. Dean Fredericks (aka: Frederick J. Foote)
Date of Birth: 21 January 1924 - Los Angeles, California
Date of Death: 30 June 1999

2. Coleen Gray (aka: Doris Bernice Jensen)
Date of Birth: 23 October 1922 - Staplehurst, Nebraska
Date of Death: Still Living

3. Anthony Dexter (aka: Walter Reinhold Alfred Fleischmann)
Date of Birth: 19 January 1913 - Talmage, Nebraska
Date of Death: 27 March 2001 - Greeley, Colorado

4. Francis X. Bushman
Date of Birth: 10 January 1883 - Baltimore, Maryland
Date of Death: 23 August 1966 - Pacific Palisades, California

SPECIAL FEATURES:
1. Legend Films Trailers

The complete print was restored and colorized by Legend Films, using the latest technology --- Although the Legend Films release was advertised under its reissue title, both the color and black and white prints featured the original title and opening credits --- Legend Films can restore, colorize and release many of the classic earliest black and white films --- a patented coloring and remastering process makes each film picture perfect plus more vivd than ever --- no one can resist collecting every title that Legend Films releases.

Hats off and thanks to Barry B. Sandrew Ph.D. (Founder, COO & CTO) and his Legend Films Staff --- looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage era of the '20s, '30s & '40s --- order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out Legend Films where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.

Total Time: 82 mins on DVD ~ Legend Films. ~ (10/21/2008)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither as Bad nor as Good as You Might Expect, January 29, 2006
This review is from: The Phantom Planet (DVD)
Capt. Chapman (Dean Fredericks) lands on an asteriod which is unexpectedly inhabited by six-inch tall humans. When the atmospheric properties reduce him to their size he not only finds himself working to save their civilization but ensnared in several romantic complications and rivalries as well. While it sounds slight, the plot is actually cohesive and many of the concepts involved are unexpectedly ambitious--but as it happens, the 1961 PHANTOM PLANET has a less-than-B-movie budget, and the result is a film that alternates between being interesting in terms of ideas and often hilariously bad in execution.

Some of the special effects are pretty good for 1961, but then again some of them are ludicrous beyond belief. The space sequences are reasonably done until the asteroid appears on screen; depending on how you look at the thing, it might be a clump of trail mix or a deep-fried chicken nugget. The sets and costumes are adequate until the monster of the piece appears on the scene; even by "B" movie standards it is pretty silly stuff. And then there is the cast.

The most interesting of the actors is Francis X. Bushman, one of the great stars of the silent era and perhaps best recalled as Messala in the 1925 version of BEN-HUR--a film in which he gave a noticeably stagey performance. By 1961, however, Bushman had shed such mannerisms, and he gives a performance here that leads you to suspect he could have had a more distinguished career in sound film if he had gotten the breaks and the scripts. The rest of the cast, however, ranges from merely adequate to down right atrocious, with leading man Dean Fredericks a case in point.

Ultimately, PHANTOM PLANET reads very much like an Ed Wood movie but without hilarious inadequacies of plot and script that you expect from such. Fans of sci-fi "B" pictures of the era will likely enjoy it, and I give it three stars for them, but if you are looking for an unintentionally comic bad movie you'll find this one neither as bad nor as good as you might expect.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For nostalgia only, or hardcore 60s scifi fan, June 11, 2008
By 
Robert J. Crawford (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Phantom Planet (DVD)
I watched this with my son (9), who enjoyed the story and laughed at the clunky special effects. He dutifully listened to my stories about seeing it and similar films - he is at the age where he accepts my reminiscences instead of rolling his eyes like his sister does at 13 - and we talked about the space age, etc.

I quite enjoyed this for what it made me remember. But, as with my son, for other viewers it is only of passing interest, like background TV. Thus, I think it is headed for oblivion or of interest only for film historians once those who watched it as kids are no longer around.

The story has a nice sense of possibility, like we all felt during the space race and which is rather humdrum today. The hero, while not very charismatic, is open-minded and a lonely explorer, hence his vulnerability to the charms of the mute girl. He encounters an advanced civilization that has chosen a primitive lifestyle, on a planet fleeing strange enemies and with an unimaginable technology manipulated by what looks like broken wine glasses. He even makes friends from a natural enemy. Then, restored to his colleagues, he wonders if it was all a dream. It ends on a hopeful note for exploration. I liked it then and still do now.

Recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FiveStar B Movie, September 23, 2008
By 
Nick Tropiano (Havertown, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Phantom Planet (DVD)
Everything a 50's B movie should be. Monsters, space ships, bizarro plot, an overall strange and trippy throughout, unintended notes of surrealism, tough talkin' 50's B-movie hero types. So much fun, so much old school trippy craziness - just campy enough. These movies can never be replicated. Like vintage wines, they have to "ferment" for a number of decades to reach the peak of their entertainment value. I savored this one, which I somehow missed on UHF TV growing up. It's new old stock! Yeah! What makes this one especially great is that - while not a high-budget production, it wasn't so poverty stricken that it detracted. To the contrary, this one had some surprisingly competent and effective pre-CGI special effects, decent acting and acceptable production values. A great time at the movies for those who appreciate this vintage. A five star wine of a B film that has reached maturity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is my review of The Phantom Planet DVD by Legend Films, February 6, 2014
By 
myself "Carl N." (State of Franklin) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHANTOM PLANET (DVD)
Sometimes we forget that we are reviewing a product: the presentation of a movie on DVD as well as reviewing the movie itself. Some DVDs of this movie are really bad products.

DVD gets 4 stars
Movie gets 2.5 stars
The package gets a 3.25

DVD

I wish all my favorite 1950s B-movies were re-released this well. The Legend Films DVD is very good in quality compared to the DVDs I have found for some of my other old favorites.

Both the original B&W and the colorized version are on the DVD. The colorization was done very well.

Menu selections are sparsely: Play color version, Play B&W version, Scene selections (12 chapters color version only), and trailers for other Legend Films DVDs. No language or caption choices.

As a DVD product, I would compare this favorably against the Legend Films DVD of the double-feature "Giant Gila Monster" and "The Killer Shrews" both color and B&W and even lower budget 1959 movies (saw those at the Rialto Theatre with my mom at the age of 11).

Movie

The movie itself is not one of my favorites, but it does appear to recycle the spaceships from the old TV series Men into Space (or Men in Space) of which I have fond but vague memories. The reason I bought the DVD when I found it in the bin at Big Lots was that I had read the coverage of the film by Forrest J Ackerman (I believe in Spacemen magazine) when it was originally released 1961-1962 (from the stills I thought it was on the order of "Fire Maidens of Outer Space" cheesy junk). Good, bad, indifferent, I had to finally see it fifty years after missing it.

Others have done more detailed reviews. A two man spaceship explodes on encountering a mysterious wandering asteroid that resembles a chunky granola clump. Then the titles. Our intrepid hero and an expendable partner are sent out in their two man spaceship to investigate the phantom planet. A meteorite damages the ship, the crew goes out to repair apparently walking with magnetic boots, meteorites sever the hero's air supply, the partner sacrifices himself pushing him into the ship and closing the hatch. Eventually the hero awakens on the phantom planet Rheton shrunk to the size of the Lilliputian Rhetonians by contact with the atmosphere. Turns out the planet is controlled and propelled like a rocket by the inhabitants under leadership of Francis X Bushman. They are in a war with Solarites, critters with sad hang dog expressions. Rhetonians also regard earthlings with suspicion. Our hero must prove himself in trial by combat, there are romantic conflicts, a Solarite POW escapes captivity as other Solarites rain firebombs on Rheton. Overall a bit more interesting than "Queen of Outer Space".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh boy... This one's Stink City. No, it's Galactic Stink!, September 10, 2009
This review is from: The Phantom Planet (1961) (DVD)
Note that manufacturer RCF uses the same cut-and-paste editorial blurb on all their DVDs. Every RCF movie (no matter HOW obscure) is "considered to be one of the top 100 greatest classic films of all time."

THE PHANTOM PLANET is a cinematic lowlight of that vintage year of 1961. PP reeks of ineptitude, from a creaky script and crap acting to laughable factual and visual errors. Here, monkey wrench-armed men somehow walk on a spaceship's wing in zero-gravity outer space. This same craft lands belly-down despite a sideward rocket thrust. And no, you're not seeing things-- that man actually DID check the time on his 'phantom' wristwatch (it must be half-past arm hair).

SYNOPSIS--
A planet defies the Laws of Physics by travelling the galaxy under its own steam. While between suns this gadabout orb somehow maintains an atmosphere that supports Lilliputian-sized aliens, plus nasty monsters. When an extraterrestrial expedition vanishes, two men are sent to investigate. One of these astronauts ends up on the mysterious planet, where he meets little people (including mini-skirted beauties) and promptly shrinks to their size from breathing alien air (how convenient!). He helps his new tiny friends fight off the big boogers that are apparently immune to miniaturization. Or maybe the atmosphere transformed them into giants. Or maybe no one gives two whistles about who's big and who isn't.

One final bit of balderdash: once our hero's adventure is over he simply regrows to human-size. THE END. (Kindly deposit empty Jujube boxes in rubbish bins located near each EXIT.)

Cast includes once-great silent star Francis X. Bushman as leader of planet Rheton, and Richard Kiel (007's 'Jaws') wearing a cheap-o creature suit to play one of the enormous Solorites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh boy... This one's Stink City. No, it's Galactic Stink!, September 10, 2009
THE PHANTOM PLANET is a cinematic lowlight of that vintage year of 1961. PP reeks of ineptitude, from a creaky script and crap acting to laughable factual and visual errors. Here, monkey wrench-armed men somehow walk on a spaceship's wing in zero-gravity outer space. This same craft lands belly-down despite a sideward rocket thrust. And no, you're not seeing things-- that man actually DID check the time on his 'phantom' wristwatch (it must be half-past arm hair).

SYNOPSIS--
A planet defies the Laws of Physics by travelling the galaxy under its own steam. While between suns this gadabout orb somehow maintains an atmosphere that supports Lilliputian-sized aliens, plus nasty monsters. When an extraterrestrial expedition vanishes, two men are sent to investigate. One of these astronauts ends up on the mysterious planet, where he meets little people (including mini-skirted beauties) and promptly shrinks to their size from breathing alien air (how convenient!). He helps his new tiny friends fight off the big boogers that are apparently immune to miniaturization. Or maybe the atmosphere transformed them into giants. Or maybe no one gives two whistles about who's big and who isn't.

One final bit of balderdash: once our hero's adventure is over he simply regrows to human-size. THE END. (Kindly deposit empty Jujube boxes in rubbish bins located near each EXIT.)

Cast includes once-great silent star Francis X. Bushman as leader of planet Rheton, and Richard Kiel (007's 'Jaws') wearing a cheap-o creature suit to play one of the enormous Solorites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gulliver In Spaaaaace!..., August 7, 2005
Astronaut Frank Chapman (Dean Fredericks) lands on the rogue planet Rheton, shrinks down to the size of a gerbil, and encounters a race of tiny humanoids. He finds himself held captive, and in the middle of a war between the Rhetonites and the brutish Solarites. Chapman is also forced to choose between two beautiful Rhetonite women. Uh oh! A hideous Solarite prisoner (Richard "EEEGAH!" Kiel) breaks loose, causing mayhem and doom. Can Chapman escape before everything goes pear shaped? PHANTOM PLANET is every bit as absurd as it sounds, so don't expect one second's worth of serious sci-fi. Quite entertaining under the proper circumstances...
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PHANTOM PLANET
PHANTOM PLANET by William Marshall (DVD - 2008)
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