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112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long lost Phantom 1940's serial found & restored now on DVD!
...These Saturday morning matinee serials are great fun (before television).
Well "The Phantom" 1943 serial was once one of these long lost films rediscovered, digitally remastered and thanks to VCI Entertainment is now on DVD. This 2 DVD set gives us 15 action packed chapters introduces us to this mysterious character. This is fun stuff.
Summary: Tom Tyler...
Published on November 1, 2002 by forrie

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122 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of Columbia's Better Serials
Columbia Pictures never produced a movie serial comparable to the best Republic cliffhangers. However, "The Phantom" (1943) survives as one of the studio's better efforts, thanks to Tom Tyler's memorable presence in the title role and the assured direction of B. Reeves Eason. Unlike Republic, the Columbia serials were more faithful in terms of comic-strip adaptations...
Published on April 5, 2002 by Scott T. Rivers


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112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long lost Phantom 1940's serial found & restored now on DVD!, November 1, 2002
By 
forrie (Nashua, NH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Phantom - Serial (DVD)
...These Saturday morning matinee serials are great fun (before television).
Well "The Phantom" 1943 serial was once one of these long lost films rediscovered, digitally remastered and thanks to VCI Entertainment is now on DVD. This 2 DVD set gives us 15 action packed chapters introduces us to this mysterious character. This is fun stuff.
Summary: Tom Tyler plays "The Phantom" and this serial introduces us to this mysterious family who for generations has played "The Phantom" the man who never dies. It seems that a descendent male member must perpetuate the "Phantoms" existence. Why, because the "Phantom" is the law of the African jungle & keeps the peace among more than 50 native tribes. In 15 chapters the Phantom is poisoned to death,(because he knows of the Lost city of Zolov). His son replaces him before he actually dies. (therefore keeping the legend of the man who never dies going.) Privateers want the hidden treasure of Zolov. Mysterious nation wants to build secret air field at Zolov. Phantom is in the middle. Everyone tries to kill the man who never dies. For 15 exciting chapters we see how the "Phantom" eludes death and escapes periless traps.
The extras include; a One Chapter commentary by famous comic strip writer Max Allan Collins, Biographies, and comic book art.
This is a great secret serial rediscovered for us to watch once again. Enjoy.
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122 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of Columbia's Better Serials, April 5, 2002
This review is from: The Phantom - Serial (DVD)
Columbia Pictures never produced a movie serial comparable to the best Republic cliffhangers. However, "The Phantom" (1943) survives as one of the studio's better efforts, thanks to Tom Tyler's memorable presence in the title role and the assured direction of B. Reeves Eason. Unlike Republic, the Columbia serials were more faithful in terms of comic-strip adaptations. "The Phantom" is no exception. Unfortunately, Columbia lacked the solid production values and crisp pacing of the Republic serials - further hindered by the studio's excessive 15-chapter length. Still, "The Phantom" makes the most of Columbia's low-budget shortcomings with its effective jungle setting and above-average cliffhanging exploits. As "The Ghost Who Walks," Tyler is a terrific action hero and does not rely on a stunt double during the fight scenes. Fans of Lee Falk's comic-strip creation will not be disappointed.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are a fan of the Phantom, you have gotta watch this!, January 7, 2001
By 
E. LUND (Stevens Point, WI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Phantom [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Being a huge fan of Lee Falks' Phantom, I have tried to track down this seriel for quite awhile. I was able to obtain from a collecter who had this seriel before it was made available again to the public. Let me just say that Tom Tyler does a great job of playing the Phantom! Obviously this seriel does not have the production value of the Adventures of Captain Marvel, but it does have an excelent storyline that could fit into any Indiana Jones movie. This seriel does a much better job of establishing the mystique of the Phantom with the natives of Bengali and the mystery of the Phantom, the Ghost Who Walks.
This has alot of action with the Phantom and Devil and the Phantom battles a gigantic gorilla. This ends up being a guy in an ape suit but it is a pretty cool looking menacing suit and not just a cheesy gorilla outfit. It is overall fun and a blast to watch if you are a Phantom fan. Anyone who enjoys old movie seriels knows the formulas used so don't expect groundbreaking cliffhangers. This may not be the best seriel ever made but it is a very well done seriel and one I recommend if you like action/adventure heroes.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Darn Nifty, November 5, 2005
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This review is from: The Phantom - Serial (DVD)
Republic was certainly best known for serials, but other studios often got into the act. One of these was Columbia Pictures. In truth, Columbia's serials weren't anything to write home about--but there was one exception: the 1943 THE PHANTOM, which cracks along at a memorable pace with an entertaining storyline, some excellent fight choreography, visually interesting set pieces, and a truly fine performance from Tom Tyler in the title role.

Tom Tyler (1903-1954) was a handsome, well-built man who played in well over 150 films between 1924 and 1953--but whose final years was marred by rheumatoid arthritis that reduced him to small supporting roles. But he was very much at his peak in 1941 when he appeared in the legendary Republic serial THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL--and no less so for the 1943 THE PHANTOM. Seen today, many serial "super heroes" of the 1930s and 1940s look more than a little chubby in their skin-tight costumes, but not Tyler: he had the body to carry it off, and if his acting chops weren't up to the standards of Hollywood's A-List actors they were perfect for this sort of comic book fun.

The story finds the peace of jungle tribes threatened by the evil Dr. Bremmer (Kenneth MacDonald), who seeks to create an airbase for use by an unfriendly country at the long-lost jungle city of Zoloz. But in order to locate the hidden city, Bremmer must obtain "the keys"--pieces of a puzzle-like map--from newly arrived Professor Davidson (Frank Shannon) and his party. Can the Phantom, with the aid of his clever dog Devil, foil Bremmer, protect Davidson, and bring peace to the jungle once more?

You better believe it, but before he does there are crocodiles, lions, tigers, a "fire princess," and booby-traps galore to overcome, most of them cleverly imagined and all of them expertly performed. Director B. Reeves Eason keeps everything moving at a sharp pace, and if the dialogue and cinematography are seldom inspired they are never less than entertaining, and there's not a dull moment in all fifteen chapters.

Like many serials, THE PHANTOM does adopt certain racial sensibilities that will cause modern viewers to roll their eyes from time to time. It is actually a bit difficult to tell where this film is supposed to be set: at times the script seems to imply Africa, at other times it seems to imply South America, and the "natives" are pretty much clumsy white men in dark make-up who look silly in diaper-like costumes. Even so, the thing goes like a house afire, and if you're interested in the serial genre this is one you can't afford to miss.

The VCI DVD edition features a nice commentary by Max Allan Collins on "Chapter One," a handful of biographies, and samples of comic book art and lobby cards; the real plus, however, is the quality of the film itself, which is quite fine--and this in spite of an instance where the soundtrack was lost and had to be re-created by modern actors. The picture quality is very good and the sound is more than adequate. Recommended to serial fans everywhere!

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Columbia's best, fun for serial fans, great print, January 6, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Phantom - Serial (DVD)
Most Columbia cliffhangers were made by independent producers, but in 1938-39 and 1943-44 Columbia made its own serials, using the studio's many sets, facilities, and contract players. Columbia's home-grown serials are very efficient, and THE PHANTOM is no exception.
It's a jungle serial, so this writer expected a lot of pedestrian dialogue scenes embellished with old wild-animal footage. It's true that the first chapter falls into this pattern while the story is being set up, but from there it's a lot of fun, almost all of it staged for this production, with Tom Tyler an ideal Phantom. For some reason the supporting cast was not credited, but fans of Columbia will easily recognize Kenneth MacDonald (terrific as the suave villain), Dick Curtis (great to see him play a benign role, for once), Ernie Adams (in a bigger-than-usual role as the Phantom's pal), and some familiar faces in the goon squad (George Chesebro, Wade Crosby, Kermit Maynard, I. Stanford Jolley, Al Hill). Good stuntwork and brisk direction (by B. Reeves Eason) keep this one moving, with Tom Tyler in there punching through 15 chapters. Ace, the Phantom's handsome dog, later became "Rusty" the German shepherd in Columbia's family series.
THE PHANTOM has two pleasant surprises for the Columbia serial fan. The recap narration is exceptionally brief (even though the recap footage is lengthy). And each closing "teaser" of next week's episode does NOT spoil the suspense by showing the imperiled hero out of danger. Every cliffhanger in THE PHANTOM keeps the viewer guessing, for a welcome change.
The print is excellent, with fine picture and sound. Only Chapter 11 has soundtrack trouble for a few minutes, and the video producers have remedied it as best they could. The DVD release also includes commentary by Max Allan Collins of "Dick Tracy" fame. Definitely of interest to serial collectors, and fans of Columbia's "B" movies and short subjects will especially enjoy this.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost Who Walks, January 8, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Phantom - Serial (DVD)
This is based on Lee Falk's popular comic strip, "The Phantom," who was known as "The Ghost Who Walks," in purple tights yet. Columbia usually had independent producers do its serials but this one was actually produced by Columbia, taking advantage of the studio's extensive facilities. In a world where the best serials were made by Republic, Columbia was second-best. This certainly one of their very best.

Tom Tyler ("Adventures of Captain Marvel") is an excellent Phantom, and B. Reeves "Breezy" Eason, formerly with Republic, did a great job of directing. Frank Shannon must have matured as an actor, because he's much better here than in the Flash Gordon series. Jeanne Bates signed with Columbia in 1942, and was probably best known to aficionados of horror flicks. She had a long movie career, mostly in smaller parts.

One of the best features of this DVD is the first-chapter narration of Max Allen Collins, the writer who took over the Dick Tracy comic strip when Chester Gould retired. He places "The Phantom" in historical context and really sets the scene to help you enjoy the movie. Be sure to see it before going beyond Chapter One.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Based on Lee Falk's comic strip character ~ The Phantom (Tom Tyler)", September 21, 2005
This review is from: The Phantom - Serial (DVD)
VCI Entertainment and Columbia Pictures present Lee Falk's comic strip "The Phantom " (1943) (Dolby digitally remastered), 15 Chapters of vintage serial loaded with action sequences...story line has the successor to the old Phantom with his son and our new hero Tom Tyler aka The Phantom, Tyler looks great in the costume and the action sequences...with two expeditions seeking the lost city of Zoloz, who will get there first to claim the treasure...a foreign power is trying to build a hidden airport, can they pull it off...how many pieces of the ivory map is missing...will The Phantom escape every dangerous trap that is set for him avalanches, poison gas, flaming pyres and explosions...keep that thought as each chapter is more exciting than the previous one...stayed tuned and don't miss one exciting chapter.

Under director's B. Reeves Eason with screenplay by Morgan Cox, Lee Falk (comic strip), Ray Moore (comic strip), Sherman L. Lowe, Victor McLeod, Leslie Swabacker...the cast Tom Tyler (The Phantom), Jeanne Bates (Diana Palmer), Kenneth MacDonald (Dr. Max Bremmer), Ace the Wonder Dog (Devil), Jay Silverheels (Astari Warrior ), Kermit Maynard (Drake - Henchman), George Chesebro (Marsden - Henchman), Edmund Cobb (Grogan - Henchman), Dick Curtis (Tartar chieftain), Anthony Caruso (Count Silento), Knox Manning (Narrator (voice), I. Stanford Jolley (Watson - Henchman)...watch for some fine veteran character actors like Edmund Cobb, George Chesebro, I. Stanford Jolley, Anthony Caruso, Kermit Maynard and a favorite of mine Jay Silverheels, who was my number one Native American hero in "The Lone Ranger" series as Tonto the faithful Indian companion.

CHAPTER TITLES: (Disc One)

1. The Sign of the Skull

2. The Man Who Never Dies

3. A Traitor's Code

4. The Seat of Judgement

5. The Ghost Who Walks

6. Jungle Whispers

7. The Mystery Well

8. In the Quest of the Keys

9. The Fire Princess

10,The Chamber of Death

SPECIAL FEATURES: (Disc One)

1. Special Commentary by Max Allan Collins

2. Comic Book Art & Lobby Cards

3. Photo Gallery (stills from The Phantom)

BIOS: (Disc One)

1. Tom Tyler

2. Kenneth MacDonald

3. Jeanne Bates

4. B. Reeves Eason (Director)

CHAPTER TITLES: (Disc Two)

11.The Emerald Key

12.The Fangs of the Beast

13.The Road to Zoloz

14.The Lost City

15.Peace in the Jungle

If you crave action, drama and plenty of adventure then this is the place for all of the above...if you enjoyed this serial check out another release from VCI Entertainment and Columbia Pictures present "Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere" (1951) (digitally remastered), 15 Chapters.finally for the first time on video the really great Columbia Serial that broke the mold...we have everything a serial fan would want...the tinted sequences by Cinecolor and unique inventions that were unlike any other serial out there in the '50s...get out there as they're going fast, this is the one you've been waiting for.

Great job by VCI Entertainment for releasing the digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more of the same from the '40s vintage serial era...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment, stay tuned once again with a top notch serial from VCI...just the way we like 'em!

Total Time: 299 mins on DVD ~ VCI Entertainment 8268 ~ (1/30/2001)
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Phantom, April 21, 2000
By 
Richard Claiborne (Salt Lake City, UT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Phantom [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Tom Tyler, who stars in the best serial ever made, The Adventures of
Captain Marvel, dons the purple spandex in this early version of Lee
Falk's "Ghost Who Walks". The Phantom is one of the most
intriguing comic characters ever, a legendary jungle hero who the
natives believe to be immortal because he continues to exist for
centuries. Actually, the Phantom is really human; being replaced by
descendents of the original Phantom who donned the suit to avenge his
parents' death at the hand of pirates. Tyler looks great in the
outfit, and the jungles scenes look pretty good, but this
unfortunately is a typical Columbia serial; weak story and not one of
my favorites. The only thing intriguing about this one is that it
remained unreleased for years, and only available to private
collectors who sold it at a premium to rabid fans of the Phantom.
However, if you are a Phantom fan, then for $ bucks, you gotta have
it just to see the dude in the suit.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Columbia or not, I LIKED IT!, June 26, 2001
By 
Neal C. Reynolds (Indianapolis, Indiana) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Phantom [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I generally agree that Columbia did not turn out a lot of the best serials, but they did a good job, IMHO, on this one. Well, maybe Tom Tyler couldn't act, but he was good enough. There's much to recommend this. The most interesting facet to me was that, unlike most serials, the main character is, in the minds of the bad guys, dead at the end of about nine of the fifteen chapters. This, of course, reinforces the idea of "The man who can not die", or "The Ghost Who Walks". The chapter endings in all serials show the hero in extreme peril, but not usually and continually as a result of a "death trap" plotted by the villains. And so, by the last chapter, even the primary villain is wondering if the Phantom is immortal or not.
I also enjoyed the use of Ace, "The Wonder Dog", as the Phantom's dog, "Devil". I am glad that they didn't try to have the main character's white horse featured in the comic strip as part of this serial.
The plot was better than average, a bit more complicated. The chapter endings weren't spectacular, but the action was continuous. So I recommend this, especially to those familiar with the comic strip.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Serial, January 8, 2006
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This review is from: The Phantom - Serial (DVD)
-This is one of the better serials I have collected. I really dig the whole Phantom deal and they did it justice with this series. I watched it from begining to end over a period of 2 days.

-It is a two disc collection of all 15 weekly episodes that explore a couple different cross story lines wrapped around one main story. It is in BLACK&WHITE but it is easy to imagine the scenes in color. The only reason I gave it 4 as opposed to 5 stars, and this is being real picky I know, is that I couldn't forward past the opening credits at the begining each episode at the touch of a button. I had to do the fast forward review thing.
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The Phantom - Serial
The Phantom - Serial by B. Reeves Eason (DVD - 2001)
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