Phantom City (1928)

Genres - Western  |   Run Time - 65 min.  |  
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In one of his finest silent Westerns, Ken Maynard comes to the rescue of a young girl whose mine is about to be appropriated by a villain. Three people are mysteriously summoned to the deserted mining town of Gold City: Tim Kelly (Maynard), whose father once lost his share of a mine to a man named Bridges; Joe Bridges (James Mason), half-owner -- with Sally Ann Drew -- of the mine which rightfully belongs to Tim; and Sally Ann herself (Eugenia Gilbert). The mine is thought to be worthless, but two of Bridges' henchmen are killed attempting to force their way in. The killer, a mysterious Phantom, warns Tim to stay away, but the latter tries to force Bridges to sign over his share. Bridges does not take kindly to that suggestion and is about to do away with his rival when the Phantom suddenly appears, proving to be Tim's long-lost father. Bridges absconds with the gold in the ensuing confusion but is killed when his automobile veers off a cliff. This film was remade by Warner Bros. as Haunted Gold in 1932 starring John Wayne. Recreating his role as the hero's negro sidekick, Blue Washington's stereotypical "fear of ghosts" routine remains hard to take for modern audiences, and his presence tends to slow down the pace. Much of the footage in this film came from The Phantom City, which, sadly, seems to have been lost in the process.

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Keywords

bad-guy, ghost, good-guy, haunted-town, investigation, outlaw [Western], prospector