The Phantom [Serial] (1943)

Genres - Adventure, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Superhero Film  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Lee Falk and Ray Moore's famous syndicated comic strip hero came to the screen in this 15 chapter serial produced by Rudolph C. Flotow for Columbia Pictures. Displaying unusually good judgment, the studio cast the still strapping former silent screen cowboy Tom Tyler as Geoffrey Prescott who, like generations of Prescotts before him, battles piracy and crime in Darkest Africa. Dressed in his trademark tights and black mask, The Phantom sallies forth to locate the lost city of Zolos, aided by his lovely fiancée, Diana Palmer (Jeanne Bates) and Ace, the Wonder Dog. The opposition is headed by the nefarious Dr. Bremmer (Kenneth MacDonald), but the good doctor is, in the long run, no match for the masked avenger who, in the final chapter, restores "Peace in the Jungle." One of Columbia's few worthwhile serials, The Phantom was yet another success for the popular and personable Tyler, who had earlier scored in the title role of Republic Pictures' The Adventures of Captain Marvel. Columbia filmed a belated and rather unnecessary sequel, The Adventures of Captain Africa (1949), starring John Hart, a bland actor who later played The Lone Ranger for one season on television when Clayton Moore went on strike.

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Keywords

Africa, doctor, fiancee, jungle, lost-city, mask [disguise], Superhero