The acting in this film is pretty bad, but I still think it’s a fun flick for a “Stuck In A House With A Killer” flick. What it doesn’t have in the way of good actors it easily makes up for in the thrills it provides. Right from the start, it sets itself apart by one of the slickest craziest stunts I’ve ever seen, especially when you know that this was done in 1931!
It starts off in a penitentiary, where a warden is getting ready to execute a killer known as The Phantom. As they prepare the electric chair, the Phantom scales a 20-foot wall, and jumps on a nearby moving train. If that’s not enough, wow, the Phantom then jumps on a rope ladder hanging underneath a plane and then flies away. The only problem is, (ironically, befitting the title of the film itself) I have no idea who performed the stunt and who the stunt pilot was. I’ve looked under all the rocks I know of and it appears the knowledge of who these stunt performers are, are lost in time.
The Phantom was directed by Alan James (Alvin J. Neitz) for Supreme Pictures. Alan James, as you’ll notice, was the director of Canyon Hawks, the nod of the Best Movie Stunt for 1930, so you know he believes in good stunts!
Things to look up (click on item to go to IMDB page):
History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia:
Supreme Pictures: A.W. Hackel (December 18, 1882 – October 22, 1959) was an American film producer who founded Supreme Pictures in 1934. Hackel contracted Bob Steele for 32 of his Westerns, for example Alias John Law in 1935. In 1936, Republic Pictures needed more Westerns and made a deal with Hackel who released his films through Republic. After the demise of Supreme Pictures in 1942, Hackel released through Monogram Pictures. All of his pictures were Westerns with the exception of Am I Guilty? (1940), a race film, and The Flaming Urge (1953), a crime film.