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Phantom Killer (1942)

Approved | | Mystery, Romance | 2 October 1942 (USA)
Well-known philanthropist and deaf-mute John G. Harrison is identified leaving the scene of several murders but evades successful prosecution as there are hundreds of witnesses who have ... See full summary »


William Beaudine


Karl Brown (screenplay)


Complete credited cast:
Dick Purcell ... Edward Arlington Clark
Joan Woodbury ... Barbara Mason
John Hamilton ... John G. Harrison
Warren Hymer ... Police Sgt. Pete Corrigan
Mantan Moreland ... Nicodemus (as Manton Moreland)
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Police Captain
Gayne Whitman ... District Attorney John W. Rogers
Kenneth Harlan ... Police Lt. Jim Brady
George J. Lewis ... Kramer (as George Lewis)
Karl Hackett Karl Hackett ... Defense Attorney
Harry Depp Harry Depp ... Lester P. Cutler
Isabel La Mal ... Mrs. Rigby - Dave's Mother (as Isabel Lamal)
Robert Carson ... Dave Rigby
Frank Ellis Frank Ellis ... Kelsey
Learn more

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Well-known philanthropist and deaf-mute John G. Harrison is identified leaving the scene of several murders but evades successful prosecution as there are hundreds of witnesses who have also seen him emceeing benefits at the exact same time as the murders. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Although it is credited to Karl Brown, the script was actually recycled from Monogram's Lionel Atwill vehicle The Sphinx (1933). See more »


Barbara 'Babs' Mason: It's as clear as the nose on Jimmy Durante's face.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Despite his prominent role in the film, Mantan Moreland's name is misspelled in the credits as "Manton Moreland." See more »


Remake of The Sphinx (1933) See more »

User Reviews

okay Shortie from Monogram Pix
2 October 2014 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

"Phantom" opens with the night janitor (Mantan Moreland) finding Mr. Cromwell dead on the floor of his office. The sound and picture quality are just terrible, so hopefully "someone" will give this a good restoration someday. This one stars Dick Purcell, who seems to have had a rough life all around - he was only married from March of 1942 to August of 1942. Odd. Then he ups and dies of a heart attack at age 35. Purcell works for the District Attorney, and thinks he has found the right suspect, but won't prosecute yet. John Hamilton is the suspect "John Harrison", who seems to have a great alibi, with tons of witnesses. Joan Woodbury is the reporter Barbara Mason, and part of Harrison's alibi. This is just a 61 minute shortie, so we don't get too deep into anyone's story, but it's not bad, as they go. Also interesting to see an early version of sign language, as Harrison is a deaf mute, and we see him spelling words out in court. The night janitor (Moreland) has the best lines and the best facial expressions here, giving the film a light tone. From the title, I was expecting a darker, horror film, but when they put him on the witness stand, he makes a monkey out of the lawyer. Better than I expect it to be. Directed by William Beaudine, who also had an interesting life. Note that he died in 1970, but was listed as director on films from 1974 and 1976. Started acting and writing in 1909. Wow. Low key, fun (but very predictable) film - catch it on Turner Classics.

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Release Date:

2 October 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Man and the Devil See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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