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Tricia's retro film review: The Phantom (1943)

The Phantom (1943)


The Phantom is the 1943 serial based on the comic strip by Lee Falk. The Phantom is killed and his son Geoffrey Prescott must take his place as “The Man Who Never Dies.” Not only must he protect the natives, but he also has to help Professor Davidson and his girlfriend Diana find the lost city of Zoloz. But to get there, they have to find the keys that will form a map that leads to Zoloz. The Phantom must fight criminals and another tribe that has the last piece. Can the Phantom save the day?

The opening is terrific as the old Phantom passes the torch to his son. While the plot is pretty good, it smacks a little too much of “white man’s burden,” as the natives don’t seem to be as smart as the Phantom. Although Tartar turns out to be a good guy in the end. The finale is a nice callback to the beginning as a fake Phantom is killed. His stripped underwear is hideous and makes his costume look bad. It still is a decent serial, despite being dated. Honolulu Phantom fans should still check it out.

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