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The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues

Overview

A series of mysterious deaths of fishermen and swimmers along a stretch of beach attract the attention of scientist Dr. Ted Stevens (Kent Taylor) and government investigator William Grant (Rodney Bell) -- they both want to know why the victims and their boats all show signs of exposure to atomic radiation, and if there's a connection between the deaths and the nearby Pacific College of Oceanography, run by Professor King (Michael Whalen); and they're also interested in why King's assistant, George Thomas (Phillip...
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Overview

A series of mysterious deaths of fishermen and swimmers along a stretch of beach attract the attention of scientist Dr. Ted Stevens (Kent Taylor) and government investigator William Grant (Rodney Bell) -- they both want to know why the victims and their boats all show signs of exposure to atomic radiation, and if there's a connection between the deaths and the nearby Pacific College of Oceanography, run by Professor King (Michael Whalen); and they're also interested in why King's assistant, George Thomas (Phillip Pine), is always lurking around the beach, often armed with a spear gun. Stevens establishes a friendship with King's daughter Lois (Cathy Downs) that turns to romance, but he's principally concerned with finding out about an apparent source of radiation on the ocean floor, and what its connection might be with the unearthly sea creature rumored to be stalking that section of the beach. Helene Stanton hangs around in a fairly revealing (for the time) bathing suit, waiting on the beach for some top-secret information, and Vivi Janiss overacts nicely as a woman with too much on her mind for her own good.
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Special Features

[None Specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues is a movie that film students should look at closely -- the rest of us may enjoy it for what it is, a supremely low-budget sci-fi thriller, but would-be filmmakers could learn something from this picture, even at this late date. This was only the eighth movie (and only the third sci-fi film) to be distributed by James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff, through what was then called American Releasing Corporation (which later became American International Pictures). It was paired with Roger Corman's better (and better known) The Day The World Ended -- indeed, as a kid this reviewer used to get it mixed up in his memory with Corman's similar (but lower budgeted and more inventive) Monster From The Ocean Floor (1954). The double-bill of two science fiction thrillers turned a tidy profit that put the fledgling Arkoff-Nicholson company on a path of success that would last for 20 years. As Nicholson and Arkoff were under-capitalized at the time, however, the two producers allowed Jack Milner and Dan Milner, two brothers they knew, who were film editors and eager to go into production, to raise the money and produce the picture for them. The movie is peopled by the usual coterie of aging second-tier lead actors, including Kent Taylor, Cathy Downs (spelled "Kathy" in the credits), and Michael Whalen, and good inexpensive younger talent (Phillip Pine). Some parts of it -- especially Pine's scenes -- are handled sharply, and certain attributes, such as the scoring by Ronald Stein (who sounds at times like he was emulating Bernard Herrmann's work on Hangover Square), are as good as any comparable elements in more expensive movies; but a lot of the movie also looks like it was shot by an editor, as opposed to a director -- there is no sense of style in most of it, and the viewer comes away with the conscious sense that a lot of first takes were used. That isn't a always a bad thing, as the cast is sufficiently professional to work competently, and the little elements of roughness give the movie an offbeat tension that helps carry it across 80 minutes of screen time. The major deficiencies are the monster itself -- one of the sillier looking rubber-suit jobs of the period, resembling an inflatable beach toy in distress -- and the attempt at a montage to depict the creation of the monster. The makers simply didn't have the effects budget to pull that part of it off. But assuming that one can get past that flaw, this isn't a bad little movie -- it's more interesting than any number of major studio dramas of the period, and moderately entertaining within the context of cheap 50's cinema. Curiously, Cathy Downs and Michael Whalen were to turn up together again four years later in Richard Cunha's Missile To The Moon (1959). Jack Milner and Dan Milner were later responsible for From Hell It Came (1957), about the killer tree-stump from hell.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/30/2002
  • UPC: 089218401793
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:12:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 65,779

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kent Taylor Ted
Cathy Downs Lois
Michael Whalen King
Helene Stanton Wanda
Phillip Pine George
Rodney Bell Bill
Pierce Lyden Andy
Vivi Janiss Ethel
Michael Garth Sheriff
Technical Credits
Dan Milner Director, Editor, Producer
Brydon Baker Cinematographer
Jack Milner Editor, Producer
Lou Rusoff Screenwriter
Ronald Stein Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. Chapter 1 [19:02]
3. Chapter 2 [10:51]
4. Chapter 3 [13:47]
5. Chapter 4 [19:33]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Index
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