The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (1955) starring Kent Taylor, Cathy Downs, Michael Whalen
Synopsis of The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues
In The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues, a mysterious sea creature is murdering people, and two independent government agents are investigating. A marine biologist knows more than he is telling, and the body count rises …
Review of The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues
In short, The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is an unexceptional monster movie from the 1950s. There’s a marauding sea creature (a man in a bad creature suit) that is murdering people. Specifically, anyone who gets too close the radioactive rock on the ocean floor that’s responsible for its mutation.
There are two federal investigators (Kent Taylor, Rodney Bell) who are initially unaware of the other, causing some misplaced suspicions at first. There’s a marine biologist (Michael Whalen) with a beautiful daughter (Cathy Downs) who is romanced by one agent. The professor also has a homely secretary (Vivi Janiss), and an untrustworthy assistant (Phillip Pine). The assistant is willing to sell secrets to a beautiful foreign agent (Helene Stanton) and to kill to cover his tracks.
The marine biologist turns out to be the mad scientist who mutated the creature in the first place. Unlike so many of the mad scientists of the 1950s, he’s a man with a conscience who regrets what happened. The scientist destroys his lab before heading out to confront his creature with dynamite.
The traitorous assistant is arrested, the creature is destroyed along with his creator, in an explosive moment of remorse. The movie ends with the stereotypical things man wasn’t meant to know moment. The acting is fine, the sets and effects are clearly low-budget, but The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues makes for an enjoyable popcorn movie.
Haven’t I seen you someplace before?
Dr. Ted Stevens (Kent Taylor) the scientific investigator Boston Blackie, The Crawling Hand
- Lois King (Cathy Downs) the scientist’s daughter My Darling Clementine, The Amazing Colossal Man
- Professor King (Michael Whalen) the unintentional mad scientist Wee Willie Winkie, The Dawn Express
- Wanda (Helene Stanton) the gorgeous foreign agent The Big Combo, Jungle Moon Men
- George Thomas (Phillip Pine) the untrustworthy, murderous assistant Men in War, Murder by Contract
- Ethel Hall (Vivi Janiss) Professor Kings unattractive secretary, who is willing to spy on him and help the agents First You Cry, Father Knows Best (TV series)
You know the story: A radioactive rock at the bottom of the ocean causes a sea creature to mutate into a horrible, amphibious monster. This seemed to happen a lot in the 1950s. Director Dan Milner (who also gave us From Hell It Came, a film about an evil tree stump) hits all the right notes here, helped by a cast that includes Kent Taylor, Cathy Downs, and Michael Whalen. Also, pay attention to the score by Ronald Stein, who graduated from the Yale School of Music to become the Tchaikovsky of B-Movies, scoring such “classics” as Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, and Invasion of the Saucer Men!