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The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues


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.

The two agents examine a body in the morgue

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.

A romantic moment between Kent Taylor and Cathy Downs in The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues

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 remorseful scientist in The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues

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?

The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues costume
The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues costume

Editorial review of The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues courtesy of Amazon.com

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!


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