Rent Phantom Lady (1944)

3.7 of 5 from 86 ratings
1h 23min
Rent Phantom Lady (aka Condemned to Hang) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Scott Henderson (Alan Curtis) is drowning his sorrows after yet another fight with his wife. At a local bar, he meets a woman and they strike up a conversation. Sensing the woman is also feeling down and not wishing to be alone, he invites her to the theatre. She agrees under one condition; she does not wish to divulge her name, preferring to remain anonymous. When Henderson returns home he finds police officers waiting for him. His wife has been murdered, strangled with one of his neckties, and he is the main suspect. Maintaining his innocence he suggests they go back and speak with someone who might provide an alibi. But no one seems to remember the mysterious lady.
Charged with the murder of his wife, it seems Scott Henderson will face the electric chair if he cannot prove his innocence. His only hope just might be his loyal secretary Carol "Kansas" Richman (Ella Raines). Can she find the phantom lady before it's too late?
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Joan Harrison
Voiced By:
Samuel S. Hinds
Bernard C. Schoenfeld, Cornell Woolrich
Condemned to Hang
Universal Pictures
Classics, Drama
Release Date:
Run Time:
83 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
Release Date:
Run Time:
87 minutes
English LPCM Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Dark and Deadly: 50 Years of Film Noir, an insightful archival documentary featuring contributions from Robert Wise, Edward Dmytryk, Dennis Hopper and more
  • Rare hour-long 1944 radio dramatization of Phantom Lady by the Lux Radio Theatre, starring Alan Curtis and Ella Raines
  • Gallery of original stills and promotional materials

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Reviews (1) of Phantom Lady

Classic film noir. - Phantom Lady review by Steve

Spoiler Alert
Updated 28/02/2021

Siodmak was one of many German directors to make the move from the home of expressionism to American film noir (in escaping fascism). This slight, gloomy, fatalistic low budget melodrama was written by William Irish (Cornell Woolrich) who would use this kind of narrative many times, about an innocent accused of murder, unable to track down the alibi that would save his life.

Alan Curtis plays a middle class malcontent stood up by his elegant but selfish wife and who spends the evening at a theatre with an unhappy stranger on the understanding that they won't talk about themselves and never meet again. When Curtis' wife is killed and he needs an alibi, that premise for an evening's diversion proves catastrophic! Curtis' secretary (Ella Raines as Carol) must trace the woman and free her boss.

 There is no musical score in Phantom Lady, but it is still phenomenally suspenseful. Siodmak was a genius at assembling a scene. The way he fits the images together is sensual and artistic. There's an evocation of German silent horror here, amplified by the Peter Lorre-esque performance of Franchot Tone as an artist experiencing psychopathic delusions of grandeur. Tone has top billing but only appears late in the film.

There is a glorious noir look of the rain soaked streets and train stops crisscrossed by the fascinating and beautiful Carol as she searches for the phantom lady. But what everyone remembers the film for is the pairing of Elisha Cook jr. as a jazz drummer with Raines, posing undercover as a hepcat, seeking information about the missing lady. These scenes (particularly the eroticism implied by Cook's lengthy drum solo) are just astonishing and transcend an already outstanding film.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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