Phantom Lady (1944)
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as Carol Richman
as Scott Henderson
as Jack Marlow
as Estela Monteiro
as Insp. Burgess
as Ann Terry
as Stage Manager
as Cliff March
as Dr. Chase
as District Attorney
as Courtroom Spectator
as Judge (offscreen)
Critic Reviews for Phantom Lady
Channeling the spirit of the Russians (Eisenstein, Dovshenko, Vertov), the director uses grotesque angles, close-ups, and rhythms to suggest a powerful sense of seduction and torture.
...compelling subject matter that's employed to somewhat erratic yet mostly rewarding effect...
In the end, an unobservant, unfocused antagonist arranges clunky closing shots that feel rushed, unpolished, and ineffective.
The first half is phenomenal. But it's not too difficult to figure out the killer even before he's revealed at the film's halfway point, and his prominence during the second half undermines the intrigue.
Audience Reviews for Phantom Lady
Ella Raines' performance and Elwood Bredell's cinematography are two reasons this is a must-see for noir fans. Raines doesn't play the femme fatale instead she's a citizen investigator trying to hunt down a murderer and thus free her boss whom was wrongly convicted of the crime. Bredell's lighting of Raines and his work throughout the picture is superb There's a jazz scene in the movie intended to symbolize seduction that should not be missed. Unfortunately, director Robert Siodmak doesn't deliver tension in the film's final act which would have made this a true classic..
OK pre-noir B-movie with striking Ella Raines determined to save her boss from death row by finding his only alibi to his wife's murder, a woman in a peculiar hat who nobody seems to remember. Boosted by some nifty lighting and frame composition, but a contrived plot applies a Medieval knowledge of mental illness as the psychological slant and the crafty Raines does some unbelievably stupid things just to create tension at the end. Ultimately it's nothing you haven't seen before, except perhaps the crazed drum solo at the tiny jazz club no larger than my closet which seems to take its cues from Reefer Madness!
Brilliant atmosphere trumps crappy acting and story.
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