The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues

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The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues
Phantomleagues.jpg
Directed by Dan Milner
Produced by Dan and Jack Milner
Written by Lou Rusoff
Based on original story by Dorys Lukather
Starring Kent Taylor
Cathy Downs
Michael Whalen
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography Brydon Baker
Edited by Jack Milner
Production
company
Milner Bros. Productions
Distributed by American Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • December 1955 (1955-12)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75,000[1][2]
Box office $400,000 (as part of double feature)[3]

The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is a 1955 independently made American black-and-white science fiction monster film, produced by Jack Milner and Dan Milner (who also directed), that stars Kent Taylor and Cathy Downs.

The film's December release was as a double feature with Day the World Ended, American Releasing Corporation's first dual venture. ARC thereafter changed its name, becoming American International Pictures.

Plot[edit]

A mysterious, man-sized monster kills a fisherman at sea. Biologist Ted Baxter (Kent Taylor) finds the body on the beach, along with Federal Agent William Grant (Rodney Bell), and they decide to investigate the death. Ted eventually discovers that Dr. King (Michael Whalen), another marine biologist, created the monster and the radioactive rock with a mutating device in his laboratory. Meanwhile, foreign agents try to discover Dr. King's secrets, while Ted and King's daughter (Cathy Downs) develop a relationship.

Agent Grant captures the foreign agents, while Ted finally tells Dr. King the monster is killing people and must be stopped. When King witnesses a ship explode as it passes over the rock, he realizes Ted is right. He destroys his lab and goes to kill his creation using dynamite. Shortly before a timed detonation, the monster grabs Dr. King. Ted arrives just in time to witness the large explosion, which destroys the rock, the monster, and Dr. King.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

When American Releasing Company began making low budget films, they knew that if they made two together and released both as a double feature, they could make a larger profit.[4] ARC's cofounder James H. Nicholson came up with the film's Phantom from 10,000 Leagues title. He was looking for a feature to support and team with Day the World Ended. ARC lacked money to make both so they allocated Phantom to Dan and Jack Milner, film editors who wanted to get into feature film production. ARC and Milner split the costs 60/40.[3] Both films cost approximately $100,000 each to make.[5]

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

As planned, The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues was theatrically released on a double bill alongside Day the World Ended. Both proved popular with audiences, due in part to savvy marketing by James H. Nicholson. Within two months of their release, both films had earned $400,000.[3]

Home media[edit]

The film has been released on home media numerous times by different distributors over the years, either as a single or double feature. It was last released on DVD by Film Detective on June 29, 2017.[6]

Reception[edit]

Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film his lowest rating of "BOMB". In his review he wrote, "Lots of spy stuff and a lousy monster fail to enliven this deadly dull early American-International effort".[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Samuel Z Arkoff & Richard Turbo, Flying Through Hollywood By the Seat of My Pants, Birch Lane Press, 1992 p 45
  2. ^ Gary A. Smith, American International Pictures: The Golden Years, Bear Manor Media 2014 p 25
  3. ^ a b c Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p42-49
  4. ^ Shocker Pioneers Tell How to Make Monsters: Want to Make a Monster? Experts Tell How It's Done Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Sep 1958: E1.
  5. ^ p.24 Weaver, Tom The Samuel Z. Arkoff Interview Interviews With B Science Fiction And Horror Movie Makers: Writers, Producers, Directors, Actors, Moguls and Makeup Artists McFarland, 30/09/2006
  6. ^ "The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1955) - Dan Milner". AllMovie.com. Allmovie. Retrieved 10 October 2017. 
  7. ^ Leonard Maltin (2015). Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 532. ISBN 978-0-14-751682-4. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies: American Science Fiction Films of the Fifties, 21st Century Edition. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009 (First Edition 1982). ISBN 0-89950-032-3.

External links[edit]