Phantom Lady

Film, Thrillers
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Siodmak's first American success, a moody thriller from a Cornell Woolrich novel which set the mould for a string of dark classics. The wife of an engineer (Curtis) is murdered, his female alibi's very existence is denied by every witness, and he faces the chair. His secretary (Raines) and a curious off-duty cop (Gomez) investigate... Siodmak's angled compositions and dramatic lighting might be uncharitably ticked off as genre staples, but his manipulation of the film's key motif is masterly. He concentrates on the tangible and psychological evidence - the 'records' - of absence: the wife's portrait, the messages on the office dictaphone, the court transcript, the dead witness' typed address, the hat that recalls a dead fiancé. And the film's quest is for a woman who exists only in the memories of the condemned man and the audience.

By: PT

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Robert Siodmak
Screenwriter: Bernard C Schoenfeld
Cast: Ella Raines
Franchot Tone
Alan Curtis
Thomas Gomez
Elisha Cook Jr
Fay Helm
Andrew Tombes
Regis Toomey
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