Blu-Ray Review: Phantom Lady

Robert Siodmak was just one of many film directors and actors who fled to America to escape the tyranny of Hitler’s Germany. This migration included such eminent figures as Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Peter Lorre, Hedy Lamarr, Max Ophuls and Marlene Dietrich. Siodmak’s first decade in Hollywood produced some impressive results, most notably with The Killers. However, Phantom Lady, released in 1944, is up there with his best.

After fighting with his wife on their anniversary, Scott Henderson (Alan Curtis) ends up going to see a show with a mystery lady. When he arrives home, he discovers she has been murdered and he is the prime suspect. He tries to persuade Police Inspector Burgess (Thomas Gomez) that it wasn’t him but his alibi seems to have vanished into thin air. When he’s convicted, it’s up to his secretary Carol (Ella Raines) to clear his name.

Phantom Lady was Siodmak’s first film noir and remains a compelling crime drama and intense thriller. Whilst it becomes clear to the audience who the killer really is, we have to watch as the truth slowly dawns on Carol. Indeed, as she chases up leads and tries to track down the ‘Phantom Lady’, Siodmak slowly and subtly builds up tension until you find yourself holding your breath by the end.

Special edition features:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation transferred from original film elements
  • Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • 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
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options

Phantom Lady is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Academy on 4 March.

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