Incident at Phantom Hill


Adventure / Western

IMDb Rating 6.1 10 274


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February 06, 2019 at 12:20 AM



Robert Fuller as Matt Martin
Claude Akins as Krausman
Paul Fix as General Hood
Denver Pyle as 1st Hunter
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718.26 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 28 min
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1.37 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 28 min
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724.16 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 28 min
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23.976 fps
1hr 28 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ma-cortes 6 / 10

A nice and colorful Western , being well played , decently paced and including spectacular action scenes

Now thrill to TV's famed frontier fighter Robert Fuller in his first starring motion picture role . When in Southern California visit Universal City studios shows up this thrilling and nail-biting Western picture . From a forgotten page of history , this is the story of The Phantom Hill Incident, and the events that followed... Northwest Texas , at the end of the Civil War, a convoy carrying a million dollars in gold is ambushed in the desert . The U.S. Civil War occurred April 1861-April 1865, officially ending with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House ; once finished an Union army captain named Matt Martin (Robert Fuller) is assigned by a General (Paul Fix) to carry out a dangerous mission . As Matt Martin is sent on a secret assignment to retrieve the bullion with the reluctant help of one of the robbers , one man (Dan Duryea) who knows where it is hidden . Along the way they are accompanied by a motley group (Linden Chiles , Tom Simcox , Claude Akins , Noah Beery Jr) and by a Madame" (gorgeous Jocelyn Lane) who has been sanctimoniously ushered out by a sheriff from Hays City . Things go wrong when some bandits (Denver Pyle ..) set out to get the valuable stash . A million dollars in gold waits for two desperate men and a blonde wildcat !. As explosive as a bullet in the back ¡ . A woman's fury , deadlier than Apache arrows ¡ A man's gold fever hotter than the desert sun ¡

Tense , moving and suspenseful Western with a simple , standard story that engages the viewer until the last scene , dealing with a million-dollar gold shipment is hijacked and buried , while a misfit bunch is going to retrieve it , along the way they must fight off outlaws who are also after it and rampaging Comanches . The film packs thrills , psychological drama , noisy action , crossfire , twists , turns , and being enough entertaining . It's a medium budget film with comfortable actors , technicians , functional production values and pleasing results . Pretty good and pleasant traditional Western with professional direction and flawlessly acted by Robert Fuller and Dan Duryea as nasty Joe Barlow who steals the show as a treacherous villain . A Hollywood production full of interesting characters , shootouts , go riding , betrayals and Indian attacks . This ¨Incident at Phantom Hill¨not the best Western ever,...but pretty darn close . The picture is really intriguing , not merely because Earl Bellamy's tersely economic narration of his material , but because Universal Pictures made a decission to cut budget and reducing locations . This decent western is plenty of suspense as the dreaded trial approaches and the protagonist realizes he must stand alone against a heinous killer . The narration is perfectly adjusted , from the beginning , until the final showdown and being approximately developed in a moderated runtime : 88 min . Director managed to create a passable work of art with fine acting , appropriate scenarios , and attractive plot . Bursting with appealing , top-drawer characters, including adequate filmmaking and fine interpretation . The ending confrontation results to be tense , charged and riveting . This is one of a clutch of acceptable horse operas made in the sixties , many of them released in television . Here stands out a top-drawer support cast , along with the frankly excellent Dan Duryea , there appears other notorious secondaries , such as : Linden Chiles , Tom Simcox , Claude Akins , Noah Beery Jr , Paul Fix and Denver Pyle chewing up scenario playing another remarkable villainous .

It packs a colorful and brilliant cinematography in Technicolor , Techniscope by William Margulies . Being shot on location in Joshua Tree, and Lake Piru, California, and Universal studios . As well as an evocative and stirring musical score by Hans J. Salter , Universal's regular . Well produced by Harry Tatelman who also wrote the story along with the prestigious Frank S. Nugent , a Western expert who worked in John Ford's scripts , such as : Wagon Master , The searchers , She Wore a Yellow Ribbon , Fort Apache , Two Rode Together , The quiet man , The last Hurra ¡ , The Donovan reef , Mister Roberts . The motion picture was professionally directed by Earl Bellamy . Earl worked too much at TV , specializing in westerns that he shot a lot , such as : Three Guns for Texas , Seminola uprising , Backtrack , Against a Crooked Sky , Justice of the West , Speedtrap , Seven alone , The tracker , The wackiest wagon train in the West , Daniel Boone , The Viginian , Lone Ranger , The Sheriff of Cochise . He was a good professional who served in the US Navy's photographic unit in the WWII and directed more than 1600 episodes of television from known series such as : Marcus Welby , The Restless Gun , U.S. Marshal , Lassie , Bat Masterson , Shotgun Slade , The Best of the Post , US Marshal , Annie Oakley , Masquerade , Crusader , Wagon train , Soldier of fortune and catastrophe films for Irwin Allen , such as : Fire! and Flood! and a sequel titled Walking tall II . After Bellamy retired from directing he became the head of production for Universal Pictures , a cinema Company in which he made several movies like this ¨Incident at Phantom Hill¨ . Rating : 6.5/10 . Acceptable and entertaining Western . Well worth watching .

Reviewed by Spikeopath 7 / 10

You're trash, just like me. Only difference is I'm rich trash.

Incident at Phantom Hill is directed by Earl Bellamy and jointly adapted to screenplay by Frank Nugent and Ken Pettus from a story by Harry Tatelman. It stars Robert Fuller, Jocelyn Lane, Dan Duryea, Tom Simcox, Linden Chiles, Claude Akins and Noah Beery Jr. A Techniscope/Technicolor production, music is by Hans J. Salter (Joseph Gershenson supervising) and cinematography is by William Margulies.

"From a forgotten page of history, this is the story of The Phantom Hill Incident, and the events that followed..."

It's a roll call of fine Western character actors, with the square jawed Fuller leading off on alpha male duties, behind him Akins (Comanche Station), Duryea (Winchester '73) and Noah Beery Jr (Decision At Sundown) lift the standard plot formula to better heights; further enhanced by the appearance of Denver Pyle (Fort Massacre) in a deliciously vile secondary villain role.

Plot is set at the end of the Civil War and finds Captain Martin (Fuller) accepting a covert mission to locate a gold shipment that was snatched from a Union party by a rebel Confederate gang led by Joe Barlow (Duryea). During the attack, Martin's brother was killed and this drives Martin forward on his mission. With Barlow offered a pardon to lead them to the gold, Martin, a small group of men, and a "Madame" (Lane) who has been sanctimoniously ushered out of Hays City, set off to the Staked Plains looking for the hidden gold. But this is area ceded to the Commanche and outlaws stalk the land looking for ill gotten gains. Enough problems there as it is, but with water running low and the group coming apart due to differences and Barlow's scheming, it will be a small miracle if anyone makes it out alive.

A thoroughly good time to be had here for the Western fan who has a bent for traditional Oaters that feature a group dynamic creaking under the strains of a hazardous Wild West. There's some thin strains of psychological discord, but this is about good guys and bad guys, flecks of well constructed action (great punch up here) and of course the thirst for gold. The group dynamic is most interesting, with a driven leader, a borderline insane fella, a doctor, a guilt ridden soldier, a colourful Irishman, a devious "Reb" and a floozy with a point to prove. There's nothing fresh about this set-up, but old pro Bellamy stitches it together neatly and the picture never sags or loses sight of its traditional values.

Technially it's also well worth the time spent with it. It's nice to see a Techniscope production at the best of times, but bonus here is that it's filmed at Universal City and features the rarely used in Westerns locations of Joshua Tree and Lake Piru in California. Margulies doesn't quite get his colour lensing right to truly make the scenery leap out of the screen, but his "scope" photography is very pleasing. Salter's score is suitably in keeping with the tonal shifts of the narrative; in fact making the film feel more like a 50s production than a 60s one.

Cast wise Fuller turns in a lead performance of some macho substance, further begging the question on why he didn't have a more rewarding career? Duryea (was he ever bad in a film?) is restrained yet very effective as a grinning viper in the nest, while Akins, Beery and Pyle leave favourable impressions. Simcox, however, is underwritten and Chiles is just poor and suffers in comparison to those around him. Lane was always going to be up against it as the sole female character, it is a token lady role and she isn't much of an actress. But she positively sizzles with sexuality and delivers what the makers were calling for in the story. A sight for sore eyes to be sure, particularly when wearing an hour glass green dress.

The flaws are obvious, with many things defying logic during the group's time in the desert. Yet the honest will to entertain, the technical pluses, and that it still flew the flag for traditional Oaters at a time in the 60s when they were a dying breed, marks it out as being better than average for the undemanding Western fan. Nice DVD print in 16:9 now available as well. 7/10

Reviewed by zebulonguy 7 / 10

Good vintage style western

Incident at Phantom Hill was released in 1966 as the western fad was fading- more's the pity as it's a cracking good western film. A great cast of western stalwarts lead by Robert Fuller from TV's Laramie as the hero and Dan Dureya as the ultimate villain. Any film featuring Dureya has class and here he chews up the scenery. Also along, the beautiful Joycelyn Lane and western heavies Claude Akins and Noah Beery jr. The plot involving a search for a lost horde of gold in remote Indian country moves along at a good pace.Directed by old hand Earl Bellamy , we are treated to some great location work and excellent character studies.I wish that all the actors had more time to display their talents but really it's a three way show with Fuller, Dureya and Lane to the fore.However Tom Simcox manages to register well as a survivor of the opening massacre of union soldiers . Dureya leads the confederacy on this attack and he has plans for this gold, just for himself. It is surprising that Fuller did not get more movie leading roles, he should have as he is the classic western hero.This film with it's excellent colour photography merits a DVD release and it has just received one in France, of course it's Pal but there is an English track. About time it was released in USA and U.K.

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