The Phantom Light (August 5, 1935)
Released on August 5, 1935: The lighthouse in this small Welsh village is haunted, and death awaits anyone who dares to investigate.
Directed by Michael Powell
Written by Joan Roy Byford, Joseph Jefferson Farjeon, Austin Melford, Evadne Price and Ralph Smart.
The Actors: Binnie Hale (Alice Bright), Gordon Harker (Sam Higgins), Donald Calthrop (David Owen), Milton Rosmer (Doctor Carey), Ian Hunter (Jim Pearce), Herbert Lomas (Claff Owen), Reginald Tate (Tom Evans), Barry O'Neill (Captain Pearce), Mickey Brantford (Bob Peters), Alice O'Day (Mrs. Owen), Fewlass Llewellyn (Griffith Owen), Edgar K. Bruce (Sergeant Owen), Louie Emery (station mistress), Anthony Holles (Mr. Mason), Ernest Jay (railway worker), John Singer (cabin boy).
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The first movie that I ever watched in a movie theater was in Butler, Pennsylvania when I was going to college to become a minister. It was probably 1970, and The Ten Commandments, first released in 1958, was being shown at the local movie theater on the main street of Butler. I lived in an apartment above a furniture store a few blocks away. The rent was $42.50 a month, and I had a roommate Bob who shared it with me. Although I discovered that I wasn't meant to be a preacher like papa, Bob went on to become a Presbyterian minister of some renown. Anyway, Bob had a girlfriend Shawn, and she had a long blonde wig. I had been taught all my life that only sinners went to a movie theater, but I really wanted to see this movie. And it was about the Bible, so how sinful could it be? This was one of the first times that I went against my upbringing and decided on my own what was good and what was not good. So Bob and Shawn went with me, and to disguise myself in case anyone might see me entering that sinful theater, Shawn let me wear her blonde wig.. It was 1970, the Vietnam war was raging, and rebellious teen boys all over America were growing hair longer than the girls, so I wouldn't look odd with long blonde hair tied in a ponytail. I think that I wore dark glasses also, but I'm not sure. I still remember the excitement of seeing a movie on a giant screen in a theater full of eager people enjoying the film. What fun. I quickly grew to love going to the movies, and after many years of watching new movies, the old movies from before I was even born have become my passion.
During those wonderful years of watching movies I never got to enjoy most of the amazing movies made in Great Britain. But today I can enjoy and share these movies with you, and this one is a real masterpiece. Set in a small sea side village in Wales, the lighthouse just off the coast seems to be haunted. Every lighthouse keeper either mysteriously disappears or is murdered. And a poor fellow out there now is daffy as a loon. And there is a mysterious second light that appears in the deepest, darkest part of the night, causing ships to wreck on the rocky shore. To this background we add a newly arriving lighthouse keeper, a mysterious man and a cute young lady who finds it impossible to tell us the truth about who she is. Yup, we never, ever discover who she really is even after the movie ends . . . as far as I can tell she is only in the movie to provide some eye-candy . . . and to fulfill one piece of motion picture history. Actress Binnie Hale, from Liverpool, is the receiver of the very first on-screen 'wedgie' in this mystery thriller - watch for it when she tries to wear the long pants of the new lighthouse keeper. It's a hoot! Be careful that you aren't munching your hot, buttered white kernel popcorn during this scene, lest you choke in your laughter!
|Binnie Hale - 1935||Alice O'Day|
|Binnie Hale and Gordon Harker||Binnie Hale and Ian Hunter|
|Binnie Hale, Ian Hunter and Gordon Harker||Binnie Hale gets a wedgie|
|Binnie Hale watches Ian Hunter and Gordon Harker||Donald Calthrop|
|Donald Calthrop and Gordon Harker||Edgar K. Bruce and Alice O'Day|
|Fewlass Llewellen||Gordon Harker|
|Herbert Lomas||Herbert Lomas and Gordon Harker|
|Herbert Lomas, Gordon Harker and Ian Hunter||Ian Hunter|
|Ian Hunter and Binnie Hale||John Singer|
|Louie Emery and Gordon Harker||Milton Rosmer|
|Milton Rosmer||Milton Rosmer and Gordon Harker|