Skip to content

Directed by Robert Siodmak

United States 1944 87 mins. In English

An underappreciated film noir masterpiece, Phantom Lady is one of German emigré Robert Siodmak’s finest in a procession of films, including The Killers, Cry of the City, and Criss Cross. In this angular work made for Universal, a headstrong New York City secretary (Ella Raines) must get to the bottom of a murder mystery that has her boss  (Alan Curtis) headed for the gas chamber. A gaggle of underground jazz musicians led by a suitably creepy drummer (Elisha Cook, Jr. in one of his best roles) could unlock the mystery, but an old pal of Henderson’s (Franchot Tone) also has something to say about it, in true, complicated noir fashion. Dripping with headlong, frantic atmosphere and characterized by sharp editing and brilliant visual composition, much like all of Siodmak’s 1940s output, Phantom Lady is an efficient, unique entry in the noir canon. “Pushes noir into the realm of abstract nightmare.”—Jake Cole, The L Magazine.