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The Phantom Light The Phantom Light

The Phantom Light The Phantom Light

The Phantom Light (1935)

This black and white film from 1935 must have been responsible for my fascination with lighthouses. It starred Gordon Harker - veteran of many fine black and white British films including "Inspector Hornleigh", "Boys will be boys" "Squibs." His face was perfect for playing all manner of typical British bloke in the street. The other star was Binnie Hale who did not star in many other films but was mostly famous for her roles in West End plays. Perhaps the most famous (feel free to correct me here) was "Nippy", the musical which was produced in 1931. Binnie Hale played the starring role of Nippy. The actor who almost steals the show is Claff Owen played by Herbert Lomas, his face on hearing footsteps on the stairs is superb. The film was directed by Michael Powell who directed such great films as The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death (click here to read more)

The film concerns the events which take place at a lighthouse called the North Stack. A new chief lighthouse keeper is required to take over the lighthouse after the previous two keepers vanish under mysterious circumstances. Sam Higgins arrives at the small Welsh village called Tan-y-bwlch on the coast meeting a young woman called Alice Bright. Together they must solve the mystery of the Phantom light to prevent wreckers from destroying shipping and claiming the insurance.

Sadly this little film is seldom seen these days. In fact the last time I saw it on terrestrial television was back in 1994. Still it proved to have a great effect on my upbringing (even today I love lighthouses and will travel hundreds of miles to visit one). It remains today a superb little film which sits nicely alongside "The Ghost Train" in my all time top ten films.


Alice Bright - bit dim if you ask me
Alice Bright
Sam Higgins
Sam Higgins
David Owen
David Owen
Dr. Carey
Dr. Carey
Jim Pearce
Jim Pearce
Claff Owen
Claff Owen
Tom Evans - baddie
Tom Evans
Captain Pearce brother of Jim
Mary Fern-Captain Pearce
Bob Peters
Mrs. Owen
Mrs. Owen
Griffith Owen
Griffith Owen
Police Sergeant Owen
Station Mistress
Station Mistress
Local fishermen
Railway worker
Railway Worker
Cabin Boy on Mary Fern
Mary Fern-Cabin Boy
Cab driver from station to village
Cab Driver
Sailor on board Mary Fern
Mary Fern-Ship's Mate

Click below image to read and see the story unfold

The Phantom Light The Phantom Light - main page The Phantom Light  - story page The Phantom Light  - story page 2
Main Page The Story Part One The Story Part Two


The Phantom Light

Adapted from the play "The Haunted Light" by Evadne Price &
Adapted from the play "The Haunted Light" by Joan Roy Byford
Alice Bright Binnie Hale
Sam Higgins Gordon Harker
David Owen Donald Calthrop
Dr. Carey Milton Rosmer
Jim Pearce Ian Hunter
Claff Owen Herbert Lomas
Tom Evans Reginald Tate
Captain Pearce Barry O'Neill
Bob Peters Mickey Brantford
Mrs. Owen Alice O'Day
Griffith Owen Fewlass Llewellyn
Police Sergeant Owen Edgar K. Bruce
Station Mistress Louie Emery
Railway Worker Ernest Jay
Mr. Mason Anthony Holles
Cabin Boy John Singer
Scenario Ralph Smart
Dialogue J. Jefferson Farjeon & Austin Melford
Editor Derek. N. Twist
Art Direction A. Vetchinsky
Cinematography Roy Kellino
Recordist A. Birch
Original Music Louis Levy
Associate Producer Jerome Jackson
Directed by Michael Powell
Production Company Gainsborough Pictures
Production Studio Gainsborough Studios

The End of the Phantom Light