How to be in two places at one time.

John G. Harrison (John Hamilton) is a well known philanthropist and a deaf-mute. One night he is seen leaving the offices of Howard G. Cromwell at the Cromwell Finance Corporation. He stops at the elevator and speaks to the janitor Nicodemus (Mantan Moreland)

Howard G. Cromwell is later found dead. When the janitor identifies Harrison as the man he spoke to Harrison was also seen miles away in front of dozens of witnesses at a dedication ceremony. The janitor is adamant that Harrison is the person he saw, so are the witnesses at the dedication ceremony.

ADA Edward Arlington Clark (Dick Purcell) is investigating the murder. He believes Harrison is the murderer, however, among the dozens of witnesses is a reporter and his girlfriend Barbara Mason (Joan Woodbury). Arlington believes that this is not the only murder that Harrison is responsible for. There were two others in different cities. Both men ran financial companies and Harrison was in those cities at the same time. Unfortunately he was in front of dozens of other witnesses during both murders.

Arlington puts Harrison on trial with his only witness, the janitor. Harrison’s lawyer puts Harrison’s doctor on the stand who testifies that Harrison can not speak or hear and that he has been that way since birth. The state doctors examine Harrison and they agree that he is a deaf-mute. Harrison is found not guilty.

Dave Rigby (Robert Carson) goes to Harrison and blackmails him. Either Harrison gives him $5000 or he goes to the police. That night Harrison visits Dave at his home. His mother lets him in. When Harrison leaves he asks Dave’s mother for the time. She faints. Later the police find Dave dead.

Police Lt. Jim Brady (Kenneth Harlan) and Arlington go to question Harrison. During the visit Brady starts getting suspicious. He tells Arlington that he believes him and that they will come back with a warrant the next day. That night Brady is murdered and Arlington is now on a mission to prove that Harrison is responsible.

“Phantom Killer” was released in 1942 and was directed by William Beaudine. The film is a remake of “The Sphinx” released in 1933 and staring Lionel Atwill. Monogram did the original movie as well as the remake.

The movie is OK. As a matter of fact, both movies were OK, this and the original. Which one is better than the other. It’s a toss up. There are slight differences between the two. In the first the love interests are two reporters. In this one it’s a reporter and an ADA. Other than that there isn’t much different. I think it may be a question of do you prefer Lionel Atwill as the bad guy in “The Sphinx” or Mantan Moreland as comic relief in “Phantom Killer.

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