The Phantom City

The Phantom City is a 1928 American Western film directed by Albert S. Rogell and written by Adele Buffington and Fred Allen. The film stars Ken Maynard, Eugenia Gilbert, James Mason, Charles Hill Mailes, Jack McDonald and Blue Washington. The film was released on December 23, 1928, by First National Pictures.[1][2][3]

The Phantom City
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlbert S. Rogell
Produced byHarry Joe Brown
Screenplay byAdele Buffington
Fred Allen
StarringKen Maynard
Eugenia Gilbert
James Mason
Charles Hill Mailes
Jack McDonald
Blue Washington
CinematographyTed McCord
Charles R. Rogers Productions
Distributed byFirst National Pictures
Release date
  • December 23, 1928 (1928-12-23)
Running time
65 minutes
CountryUnited States


In a story set in the Wild West, an anonymous killer plots to steal a gold mine from its rightful owner. Tim Kelly (Maynard) and Joe Bridges (Mason) are summoned to Gold City, a long abandoned mining town, by a mysterious masked phantom. Tim learns he is to inherit a gold mine there which is still active, but he receives a dire warning from the killer telling him to leave town. It turns out the phantom who summoned them there was Tim's father, and Tim discovers the killer's identity is Joe Bridges, who was trying to get the mine for himself. As Bridges attempts to leave town with the gold, he accidentally rides off a cliff to his death.



Ken Maynard had earlier mixed the horror and western genres with his 1926 film The Haunted Ranch, and its success led to The Phantom City. Phantom City was regarded as one of Ken Maynard's best silent films, but in 1932 when the film was remade with sound as Haunted Gold (starring John Wayne), the silent version dropped out of circulation. Both versions featured African American actor Blue Washington doing his racially offensive "scared Negro" routine. The John Wayne remake utilized a lot of stock footage from the Ken Maynard version. Director Rogell later moved into directing television westerns such as Broken Arrow in the 1950s.[4]


  1. "The Phantom City (1928) - Overview". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  2. Hans J. Wollstein. "Phantom City (1928) - Albert Rogell". AllMovie. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  3. "The Phantom City". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  4. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p.329. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.

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