The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues

The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is a 1955 independently made American black-and-white science fiction monster film, produced by Jack Milner and Dan Milner (who also directed), that stars Kent Taylor and Cathy Downs.

The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues
Directed byDan Milner
Produced byDan and Jack Milner
Written byLou Rusoff
Based onoriginal story by Dorys Lukather
StarringKent Taylor
Cathy Downs
Michael Whalen
Music byRonald Stein
CinematographyBrydon Baker
Edited byJack Milner
Milner Bros. Productions
Distributed byAmerican Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • December 1955 (1955-12)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$400,000 (as part of double feature)[3]

The film's December release was as a double feature with Day the World Ended, American Releasing Corporation's first dual venture. ARC thereafter changed its name, becoming American International Pictures.


A mysterious, man-sized monster kills a fisherman at sea. Biologist Ted Baxter (Kent Taylor) and Federal Agent William Grant (Rodney Bell) discover the man's body, washed up on the beach and covered with radioactive burns. They decide to investigate the strange death. After two young divers are killed by the monster, Ted and Grant decide to go dive in the same location and investigate the area. They discover a glowing radioactive rock being guarded by the monster. Grant shoots it with a harpoon gun, allowing them to escape, but the creature survives.

Ted eventually discovers that Dr. King (Michael Whalen), another marine biologist, created the monster and the radioactive rock with a mutating device in his laboratory. Meanwhile, foreign agents try to discover Dr. King's secrets, while Ted and King's daughter Lois (Cathy Downs) develop a relationship.

Agent Grant captures the foreign agents after one of them kills King’s secretary with a spear gun. Ted finally tells Dr. King that the monster is killing people and that it must be stopped. When King witnesses a ship explode as it passes over the rock, he realizes Ted is right. He destroys his lab and goes out to the ocean to kill his creation using dynamite. Shortly before a timed detonation, the monster grabs Dr. King while he’s planting the underwater explosives. Ted, Grant and Lois arrive just in time to witness the large explosion, which destroys the rock, the monster, and Dr. King.



When American Releasing Company began making low budget films, they knew that if they made two together and released both as a double feature, they could make a larger profit.[4] ARC's cofounder James H. Nicholson came up with the film's Phantom from 10,000 Leagues title. He was looking for a feature to support and team with Day the World Ended. ARC lacked money to make both so they allocated Phantom to Dan and Jack Milner, film editors who wanted to get into feature film production. ARC and Milner split the costs 60/40.[3] Both films cost approximately $100,000 each to make.[5]



As planned, The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues was theatrically released on a double bill alongside Day the World Ended. Both proved popular with audiences, due in part to savvy marketing by James H. Nicholson. In January 1956, the films were released simultaneously in 250 New England theaters[6] grossing $45,000 from just 2 Boston theaters in its first week.[7] Within two months of their release, both films had earned $400,000.[3]

Home media

The film has been released on home media numerous times by different distributors over the years, either as a single or double feature. This is thanks to the films entry into the public domain. It was last released on DVD by Film Detective on June 29, 2017.[8] The movie is also available on several online platforms, including YouTube.


Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film his lowest rating of "BOMB". In his review he wrote, "Lots of spy stuff and a lousy monster fail to enliven this deadly dull early American-International effort".[9]

See also


  1. Samuel Z Arkoff & Richard Turbo, Flying Through Hollywood By the Seat of My Pants, Birch Lane Press, 1992 p 45
  2. Gary A. Smith, American International Pictures: The Golden Years, Bear Manor Media 2014 p 25
  3. Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p42-49
  4. Shocker Pioneers Tell How to Make Monsters: Want to Make a Monster? Experts Tell How It's Done Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Sep 1958: E1.
  5. p.24 Weaver, Tom The Samuel Z. Arkoff Interview Interviews With B Science Fiction And Horror Movie Makers: Writers, Producers, Directors, Actors, Moguls and Makeup Artists McFarland, 30/09/2006
  6. "Gore & Exploitation Boxoffice Life-Blood". Variety. January 25, 1956. p. 15 via
  7. "Terror's Boston Profit Kick". Variety. January 25, 1956. p. 9 via
  8. "The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1955) - Dan Milner". Allmovie. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  9. Leonard Maltin (2015). Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 532. ISBN 978-0-14-751682-4.


  • Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies: American Science Fiction Films of the Fifties, 21st Century Edition. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009 (First Edition 1982). ISBN 0-89950-032-3.
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