DirectorBertram Millhauser DistributorPathe CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles) Release dateOctober 11, 1920 (1920-10-11) WriterGeorge B. Seitz, Frank Leon Smith CastJuanita Hansen, Warner Oland GenresSilent film, Adventure Film, Black-and-white Similar moviesBertram Millhauser directed The Phantom Foe and wrote the screenplay for Sherlock Holmes Faces Death
The Phantom Foe is a 1920 American adventure film serial directed by Bertram Millhauser. A partial print of 14 episodes is in the George Eastman House Motion Picture Collection.
A film magazine described what happens in the first two episodes. Episode 1, Doom: Fear of an unknown menace grips Janet Dale (Hansen) as she hears the measured tread of a giant's feet. Bob Royal (Bailey), her fiance, asks who it is she fears. She explains that her father Jeremiah Dale (Goodwin) had been the unwitting cause of the death of the wife and brother of her uncle Leo Selkirk (Oland) years before by bringing about a massacre for unjustly punishing three Indians. Selkirk had sworn vengeance upon Jeremiah Dale, but years had passed and he had seemingly forgotten his oath. She had barely finished speaking when a lighting fixture fell from the ceiling, barely missing her. At her twenty-first birthday party Janet was speaking to her father when he vanishes before her eyes. Bob Royal sees a muffled figure slinking along in the shadow of the house and tries to capture him, but the figure escapes. That night Janet, unable to sleep, wanders into the library. In the ashes of the fireplace she finds three links of a gold chain and the imprint of a giant's foot. Meditating on these things she fails to hear the approach of the muffled figure, bent on attacking her. Episode 2, Disappearance of Janet Dale: The muffled figure attacks Janet, but is driven off by Bob Royal's approach. Later in the day Bob again sees the muffled figure. He grapples with the unknown person and a fight ensues with Bab being worsted when Steve Roycroft (McCutcheon), a scientific detective, and Janet arrive, causing the muffled figure to flee in an automobile. Janet finds a notebook belonging to her Uncle Leo. They return to the house and find Leo Selkirk, believed by Bob to be an enemy, and Janet's Cousin Esther (Cassavant). Leo admits ownership of the notebook and Bob believes his suspicions are being confirmed. On the following morning Janet's room is discovered empty. A note left by her says that it will be useless to try and find her. She had received a note saying that if she followed a designated man, she would be led to a place where she could find the answer to her puzzle. She is thus brought to a disreputable place and escorted to a dingy room. When she closes the door, the episode ends as she sees the muffled figure rise from a seat in the corner and advance towards her.
Warner Oland as Uncle Leo Selkirk
Juanita Hansen as Janet Dale
Wallace McCutcheon Jr. as Steve Roycroft
William Bailey as Bob Royal (credited as William Norton Bailey)
Nina Cassavant as Esther, Janet's Cousin
Tom Goodwin as Jeremiah Dale (credited as Thomas Goodwin)