Review of The Phantom Ship

Action, Horror, Thriller Add comments
Year: 1963 - Runtime: 62 - Director: Denison Clift - Writer(s): Denison Clift, Charles Larkworthy
Country: USA - Language: English - Parental Guide: NR - Color: Color

Phantom ShipRating: ★★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆


This movie is the action/thriller/mystery/horror film about the legendary Marie Celeste. A phantom ship that was found floating adrift in the ocean in 1872. The ship was still fully stocked with the goods it was preparing to deliver. The sails were fully set and no one was found on board.
The movie is a fictionalized account of what they believe might have happened. In the story, the crew are disgruntled from day one when they were forced to join the crew. The animosity is present at the start and each member of the crew has their own reason for wanting the captain dead. To make matters worse, he has brought his new bride which only adds to the tension.
It doesn’t help that the person in charge of the crew hands is sadistic and continually beats the crew. He is brutal and mean, and it sets the sailors all on edge.

Reason to Watch

This movie is a classic B picture. If you are looking for great acting…this ain’t it! The movie is worth watching for 2 reasons.
1. The overacting, especially Bela Lugosi, is worth watching. It’s truly comical to watch how some of the actors in this movie contort their fact to show the horror of what is happening.
2. The big murder scene, we see one of the characters getting shot in the butt. You would think this would just knock him to the ground, instead we see him do a classic over the top death, with a quick shot to the butt.


This movie was made when Bela was a big star. I’m sure this was a vehicle that they had hoped would draw off his star power. Done in the 50s, and in black and white, there was no need for big special effects.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

“Black cat…that’s bad.”

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

I would recommend watching this movie with a high potent energy drink. While spots have some comedic value, there are times this story draaaags!


I couldn’t find any trivia for this movie…sorry.

Educational Content

It’s amazing in the movie that even though they just threw the corpse in, there was a shark immediately there to be attracted to it. I have always understood that sharks are actually attracked to the movement and thrashing…and that if you are near a shark, you shouldn’t move so it would swim by.

Justification for Rating

While you may find yourself wondering if you should set the snooze alarm to keep yourself awake, there are moments this movie isn’t that bad. The story is pretty well written, but the acting prevents you from fully enjoying it.


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