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Listen to the musical intro to Incident At Phantom Hill - including in the background you can hear the wagons in the opening scene.

“We’ve eaten his dust long enough.”

Captain Matt Martin, Incident at Phantom Hill

Robert Fuller stars as intrepid Captain Matt Martin in this stunning western caper teeming with action, heist movie intrigue and the edgy twists of film noir.

At the end of the Civil War, Captain Matt Martin accepts a perilous covert mission to retrieve a million dollars in gold stolen from a Union regiment during a deadly ambush at Phantom Hill – the massacre where his officer-brother died. The catch - to find the gold, Martin must accept the dubious help of the murderous convict who led the Confederate rebels. Played with venomous abandon by the ever-charming Dan Duryea, Barlow starts off deceptively innocent. After trying unsuccessfully to jump off a train and elude Martin, he settles in for the long, conniving haul.

Martin briefs his Army volunteers, all in civilian clothes, on their mission to find the missing gold: the jovial O’Rourke, vengeful widower Krausman, gun-shy Dr. Hanneford and guilt-stricken Lieutenant Adam Long, who watched Martin’s brother fall during the bloody skirmish.  Their chances of surviving each other, the mission and hostile Comanches are already grim before they hit Hays City. There, they are forced to take on alluring passenger Memphis (Jocelyn Lane), a disgraced strumpet run out of town by her self-serving lover, Sheriff Drum (Don Collier). Knowing they will be disavowed by the US government if they are caught, they embark on their trek across the Staked Plains (territory ceded to the Indian nations by government decree).

Robert Fuller turns in a bravura, no-holds-barred performance as the complex Captain drawn into a game of cat-and-mouse with the manipulative ex-con. When Barlow murders two of the crew and takes Memphis hostage, Matt and Adam hunt him down in an excruciating, slow-burning desert chase.


Incident at Phantom Hill was scripted by longtime John Ford collaborator Frank S. Nugent (The Seachers). Veteran director Earl Bellamy, best known for his adeptness with the western TV genre, directed over 1600 episodes of television including The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin; The Lone Ranger; Tales of Wells Fargo; Lassie and Bachelor Father. Director of Photography William Margulies (Have Gun, Will Travel; The Lawless Years) also shot 22 episodes of Robert Fuller’s series Emergency in 1972-73.

Incident at Phantom Hill is a visual treat filmed in glorious Technicolor and Techniscope around Universal Studios and locations in Piru Creek and Joshua Tree National Park.

Premiere: July 1966

Producer: Harry Tatelman

Director: Earl Bellamy

Screenplay: Frank Nugent, Ken Pettus, Harry Tatelman (story)

Run time: 88 min.


Robert Fuller (Matt Martin)

Jocelyn Lane (Memphis)

Paul Fix (General Hood)

Dan Duryea (Joe Barlow)

Don Collier (Drum)

Tom Simcox (Adam Long)

Linden Chiles (Dr. Hanneford)

Claude Akins (Krausman)

Noah Beery Jr. (O’Rourke)

Denver Pyle (1st Hunter)

Review by Belinda New - May 11th 2016.