The Phantom Stage
Cast & Crew
Bob Carson and his pal, Grizzly, are headed for Montana when they learn that the Terminal City stagecoach is being mysteriously robbed of gold shipments on almost every run. The guards and drivers are all under suspicion, and Mary, the owner of the line, is ready to quit. Unknown to the citizens of Terminal City is the fact that Gabe Lawson, who is posing as a ranch owner, has devised an ingenious system whereby Runt, a diminuitive robber, hides inside a fake trunk that is shipped back and forth from Medicine Hat to Terminal City. En route, Runt reaches through a trap door in the trunk and steals the gold from the strong box. Upon arrival in Terminal City, Lawson claims the trunk and the theft remains unsolved. With all the old timers afraid to take the job of stage driver, Bob and Grizzly volunteer. Their first run is without incident because Bob keeps his foot on the strong box. On the second run, Lawson and his gang intercept the stage, thus diverting Bob's attention while Runt climbs out of the trunk to steal the gold. Before he can resume his hiding place, however, Runt is forced to jump off the rolling stage. When Bob discovers the empty strong box and trunk, he decides to track the robbers by taking Runt's place in the trunk. Upon accepting delivery of the heavy trunk, Lawson realizes that he has been found out. Meanwhile, Grizzly and Bob are now under suspicion for the missing gold, and the sheriff arrests Grizzly while Bob, locked in the trunk, is being taken for his last ride by Lawson. After escaping from the trunk, Bob weighs it down with a sack of wheat and then hides in Lawson's wagon. In town, Grizzly finally convinces the sheriff of his fantastic story, and they ride in pursuit of Lawson as the robber throws the trunk over a cliff and returns to his ranch. As the thieves distribute their loot, Bob appears and holds them at bay until the posse arrives. With the mystery solved, Bob and Mary get married.
The role of "Runt" is credited to Tex Palmer in the cast listing on film, credited to 'Dickinson, Dick' in the Universal press book, but is played by 'Adams, Ernie' in the film.
Although the onscreen credits list Tex Palmer in the role of Runt, the copyright records list Dick Dickinson in that role. Although the film contained some songs, their titles and composers have not been determined. Modern sources credit Paul Malvern as associate producer. Some of the plot points and character names in this film are similiar to the 1933 Monogram film Galloping Romeo (see entry above) which was also supervised by Trem Carr and edited by Carl Pierson.