Furs on Film – The Phantom (1996)

In “twin film” lore, The Phantom and The Shadow aren't entirely as well known as your Deep Impacts, Armageddons, Dantes Peaks, and Volcanos. That's because, in this case, they were both flops. Amongst the many similarities they shared, the one we're interested in here today is their setting in the 1930s and the costume designer's desire for period authenticity. 

The Phantom – The Film

Stop me if you've heard this one. Someone buys the rights to an old comic serial crime fighter and makes a pretty mid-action movie out of it. This one is “The Phantom,” a gentleman with very questionable taste in fashion but a voracious appetite for justice. An evil businessman named Xander Drax is trying to take over the world. It's somewhat ironic this briefly happened in real life at the hands of a far less competent evil businessman.

The Phantom – The Furs

Catherine Zeta-Jones in a Fur Collar - The Phantom - 1996

Xander's real accomplishment is savvy hiring. Meet the leader of his band of “air pirates,” Sala (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The “S” subtly foreshadows this.


She and her leather and fur-clad hench ladies are there to capture Diana Palmer (Kristy Swanson), who immediately decides to mouth off to the badass lady with the submachine gun.

Extras in Fur - The Phantom - 1996

For what it's worth, there are a few extras in fur in this sequence, but nothing particularly spectacular. There are some shots in the gallery.

Catherine Zeta-Jones in a Fur Collar - The Phantom - 1996

Sala takes Diana captive and holds her prisoner, noting she is pretty in a “spoiled rich girl kinda way.”

Catherine Zeta-Jones in a Fur Collar - The Phantom - 1996

We are treated to a sequence where Sala subtly communicates some budding sexual tension with her captive. We may need to acknowledge some consent issues regarding Diana being tied to a chair, but we also shouldn't kink-shame Diana if she's into it.

Catherine Zeta-Jones smoking in a Fox Fur Collar and Cuffs - The Phantom - 1996

Later in the film, Sala visits the boardroom to hear a villain's speech. She's smartly dressed in this fur-trimmed suit jacket.

Catherine Zeta-Jones in a Fox Fur Collar and Cuffs - The Phantom - 1996

The collar and cuffs are quite lovely on it. Sala laments the fact The Purple Guy didn't consent to her charms. So, a win for bisexual rep in films, I suppose.

Catherine Zeta-Jones in a Fox Fur Collar and Cuffs - The Phantom - 1996

Diana is again held prisoner here and renews her “rivalry” with Sala via a friendly tap on the cheek. This is the enemies-to-lovers arc I'm here for.

Again, the purple guy shows up to save the day, and even more sadly, Sala doesn't wear any more fur in the movie. The Phantom has neither a lot of decent fur, nor a small amount of great fur. However, The furs are worn by 90's Catherine Zeta-Jones, playing a badass villainess who hits on Kirsty Swanson. Thus, I consider it “elevated.” The Shadow had much better fur, and I certainly would have preferred a wardrobe switch between the films, but we got what we got.

  • Fur Runtime: approx 3:39 minutes
  • Film Runtime: 100 minutes
  • On-Screen Ratio: 3.65%

Find-a-Fur: The Phantom, 1996

(all times are approximate and are affected by the cut of the film)

  • 27:15 – small collar(s)
  • 29:40 – ”
  • 31:50 – ”
  • 46:00 – black fox collar
  • 51:12 – ” reaction shot
  • 59:45 – ”
  • 1:08:00 – ”

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