In the course of her investigations she strings along Jazz Drummer Elisha Cook to gain information, intoxicating him with her adopted persona as "a real hep kitten." Kansas is a great character and unusually for a Noir is very much the one digging under the dirt of the naked city. The ending is reminiscent of Brighton Rock as Kansas listens to a message from her boss, but this time it’s genuine in it’s intent. Boss saved romance on its way. This is an early offering from Siodmak who would go on to direct key movies in the Noir Genre and Raines is the female central figure; unusually in Film Noir.
Despite the upbeat ending Phantom Lady, while not a perfect Noir, has some great moments of desolation, dark backstreets and flawed individuals. Kansas enters this world willingly and changes herself in order to solve the mystery.At Paramount Preston Sturges borrowed Raines to co-star with Eddie Bracken in Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). Her screen career stalled so she retired to England in the late '40s, and married a military officer. However she was drawn back to the screen.
Ella Raines August 6, 1920 – May 30, 1988