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A mysterious criminal known as The Whispering Shadow commits crimes by means of a gang he controls by television and radio rays. Jack Norton, whose brother was murdered by The Whispering Shadow, suspects that the eerie Professor Strang - whose ghostly wax museum contains figures far too lifelike - may be involved in the crimes. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A mysterious figure known as The Whispering Shadow uses his gang to try and track down some famous and priceless jewels. The Shadow's power comes from being able to communicate through rays created by radio and television. Soon a number of suspects are believed to be The Whispering Shadow.
This 1933 film was the first serial that Bela Lugosi ever appeared in but my review is for the feature version. Back in the day a lot of serials were turned into feature movies and some like Lugosi's THE RETURN OF CHANDU had two feature versions. Obviously, by watching this version you're going to be missing out on a lot of the fun including all of the cliffhangers. Whereas the original version ran 225 minutes this one here clocks in at just 60.
As far as the feature goes, it's simply okay. Again, you can't judge the serial because I personally don't know what is missing from it but this feature really lacks much action. It seems that the majority of the running time here is just introducing the various red herrings and this leaves very little time for the action. There's a nice action sequence at the very start but that's about it. The ending, which I won't spoil here, is somewhat of a letdown.
Lugosi is in fine form here as he was able to pick up the biggest paycheck of his career. I thought he was believable whenever the spotlight was on him as the guilty party and he also manages to bring some fun to the part. The supporting cast also includes D.W. Griffith regular Henry B. Walthall in a supporting part.
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