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The Shadow Strikes (1937)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 29 October 1937 (USA)
Lamont Cranston assumes his secret identity as "The Shadow", to break up an attempted robbery at an attorney's office. When the police search the scene, Cranston must assume the identity of... See full summary »

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(story "The Ghost of the Manor") (as Maxwell Grant), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Agnes Anderson ...
Marcia Delthern (as Lynn Anders)
...
Jasper Delthern
...
Winstead Comstock
William Kellogg ...
Humphrey Comstock (as Bill Kellogg)
...
Brossett
...
Captain Breen
Norman Ainsley ...
Hendricks
John St. Polis ...
Caleb Delthern
Wilson Benge ...
Wellington
John Carnivale ...
Warren Berranger
James C. Morton ...
Kelly (as James Morton)
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Storyline

Lamont Cranston assumes his secret identity as "The Shadow", to break up an attempted robbery at an attorney's office. When the police search the scene, Cranston must assume the identity of the attorney. Before he can leave, a phone call summons the attorney to the home of Delthern, a wealthy client, who wants a new will drawn up. As Cranston meets with him, Delthern is suddenly shot, and Cranston is quickly caught up in a new mystery. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Scourge of the underworld!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Sombra Ataca  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film in New York City occurred Sunday 23 February 1947 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

Goofs

Right after Detective Kelly whisked the two thieves away to the station, Captain Breen encountered 'Randall' (Rod La Rocque) picking up the documents that had fallen on the floor during the attempted robbery. All the ones he had in his hand were neatly folded with a stack of envelopes, which he placed back on the floor when Captain Breen walked in. However when Henry entered the room, the first thing he picked up was a long unfolded sheet of paper. See more »

Connections

Version of The Shadow (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Odd mystery with Shadow elements an apparent afterthought
21 October 2011 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Rod LaRoque is Lamont Granston in this B mystery that confounds more than it satisfies. We are introduced to Granston in an opening scene that establishes a few murky facts: his father was killed by a gang of crooks; his butler is his loyal assistant; he apparently fights crime in disguise as the Shadow. Who and what is the Shadow? Well, we viewers know him by reputation, perhaps, but whatever powers he may possess are never really on display in this film.

Granston, in costume as the Shadow, does indeed foil a burglary at a lawyer's office, thereby setting the plot in motion. When the police arrive, Granston quickly assumes said lawyer's identity and becomes embroiled in a family controversy that involves a will, a murder, several suspects in and near the family, and a gang of gamblers somehow also involved. It's a fair if standard B movie plot; our hero stays, for the most part, a step ahead of both cops and crooks as he zeroes in on the killer's identity.

LaRoque himself is fine—he plays Granston as cool and smooth and slightly amused. He's capable of a sharp glance and quick action as needed. (He's also capable of carelessness, such as allowing the police to walk in on him as he's sifting through the contents of a safe.) Wilson Benge tries his best to add a little lilt and humor as Granston's assistant, Wellington, apparently an English butler or possibly a distant relative to one.

Other cast members, though, don't fare well at all—much of the film's dialog is not only clichéd but delivered without obvious enthusiasm. Whether the cast were beaten by too slow pacing or lack of rehearsal or just unimaginative dialog itself, entire scenes come and go without so much as a spark between characters or a snap to a speech. An exception is Cy Kendall as a boss gambler—he at least radiates smugness, to the extent that his small part allows.

Part of the problem with this movie is that we don't know what we are supposed to take as understood about the Shadow—Is this the radio crime fighter? If so, why don't we hear any of his signature lines? If not, why bother putting "the Shadow" in the title at all? The Shadow Strikes is okay as an average B movie, but that title leads viewers to expect something much more Shadow-y. Honestly, it's mystifying what might have led to this half-baked mess....did the producers unexpectedly acquire the character name and rush to shove it into a picture that was already half-written?

Note on the name: The character in this picture is indeed Lamont Granston. Why not Cranston? Possibly you-know-who knows....


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