7 user 1 critic

Shadows Over Shanghai (1938)

Approved | | Drama | 14 October 1938 (USA)
A pilot carrying a valuable amulet is shot down over China by a ruthless Russian agent, who also wants the amulet.



(screenplay), (original story) (as Richard B. Sale)


Cast overview:
Johnny McGinty
Howard Barclay
Igor Sargoza
Lynda Grey ...
Irene Roma (as Linda Gray)
Peter Roma
Edwin Mordant ...
Dr. Adams
Lun Sat Li
Wu Chang
American Consul
Captain Murphy
Wang (as Victor Young)


Irene Roma, a young Russian teacher at an American mission near Shanghai, is entrusted with an amulet by her brother Peter Roma, who has been wounded by Igor Sargoza, a discredited Russian secret agent, who is aware of the amulet's value. Needing a Russian passport in order to leave Shanghai, Irene presents her problem to Howard Barclay, an English friend of her brother's, and his friend, Johnny McGinty, an American newspaper photographer. Barclay suggests that McGinty marry her, thereby giving her his American citizenship. A Chinese friend sends the bride a beautiful mandarin figure, to be used as an incense burner but Johnny decides to use it as a hiding place for the amulet. Barclay learns that the marriage does not make Irene an American citizen, but he obtains a Chinese special passport and the three friends, after beating off another attack by the Sargoza gang, reach the Japanese merchant ship that is to take then to safety. On ship they encounter Fuji Yokahama who has learned ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | jewel | See All (2) »


HUMAN CONFLICT! Caught in a surging storm of a people's hate...it might be tomorrow's headlines! See more »








Release Date:

14 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ombre sur Shanghai  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film in New York City occurred Monday 16 October 1944 on NBC's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1), and Monday 14 October 1946 on Dumont Television Network's WABD (Channel 5), in Los Angeles Sunday 11 April 1948 on Dumont's KTLA (Channel 5), in Baltimore Saturday 19 June 1948 on WBAL (Channel 11), and in Chicago Saturday 17 July 1948 on WGN (Channel 9). See more »


When Irene enters the hotel, she asks the front desk clerk for Mr. Barclay's room number and is told 810 (on the eighth floor). She then goes to the elevator and presses the DOWN button. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Way too talky story set during the Japanese invasion of China
6 July 2006 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Irene, a woman living in China watches as her brother is shot down by an unknown airman. The brother survives but is too weak to continue with his mission which involves taking part of an amulet to San Fransisco to get money for the Chinese war effort against the Japanese. She is warned about the man who shot the brother, a Soviet military man who wants the money for his own. She is also told to look up a certain person in Shanghai if she gets into trouble. Once in Shanghai she runs a fowl of of the villain and escapes thanks to a wounded newspaper photographer, named McGinty, heading home to America. Linking up with her brothers friend the trio tries to get out of the city before the Japanese completely over run it and before the bad guys get them.

Considerably duller than the description makes out (I forgot the villains name and Ralph Morgans as well and I'm not impressed enough to look it up). This is a low budget film that takes into account the then current event of the Japanese Invasion of Shanghai. Despite the use of stock news footage this is a mostly stage bound espionage yarn that substitutes talk for action. Yes its well written, but it lacks any real action until the final reel or two to keep it interesting. The lack of action becomes numbing and I did have to fight to keep awake.

This isn't to say its a bad film, its not,its just a bit too talky for its own good. Lets face it you have to give the film points since the film kept me watching to the end because I had to see how it came out.

Would I recommend it? Well I wouldn't go out of my way to see it but if I found it on I would let it run out its running time. There are worse films and there are better, but in a pinch, on the Late Late Late Movie it would be fine.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: