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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) »


Gambling with death... for a $5,000,000 stake! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ombres sur Shanghai  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 Johnny enters the hotel lobby and goes to the area in which the three courtesy phones are located, the middle phone is in use. Johnny makes his call on the phone on the left, but when he finishes his conversation, he hangs up the middle phone. See more »

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User Reviews

The expensive amulet
16 March 2013 | by See all my reviews

In this Grand National cheapie no one got any closer to Shanghai than Los Angeles's Chinatown. James Dunn late of the Fox Studios starred as once again an fast talking Irish American, a kind of Pat O'Brien light working in Shanghai as a news photographer. A chance meeting on the street with Linda Gray the daughter of a missionary gets him involved in all of her troubles which are considerable.

Gray's got troubles all right. She's been entrusted with half an amulet which if presented to the owner of the other half in San Francisco will net her a small fortune that will be used to buy weapons for the Kuomintang government to fight its enemies foreign and domestic. Assisting her is a mutual friend of both Ralph Morgan who suggests that since she was born in China and has no American passport that she and Dunn marry and gain citizenship that way with the automatic exit. It doesn't prove that simple.

For an action hero Dunn doesn't get all that much action, in fact he's reduced to a lot of wisecracks. Morgan does the heavy lifting and he's clever at outwitting Soviet agent Robert Barrat who wants the amulet for nefarious Communist purposes and Japanese top agent Paul Sutton.

Shadow Over Shanghai made with a Gone With The Breeze budget is still reasonably entertaining relying considerably on James Dunn's charming Irish ways.

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