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The Shadow (1940)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 5 January 1940 (USA)
The Shadow battles a villain known as The Black Tiger, who has the power to make himself invisible and is trying to take over the world with his death ray.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Roger Moore ...
...
Stanford Marshall
John Paul Jones ...
Mr. Turner (as J. Paul Jones)
...
Flint
...
Henchman Roberts
...
Inspector Joe Cardona
...
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Storyline

Columbia's 9th serial, slotted between "Overland With Kit Carson" and "Terry and the Pirates", was intended to have Lorna Gray in the role played by Veda Ann Borg, and to have been co-directed by D. Ross Lederman and Norman Deming. The credits specified the serial was "Based upon stories published in "The Shadow Magazine", while the ads proclaimed it to be "right out of the air waves and magazine stories." What appeared was a mixture of both with Lamont Cranston the true identity of The Shadow, although Lamont Cranston was only an occasional disguise of the pulp magazine Shadow. The hypnotic invisibility of the radio character was completely ignored, as was the almost invisible "Living Shadow" of the pulps.(In the serial, the only invisible man (The Black Tiger) was the villain, as even James Horne probably realized that six to ten henchmen taking orders from an invisible man was more plausible then six to ten henchman falling all over the place from unseen blows delivered by an ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Taglines:

WRAPPED IN MYSTERY! LOADED WITH THRILLS! (original Australia poster - all caps)

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le fantôme du cirque  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(15 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest Superhero feature film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Darker Than You Think See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The correct information on the original Shadow
23 October 2007 | by (Gilbertown, Alabama) – See all my reviews

I saw this serial shortly after it was commercially released on VHS in the late 1990s, and have not seen it since. I do, however, remember enjoying it.

I must correct some misinformation in the post by blackcurtain about The Original Shadow. The writer infers that this Shadow serial predates the radio series, but this it totally false. While it is true that the original Shadow on radio was a narrator for another show, he was the central character of his own series starring Orson Welles by 1937. Welles left in 1938, but the show was already hugely popular, and actors William Johnstone, John Archer, Steve Courtleigh (for a whopping 6 episodes, all of which are lost), and Bret Morrison carried the series all the way to 1954. And so, by the time the serial came out in 1940, the official radio series of The Shadow that is still famous today had already been on the air for three years.

I will, however, agree that this portrayal of The Shadow was much more in likeness to the portrayal in the pulp magazines. The 3 movies from 1946 that starred Kane Richmond are also closer to the magazines than the radio version, except for the humorous elements. In fact, the only version of The Shadow that I've seen on film that actually became invisible, other than the 1994 Alec Baldwin movie, was the hideous black and white filmed version from the 1950s called Invisible Avenger. If someone were to try to torture me, they couldn't do much worse than to tie me up and lock me in a room with nothing but that DVD set to endless repeats.

But this version of The Shadow, while not the best, is still enjoyable. It's doubtful I'd want to watch it again at over four hours in length, but I did enjoy seeing it the first time.


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