Lamont Cranston, aka the Shadow, has his hands full as the murder of blackmailing reporter Jeff Mann is blamed on him. Not only does the real murderer seem one step ahead of him as Lamont ... See full summary »
Lamont Cranston, aka the Shadow, has his hands full as the murder of blackmailing reporter Jeff Mann is blamed on him. Not only does the real murderer seem one step ahead of him as Lamont tries to discover his identity, but he is continually hampered from gaining crucial evidence by his jealous, interfering fiancée Margo Lane. Cranston perseveres and is rewarded with the clue he needs at one of Mann's victims' nightclubs. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
I used to hear The Shadow on the radio in the early and mid-forties when I was less than 10 years old. "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows." This production makes no use of the mystery of The Shadow. It's done as comedy.
This Monogram production was directed by Phil Karlson, who went on to direct such exemplary film noirs as Kansas City Confidential, 99 River Street, Hell's Island, and 5 Against the House. He had little to work with here, because the script is written as a comedy. Consequently, only at the outset for a few consecutive minutes and then later sporadically do we see what he is capable of in a noir vein.
As a comedy, it's strictly for those fans who like shrill, argumentative, silly, and nagging people. Margo is unbearable as a shrew. Lamont Cranston wouldn't get within a mile of such a dame. The police commissioner is almost as grating as Margo. The actors are all respectable enough b-players. It's just that there was no way to escape the script.
The mystery is not much either. Someone is impersonating The Shadow and has bumped off a reporter who was doing shakedown on the side. Mixed in is a bookie operation played a feisty woman -- whoever she was, she added some punch to the story. Kane Richmond as The Shadow lacked smoothness and graceful movement, at least in this picture. I imagine a limited budget prevented enough takes to get everything right.
A disappointing movie for die-hard Shadow fans and for anyone expecting a noir. But as a comedy, it's in the mainstream of many such Hollywood efforts that used loud, high-pitched, voluble people who yap their heads off. This style has remained a staple of certain TV situation comedies, so some people must like it.
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