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The Shadow (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  1 July 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 17,691 users  
Reviews: 141 user | 66 critic

In 30's New York City, the Shadow battles his nemesis, Shiwan Khan, who is building an atomic bomb.



(character The Shadow from stories),
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wainwright Cranston
Andre Gregory ...
Brady Tsurutani ...
Li Peng
Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad ...
Isaac Newboldt
Duke Rollins


Based on the 1930's pulp fiction and radio drama series, the film pits the hero against his arch enemy, Shiwan Khan, who plans to take over the world by holding a city ransom using an atom bomb. Using his powers of invisibility and "The power to cloud men's minds", the Shadow comes blazing to the city's rescue with explosive results. Written by Michael Ross <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 July 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sombra  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$32,055,248 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie Shadow character is a combination of the radio show and the pulp magazine versions. The elements from the radio show are his ability to be become invisible, the appearance of Margo Lane and the establishment of Lamont Cranston as the Shadow's actual civilian identity. The pulp magazine elements include his costume, his network of agents at his disposal and his twin automatic pistols. See more »


When Farley Claymore goes mad in the hotel attempting to kill the Shadow, the torch in his hand does not move in time with the light on the ceiling. See more »


Farley Claymore: There's a new world order coming, Shadow, and I'm going to be a king! A KING!
See more »


Referenced in NCIS: Dead Reflection (2011) See more »


Lullaby of Broadway
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Whistled and sung by Ethan Phillips
Later sung by John Lone while on top of the Empire State Building
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Excellent adaptation, highly enjoyable
2 December 2000 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I don't really understand the bad rep this movie has gotten. Sure, its not "high art" (then again, Shakespeare, Dickens and Herodetus weren't meant to be, or perceived as, high art when they were written). What The Shadow was, and remains, in my eyes, is one of the best super-hero adaptations ever (the best until X-Men came out, in my opinion).

I'm not terribly familiar with the old radio drama Shadow, so I can't speak as to the details, but the feeling, the essence of the movie fits with what I've experienced. Much more importantly, it stand out well on its own.

Special effects play a major part, but are not of the over-played. Action is well done, and acting is acceptable, though rarely outstanding (the Shadow's cabbie Shrebnitz is an engrossing exception).

What really makes this movie stand out is the layering. Plots, characters, backgrounds, all are complex. The movie's basic plot is well-paced, occasionally a bit slow, but it makes up for it with the incredible wealth of details it packs in. Watching the movie, one gets the sense of an incredible amount of backstory for each character (little things, like the family life of some of the Shadow's agents, barely glimpsed, or even just the complex web of those agents across the city), or that around the corner there lies a world to explore.

This movie can be difficult to classify, which may lead to its unpopularity. Clearly its not a drama, not is it a comedy, nor even entirely an action. Scifi or fantasy are both possible descriptions, but they fail. The Shadow is comicbook style, in the truest sense of the genre. Complex characters, pull-pounding action, some jokes, some all mixes together. If you can get a bead on the style, its a very enjoyable movie, far ahead of most other super-hero films (Superman, Batman, the Phantom, etc.)

I recommend watching it, but only with an open mind.

37 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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