10 user 2 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.


Charles Lamont


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




Cast overview:
James Dunn ... Johnny McGinty
Ralph Morgan ... Howard Barclay
Robert Barrat ... Igor Sargoza
Lynda Grey Lynda Grey ... Irene Roma (as Linda Gray)
Paul Sutton ... Yokahama
Edward Woods ... Peter Roma
Edwin Mordant Edwin Mordant ... Dr. Adams
Chester Gan ... Lun Sat Li
Victor Wong ... Wu Chang
Edward Keane ... American Consul
Billy Bevan ... Gallicuddy
William Haade ... Captain Murphy
Richard Loo ... Fong
Victor Sen Yung ... 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


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




Approved | See all certifications »

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 »

User Reviews

A damsel in distress in China caught up in international spying intrigues
6 August 2019 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This is a preview of the second world war, made the year before it started. The characters even point it out, that this is what you have to expect of the coming war, and it sure is coming. The war scenes, although having nothing to do with the intrigue, are devastating in their impact. James Dunn and Ralph Morgan make a perfect complimentary pair: Dunn as hilarious as any comic, and Morgan unfathomable in his sinister objectivity: you can't guess what he really is up to and what he knows and on which side he is on. To this comes Linda Grey as the perfect innocent damsel in distress who has to be helped at any cost, which both the protagonists are more than eager to do, and at least she gets off well, leaving her dying brother behind in a troublesome fate that never gets explained. The villain is typical of the 30s: he is all evil and can't be anything else. James Dunn's humour and good spirits saves the film, which is good entertainment indeed, and the Americans should have known something of what to expect of the Japanese three years before Pearl Harbour, which they of course didn't.

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Release Date:

14 October 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thunder Over China See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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