Behind the Mask (1946) Poster

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3/10
This isn't The Shadow
Matti-Man9 October 2008
The Shadow is one of the great pre-comic book heroes of the 1930s, so you'd think that this film would be a lot more fun than it is. The problem is that the film-makers didn't seem much interested in making a Shadow film ... what we have here is a not very good detective movie with lots of ill-considered "humorous" scenes.

Not even a curiosity, this is not for Shadow fans. Take a look at the 1940 chapter serial with Victor Jory. Much closer to the original Shadow concept. Though there's still loads of potential for someone to make the definitive screen adaptation of The Shadow ... 'cos Russell Mulcahy's 1994 effort wasn't it either ...
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3/10
A comedy with no mystery
dbborroughs13 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Second of three go rounds with Kane Richmond as Lamont Cranston aka the Shadow. In these films Cranston is not like the pulp/radio character with the ability to cloud men's minds, instead he dressed all in black and a mask and stands in the shadows. Ah well.

The plot of the film has Cranston foregoing his wedding to Margo Lane in order to clear his name. It seems that some one impersonating the Shadow has killed a blackmailing reporter. The death may have been lucky since it appears the no goodnik was typing out who the shadow really was when he was killed.

More comedy then mystery this is a waste of celluloid since the comedy isn't very funny and the mystery nonexistent (you know who the killer is the minute he walks on screen). Mostly this is lots of round and round the various locations for no good reason other than kill time.Much of the first ten minutes is the reporter going around threatening all of his victims in order to lay out the suspects. Its boring. Worse is the clue that reveals who the killer is is so painfully obvious that that no one, not even police as stupid as the ones in this film, would have missed it.

If you can take it for what it is (and forgive its deep flaws) you have an okay time killer, but at the same time its an hour you will never get back. Easily the worst of this set of three Shadow films.
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4/10
A LOT of potential, but flops!
Norm-3017 May 2000
This film is about Lamont Cranston trying to track down a criminal who is masquerading as the "Shadow" and murdering members of the underworld. (And, giving the Shadow a "bad name").

This film has a LOT of potential (and it's VERY clever how the murderer pulls it off), BUT the jealous antics of Margo Lane & friend get to be sooo annoying that it all but ruins the film. (I'm glad to say that Lamont actually SPANKS her at the end of the film!). It's a shame that he didn't do that at the BEGINNING of this film!

Norm
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5/10
Fairly Typical Mystery with Comedic Elements
gavin69426 May 2012
Lamont Cranston, aka the Shadow, has his hands full as the murder of blackmailing reporter Jeff Mann is blamed on him.

After having seen "The Shadow" with Alec Baldwin, I felt it was important to seek out older incarnations. This one was on Netflix, so it was easy to pick. And, while I enjoyed it, it also lacks the crime-fighting elements that I enjoyed with the newer version.

The Shadow here does not seem to have any powers, or even much charisma. He is just a rich guy with a butler. And Margo Lane is more on his case here, coming off as a nag. I like her better in the newer version, as well. It may not be fair to compare a film from 1946 with one made 50 years later... but what choice do I have? There is still much to enjoy here, but I cannot see this as a lost treasure.
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4/10
If you liked Bruce Elliot's Shadow
busterggi7 May 2012
Then you'll probably like this movie. Maybe.

If you like the Walter Gibson, et al, Shadow then you might want to avoid this unless you are an insane completist like me.

The Shadow & Margot were never meant to be a slapstick version of Nick & Nora and unfortunately that is what has been done to them in this. Okay, Shrevie was always played for laughs on the radio so he is acceptable that way (though I prefer the crafty cabbie from the pulps) but even then he wasn't a total moron.

Oh, the mystery part? Yeah, I suppose there is one and its not the worst mystery ever filmed, that might just be 'Sinister Hands', but if you don't guess whodunnit ahead of time its probably because you fell asleep & didn't care.
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4/10
fourth out of six in the series
disdressed127 December 2008
Kane Richmond returns for his second stint as Lamont Cranston/The Shadow in this fourth movie in The Shadow series.up to this point,this this is my least favourite.for me,it was boring and tedious.i didn't find the story all that interesting,or engaging.and the movie annoyed me at times,especially with how loud it was at times.by that i mean lot of shrill screeching,a lot of it by the character of Margo Lane(Barbara Read).Shrevvy(George Chandler)is fairly helpful to Cranston,having more to do this time,and is less of a dim bulb than in the previous movie.that's a positive,at least.overall though,this was a disappointing entry.my vote for Behind the Mask is a 4/10
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4/10
Not much like the Shadow.
MartinHafer5 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Jeff Mann is a terrible person. He's a part-time new reporter and part-time blackmailer. In other words, as he investigates crimes, he digs up lots of dirt on people and uses it do bleed these crooks. Not surprisingly, he is soon killed--by a man dressed up like the Shadow. Now Lamont Cranston (the real Shadow) is going to prove he's innocent by finding the real killer.

This movie came out many years after the pulp magazine and radio versions of The Shadow. That is why it's so inexplicable that the film ISN'T close to being correct--they SHOULD have known the character better. The radio version (the most famous of them) was a practitioner of Asian arts--with the hypnotic ability to cloud people's minds, to influence them to do what he wants and to make himself seem invisible. This was a HUGE part of the character--yet NONE of that is in this film. Instead, he just guides a dumb cop to solve the crime. As a result, he's pretty much like any other B-movie detective--and bears MUCH more similarity to Bulldog Drummond and the Saint--both of which also were always about to become married when crimes strike and distract the hero. As a result of this sameness, the film comes off as much blander than it should. Overall, a typical B-movie that has lost its sense of uniqueness--which it SHOULD have. Not terrible (especially since it has a mildly funny sense of humor about it) but not all that great either.

By the way, although it's been used in films and TV, killing someone by injecting air into the veins is NOT an easy thing and is way too impractical and difficult a thing to really be employed. I've talked to doctors about this (since my wife writes thrillers) and they assure me it's just not a way you can easily kill someone--especially not in the manner you see here in the film. Trust me on this one.
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Rather Bland Characters and Story
Michael_Elliott5 July 2012
Behind the Mask (1946)

** (out of 4)

Phil Karlson directed this second entry in "The Shadow" series. In this film, a sleazy news reporter is murdered and everyone thinks The Shadow was behind it. The alter ego Lamont Cranston (Kane Richmond) must prove that The Saint wasn't the murderer and find the real one. Every studio during this era had a mystery fighter on their hands and The Shadow belonged to Monogram, which should tell you just about everything you need to know. There's no question that the material here is more second rate than anything else and in the end this just isn't a very memorable movie. I think a lot of the problem goes to the screenplay, which is just rather routine as there's nothing in it that really separates this from the countless other films like it. It certainly doesn't help matters that Cranston is such a boring character that the viewer can never really connect with or really care about what happens to. Another problem is that there's way too much comic stuff. Yes, a mixture of comedy and mystery can be good but not when the jokes fall so flat. The supporting characters are just annoying and especially the assistant's girl who is written as that dumb blonde that gets on everyone's nerves. Richmond really isn't all that energetic or charismatic in the role of The Saint. I'm not sure if he just wasn't interested in the part or perhaps the screenplay just didn't excite him enough to give it more of a push. The supporting players are mostly forgettable, although no one is so bad to where they ruin the film. BEHIND THE MASK will remain watchable for fans of the genre but I think they'll realize that there's not much going on here.
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Not bad. In fact very good.
irearly3 March 2012
An early B comedy by Phil Karlson this was a nice surprise with a stone cold open on an odious blackmailer making his rounds. Ooops! It's a crusading reporter shaking down his list of suckers. The opening scene has him slapping a "sucker", who kinda likes it, and then relieving her of the stiletto she was about to slide into his back. So there's no shortage of suspects.

Kane Richmond is solid as Lamont/Shadow with a Jack Carson-like presence, albeit on a B level. The rest of the cast has a few familiar faces. Condolences to others who also peg the killer. It's a formulaic cliché that has been done to death but I actually liked that I could finger the culprit at first siting.

Lots of inappropriate humor, S&M is a strong undercurrent with a comical cross dressing sequence thrown in, this movie begins and ends with slaps and spankings. If you think this stuff is "corny" because it's period 40s... too bad for you.
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10/10
This movie plus
bobbyhollywood21 July 2010
My vote is the vote I would have given when I first saw Kane Richmond as The Shadow, not positive that this was that movie, however, it was in the 1940's, then later in the 1950's on television when I saw it. Since that time I have collected quite a bit about this character, and here is some of it.

The Shadow was a magazine/booklet that was at news stands/bookstores in the early 1930's. A radio show was brought into being, and at first The Shadow was the person who introduced the drama and the actors. Then at a later date, Orson Welles started playing the lead character of The Shadow who really was Lamont Cranston wealthy man-about-town, who's lovely girlfriend was Margo Lane. Lamont Cranston received schooling in the far east by his teacher known as Tenga who could communicate with Lamont via their minds, and he taught Lamont the "power to cloud men's minds." Of course he could cloud Women's as well. This show was on radio for many years. There were a few movies made with the character of The Shadow.
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