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The Shadow Returns
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About This Film
Kane Richmond as Lamont Cranston aka The Shadow
Barbara Read as Margo Lane [credited as Barbara Reed]
Tom Dugan as Moe "Shrevvy" Shrevnitz
Pierre Watkin as Commissioner J.R. Weston
Joseph Crehan as Inspector Cardona
Director- Phil Rosen
Writer- George Callahan
The Shadow Returns (1946): The
filmography of "The Shadow" can be very confusing. This is
certainly not the first "Shadow" movie made. However, it is the
first "Shadow" movie of the short-lived film series by Monogram
Pictures. There were only three "Shadow" films by Monogram, all
released in 1946.
The main actors are all good. Kane Richmond
makes a great Shadow. Barbara Read as Margo Lane is certainly a
plus. She has a funny, sexy personality that these Shadow movies
desperately need. Her Margo is definitely the most entertaining
character to follow in these films. Tom Dugan does great as
Shrevvy, the Shadow's cab driver. Dugan was replaced in the next
two films by George Chandler.
The problem with these Shadow movies is that they
took all the "super" out of the "superhero". People that follow
the radio shows, pulp stories, and comics to the finest detail will
probably not find this version of the Shadow that interesting.
Like a lot of film reviewers have said, this movie was a "missed
opportunity". It makes a better detective show than a superhero
show. There is nothing mystical about our hero at all in this
film. He is simply a rich young guy that likes to dress up in
costume and solve crimes. Lamont Cranston is an amateur detective
that occasionally dresses as The Shadow. Only his fiancee, Margo
Lane, and cabbie, Shrevvy, know his true identity.
There is no criminal mastermind in this film.
No super-powered enemy. This is a type of mystery film that could
have been used for any other detective character like Bulldog Drummond,
Charlie Chan, or Sherlock Holmes. It certainly wasn't signature
to the Shadow character. Besides that, the only times we see
Lamont Cranston in Shadow disguise seems obligatory. Yeah, he
dresses up in the costume, but for no apparent reasons. Since the
Shadow just skulks around in the shadows and doesn't really meet his
enemies head on, he might just as well do it as Lamont Cranston.
Another odd thing is that this version of The Shadow wears a mask over
his face, instead of the familiar scarf over the mouth. What's he
trying to be, the "Black Hornet"?
Jewels are stolen from a grave. It's learned
they contain a formula for the toughest plastic known to man.
This is a fun little movie, but mainly due to the primary actors.
It works better as a comedy than a mystery. The story idea is
interesting, but this is NOT a cleverly written or fine-tuned.
It's hard for us to follow along or figure out because so many plot
devices just happen on the fly. Significant Shadow scenes are
sparse. The most notable Shadow moment is the fight scene in
Frobay's warehouse, beginning with the rope swing. That was well
All in all, this is a good little movie, but not a
great Shadow movie. The best Shadow movie to date is definitely
"The Shadow" (1994).
movie was released February 16, 1946 in the USA.
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