Based on the 1930s comic strip, puts the hero up against his arch enemy, Shiwan Khan, who plans to take over the world by holding a city to ransom using an atom bomb. Using his powers of invisibility and The power to cloud mens minds, the Shadow comes blazing to the citys rescue with explosive results.
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This review is from: The Shadow (DVD) I was a fan of the shadow when he haad to be heard over the airways. This film gives vision to what I could only imagine. I am shocked that the director was able to put on the screen what were my memories of early radio programs. I dearly love period films and this one is most rewarding.Sit back and remember how the words "The Shadow Knows" evoked terror in the hearts of criminals.
This review is from: The Shadow (DVD) I am still waiting for the product to arrive in Australia as yet.I bought this from Amazon because a company that i purcahse my DVD's from could not get a copy. They recommended i try Amazon.I am concerned that the postage is by sea mail and not air. Four to eight weeks delivery is a long time.Regards Silverback.
As a fan of the old-time radio Shadow and the adventure (cliffhanger)serial style, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark, I thought that this wasquite a passable movie adaptation of The Shadow, and certainly not asbad as I was led to believe by movie critics. I thought the artdirection and production design were excellent, and the campymelodramatic dialogue and acting blended with it to create anatmosphere that felt very authentic to the radio programs (which wereoriginally aimed at an audience of teen boys huddled eagerly aroundtheir radios with their Shadow rings in the late 1930s). It's not thegreatest movie, but I thought it was a lot of fun. I would buy this onDVD if they had a letterbox version.
A short but important plug: Bombay Electronics in Chicago is a specialist in multi-zone dvd players. They are fair and fast. Britain has this in standard widescreen. Germany, who co-produced it, has it on Blu-ray. How does it look? You will drool while watching it and be happy for the rest of your life. Done by a crew that cared with some nice extras. Do it... you're not getting any younger.
Great movie especially if you like the classic radio programs. Quirky and kept my attention and just all around fun.
This review is from: The Shadow (DVD) THE SHADOW is the second-greatest superhero movie of all time. (just behind SUPERMAN, as if you really had to ask.) when i say it is the most underrated film ever made, i am understating, not exaggerating.[NOTE: come to think of it, i've since reviewed another film called THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION, which may well be the actual "most underrated film ever made." i can't quite make up my mind, so let's just say the two are neck-in-neck.]ironically yet poetically, it was around the time Tim Burton's first Batman film arrived that i began to cultivate my still thriving enthusiasm for old-time radio shows. in the process i discovered the original superhero, The Shadow...of whom it turns out Batman was a shameless carbon-copy. Batman "creator" Bob Kane went to his grave freely admitting, in fact bragging, that he had appropriated his basic character from The Shadow and his storytelling technique from Dick Tracy. and i've never been about to see the "dark knight" in quite the same light since this revelation.how could this happen? how did The Shadow go from household name and "multi-media phenomenon" to obscurity enough that there's actually ROOM for the erroneous assumption that it was The Shadow who was trying to ride Batman's coattails, and a wonderful, stylish movie could actually get SNUBBED for it? i'm damned if i know. all i know is that at the end of the day, my Batman of choice is Adam West. (that series may well be "camp," but it's also a few other things Batman in any other condition is not, like unique and original.)as if that weren't bad enough, a similarly misguided assumption came along to further taint the film. on top of the Batman's coattails misconception, it's also routinely written off on the assumption that it must suck or it wouldn't of tanked!! talk about your catch-22.this unjustly dismissed film, under the direction of Russell "HIGHLANDER" Mulcahy, takes us back to the '40s New York City of the radio series' heyday. Alec Baldwin displays a surprising range in what boils down to a triple-role: The title character; secret identity Lamont Crantson "wealthy young man about town" (remind you of anyone you know?) (named Bruce Wayne?); and "Ying Ko," a corrupt opium farmer plucked from the poppy fields of Tibet to be converted to The Shadow. (Cranston's Mr. Hyde and/or Darth Vader, if you will.) taught "the hyopnotic power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him" (as the radio series always put it), among other tricks, Cranston returns home to New York, where his alter ego basically assumes the role of a criminal's conscience. one Shiwan Khan, "last descendant of Ghengis Khan," is recruited for similar redemption and receives the same pyshic training, but in his case the redemption part doesn't take. Khan is played by John Lone, an actor whom i regret to have to say i don't know anything more about. like all great movie villains, he cuts a truly menacing figure and steals most of his scenes. Lone deserves more fame than he seems to of achieved.the rest of the cast also deliver, although there are a few surprises. fans of more recent (and successful) such film will no doubt scratch their heads when they see Ian "Magneto" and/or "Gandalf" McKellan in the relatively minor, thankless role of the absent-minded scientist (and heroine's father). Peter Boyle, who would shortly become television's favorite curmudgeon father on EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, is a similarly odd choice for the role of The Shadow's loyal, even-tempered sidekick. and what the hell is Jonathan Winters, one comedy's all-time great improvisational rubberfaces, doing in the positively deadpan role of the clueless police commissioner? well, they all get the job done. as do Penelope Ann Miller and Tim Curry in their more chacteristic roles as heroine and villain's stooge, respectively.the story, which concerns Khan's attempt, via the newly developed atomic bomb, to conquer the world (and finish his ancestor's work), is admittedly nothing new, but that's the whole point. this is an excerise in action-adventure nostalgia akin to the INDIANA JONES films. not least of which because it completely measures up to said INDIANA JONES films. (THE SHADOW should've been a similar franchise, damn it.)i had two major goals in this review. the first was to do what i could to blow the whistle on that aforementioned counterfeit Shadow, Batman. the other was a plea to the fans the film has accrued to for God's sake look into the radio series. to many enthusiasts, The Shadow is the beginning and the end of action/adventure in that age. (after all, his invisibility WAS a sly nod to the fact that the listeners couldn't, technically, see him anymore than his adversaries could.) much like the revived DOCTOR WHO series, which owes at least a fraction of it's greatness to an affection and appreciation for the classic WHO series of the '60s-'80s, THE SHADOW wouldn't be one fifteenth the edge-of-your-seat thrill ride it is if it didn't have a spectactular premise and a character of some depth to draw from.if nothing else can enable this film to carry any weight, there is the fact that it is an early script by one David Koepp. Koepp, who has since gone on to become one of the few screenwriters to wield any sort of influence within the hallowed halls of the Industry, is also noted for the likes of JURASSIC PARK, SPIDER-MAN, and that recent satisfying but much maligned (just for being a sequel) fourth episode of INDIANA JONES. but of course, even those fine films are left in the dust by THE SHADOW. the day David Koepp has anything to do with a better, more exciting, more satisfying film than THE SHADOW is the day that Orson Welles tops CITIZEN KANE and The Beatles top SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND.
Well, mine at least. It pays to let a few details slip by, in this one.Originally a radio play, The Shadow appeared in at least one series each of novels and comic books, as well as some other movie renderings before this one. He has everything you look for in a superhero - independent wealth to support his habit, plenty of leisure time to pursue it in, dashing good looks to ensure a love interest, and dark doings in the "lost years" of his past. Despite the many sources the scriptwriters could have drawn on, they appear to have created a new arch-nemesis for this vigilante crime fighter. Well, it's been done lots of times before, so I guess that adding to the Shadow tradition is actually part of the Shadow tradition. They just did it in a way that makes the most of Hollywood's special effects.A few things didn't work for me, Johnathan Winter in a non-comedic role (or mostly non-comedic) among them. That elaborate "leave him to drown" scene puzzled me too. In what universe would it make sense to put the controls where we saw them? I could object to lots of other things, too, but that would mean taking the movie a lot more seriously than it took itself. This one practically calls out for a rainy afternoon and a bucket of popcorn. If you're willing to skip over a few absurdities, it's good, campy, adventurous fun. -- wiredweird
I want to like this film completely....to give it five stars. It really is well produced and acted, but I can't get my head around the portrayal of Lamont Cranston as a former opium dealer who is converted by a young, prodigal Dalai Lama into the hero we know as: The Shadow. Alec Baldwin does a good job as Cranston, playing the part with wit and an entertaining offhand quality that suits the part. However, I'm not so sure he portrays the Shadow himself...that's DEFINITELY one of his longer-nosed brothers in the transitional scenes, and the make-up obscures the Shadow actor's real features completely. The Shadow character also doesn't "move" like Alec Baldwin does as Cranston. We almost never see any closeups of the Shadow's face as well.However, storyline-wise, acting-wise and as pure entertainment, this was one of the better popcorn movies of 1994. Penelope Ann Miller is a competent Margot Lane, the art direction is excellent, and there's a dolly shot in here that will have just about every movie tech-freak baffled. John Lone's portrayal of a descendant of Genghis Khan with equal ability to Cranston's is suitably arrogant and cold-hearted, a mindset I find a LOT of Lone's character's possessing over the course of the last decade or so...Ian McKellen's first major popcorn movie role was here too, playing Margot's father, a scientist, and Tim Curry, (AGAIN!) plays a smarmy, foolish scientist colleague of McKellen's that hooks up with Lone's megalomaniac Khan descendant.When you get right down to it, this movie is FULL of moral dilemnas....Besides the question of Lamont Cranston's opium connection, there's the rather sick fictional conceit that an oriental could be responsible for the creation of the atom bomb, and the way Lone's Khan is defeated in the end is VERY cruel! Perhaps this is payback for the character he played in "The Moderns".Other players in the movie are Jonathan Winters and Peter Boyle, Winters playing Cranston's Uncle, the chief of police, Boyle playing one of The Shadow's sidekicks. You'll also probably recognize Arsenio "Sonny" Trinidad from "Batteries Not Included" as one of Khan's henchmen.All in all, a VERY interesting flick.
Watched it last night with my girlfriend. We both enjoyed it and it held our interest for the duration. I particularly liked the art deco sets, and the 1930's period way of speaking. John Lone plays a great villian. Penelope Ann Miller is stunning as Margo Lane. Alec Baldwin is pretty good as the Shadow and Cranston but I wanted a little more screen time for the Shadow. I still give it 4 stars because it is a faithful representation of the Shadow radio series which I have listened to on occasion. The DTS sound is superb. The DVD does not have anything in the way of extra features so I was let down in this respect. The DVD also should be offered in wide screen format because the movie is actually pretty good. A sequel would have been excellent, since a lot of the framework of the Shadow is set up in this movie. Too bad the studio forgot about this movie. My recommendation is to get this movie and pop a batch of popcorn and enjoy!
As was typical of 1990s Hollywood movie adaptations of classic pulp fiction or comic book series, the rights to the Shadow were bought, then everything that made the character great was tossed in the trash so a campy mess could be made instead of a faithful adaptation which would satisfy long time fans amd show the average movie goer walking in to the theater with no foreknowledge what made the character worthy of appearing on the silver screen in the first place. I don't understand the logic of this. If you don't want to make a faithful Shadow movie, then why bother buying the rights? Why not just create a Shadow-esque character and save the expense of buying the license? It's not like the fan base of the shadow is huge and will guarantee big box office returns, so the least they could do is make sure they catered to that small fan base.... made sure they wanted to go see this movie by doing it right, but lets see how they did it wrong; What makes the Shadow (and most other pulp fiction characters) great is the element of mystery inherent in their tales, the origins of these character is never explained in the books, they simply do what they do for their own reasons and part of the fun is getting hints as to how they began. Screen writer David Koepp destroys this element of mystery early on by telling everyone where the Shadow came from in the first 5 minutes of the film, and a revised origin at that. Another great aspect of the character is that we never find out who he really is. In the pulps he is not Lamont Cranston, but only pretends to be, but in the film, he is Lamont Cranston in order to better fill the Bruce Wayne mold. So, element of mystery; Gone!The tone is considerably brighter than the pulps too, with Kooky scientists, comic book doomsday devises, silly henchmen and side kicks, and a Shadow who has two .45 automatics which he only fires at inanimate objects. So Dark tone and pulpy feel, Gone! Finally, the film makers chose unwisely to base this movie on the radio version of the character, who has the superpower of invisiblity and is able to cloud men's mind, rather than adapting the much stronger pulp version of the character, who had no superpowers, relied on incredible deductive skills and his own private squad of agents, as well as multiple disguises to wreak havoc on the underworld. So great characters, also Gone!What's left is some campy, uneven film with great actors, great production design, some very good action sequences, but not much in the way of content or depth. It's sad that many writers in the movies just can't get these genre films right. When done faithfully, they are wonderful, and when done badly, it's a long time before anyone hears from these characters again. I hope that the rumored the Sam (Spider Man, Evil Dead filmes) Raimi produced remake will get it right, we've only had to wait 16 years for another shot at this worthy character.
Alec, you said it and the money has been offer. Leave this country now and take your rotten movies with you. You never know, they may appreciate you in France.
Since his debut in 1931, The Shadow made his mark on pulp magazines,radio shows and comic books before eventually appearing on the bigscreen in 1994. The film was universally hated by just about everyoneand bombed big time at the box-office. I however am in the minoritycalling for the film's reappraisal. It's not nearly as bad as its oftenmade out to be. I've always enjoyed The Shadow and feel its held upwell over the years.I think the reason a lot of people hated The Shadow was because theyassumed it was jumping on the bandwagon Tim Burton's Batman set inmotion in 1989. The conflicted, morally split vigilante. What peopletend to forget is The Shadow was a comic book character long beforeBatman ever came on the scene. It's just that when it came to featurefilms, the Caped Crusader beat The Shadow to the punch.Now I loved Batman. Its one of the most atmospheric and beautifullycomposed superhero films ever made. The Shadow is not on the samelevel, but it does dig into similarly dark areas, Russell Mulcahy'sdirection moves full steam ahead, and the screenplay by the alwaysexcellent David Koepp is full of rich dialogue and carefully etchedambiguities.Alec Baldwin plays The Shadow and his alter ego Lamont Cranston. Once abrutal drug lord from Tibet, he is abducted by The Tulku, a Tibetanholy man and forced to reform. Under the Tulku's tutelage, Cranstonlearns to channel his dark impulses into a new persona, The Shadow.With the ability to cloud men's minds, he returns to New York tocleanse the city of corruption as penance for his past crimes. With theaid of his agents, people he's saved over the years, The Shadow strikesterror into the hearts of those who prey on the innocent. Just asCranston once did.But The Shadow faces his biggest challenge yet when Shiwan Khan (JohnLone), the last descendant of Genghis Khan arrives in America tocomplete his ancestor's plans for global domination while at the sametime hoping to turn Cranston back to his dark half.I for one fail to see why everybody hates The Shadow as much as theydo. It's come in for some startlingly harsh criticisms over the years.I'm just not sure why.Russell Mulcahy has set out to create a quite lavish interpretation of1930's New York, complete with opulent clubs and fine attention toperiod detail. The Shadow is a visual feast on the eyes. Mulcahy's useof the colour scheme is often vibrant and sumptuous.But more importantly, not to mention wisely, Mulcahy's primary interestis the struggle Cranston faces reconciling his internal struggle. DavidKoepp's script places some fascinating ethical conflicts at TheShadow's feet. And it's left to Alec Baldwin to bring it into sharpperspective.Alec Baldwin is an actor that annoys me a lot of the time, because hisegocentric side often shows through in his acting. The Shadow is one ofhis more tolerable performances because he channels his thinlydisguised arrogance into a charged determination that helps elevate hischaracter to superheroic stature. The first time he appears in fedoraand cloak with a set of .45 calibre pistols is exhilarating.Cranston's inner struggle is certainly well written, but that's to beexpected of the talents of David Koepp. This is a man forced to livewith dark impulses, and gives them exercise when he becomes The Shadow.There are few superheroes as fascinating and morally ambiguous.Baldwin seems a little less sure of himself in the part of Cranston.There's nothing particularly noteworthy there. One actor who would havebeen perfect here is the underrated Clive Owen. He can slipeffortlessly from confident and assured to dangerous and volatile inseconds. He would have made a wonderful Lamont Cranston/The Shadow.The scene stealer of the film is the also underrated John Lone asCranston's nemesis, Shiwan Khan. Lone is one of the world's mostoverlooked Asian/American actors. He always brings an intensity towhatever he stars in. He can communicate volumes with his eyes.Something this film gives him ample opportunity to demonstrate.He suggests a real larger than life stature in the role of Khan, buthis grand performance never overbalances into camp farce. He possessescharisma, confidence and a careful intuition of the part. Hisconfrontations with Cranston are the high point of the entire film. Hispsychological mind-games to get Cranston back to the dark side arewonderfully edgy. The dialogue shines as well. Lone savours each wordand inflection with relish.If the film has a fault, its that Mulcahy seems only interested inCranston and Kahn. The supporting cast are a little underutilised.Penelope Ann Miller is along for the ride as the token love interestMargo Lane. She gets outfitted in a lot of slinky frocks but seems alittle too modern for a woman of the 1930s. Ian McKellen is wasted inthe thankless role of a scientist developing an atom bomb for Khan'sscheme. He spends most of the film hypnotised, which is not much of astretch for an actor of McKellen's talents. And Tim Curry is annoyinglycamp as Farley Claymore, a henchman of Khan's.But the late Peter Boyle does well as Moe, one of The Shadow's agentsand personal taxi-driver. He brings likability, warmth and wryobservation to the role.On the action front, Mulcahy delivers in spades. Swordfights,knifefights and fistfights. There's a wonderfully sustained scene whenThe Shadow is trapped in a water tank. Great special effects too, and ashivery film score from the late Jerry Goldsmith to enjoy. The Shadowis an underrated film, and could easily give the superhero films oftoday a run for their money.
Sure, it could have been longer, more character-study, more this and that. But you know what? This production put as much as it could in the lavish sets and into the story that it could. What we got was pretty damn good. Alec Baldwin did a Fine job, if not Great. I can't see anyone else doing the SHADOW, but him. And, if by some odd miracle, there should ever be another Shadow sequel, I would hope Alec would do it again. I love every scene that is shown, every shot, every angle, and every word spoken. Sure, there is a tad of campiness here and there. But not much. Jonathan Winters is a crack-up! John Lone was superb. But the real magic is in the tone of the film, and how the SHADOW is portraid. I'm grateful that there is even a Movie to watch. The music is Fantastic and haunting. Just like the SHADOW himself. So some night, pop up some popcorn, start watching the SHADOW, and have FUN!
I think this film is a wondeful bit of campy fun. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and almost the entire cast approach their roles with a great mix of over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek just right for that old radio pulp drama flavor. It's nicely mixed with liberal doses of comedy and has some good one-liners. Great fun, if not great art.Just be warned, if you are a widescreen snob (like I am), this DVD is PAN & SCAN only. I wasn't careful and overlooked that fact when I bought it. There was much teeth-grinding when I discovered my error. It's an injustice to this film, which has a number of lavish and monolthic sets and scenes (the hotel, the Himalayan mountains, LaMont's mansion, and the 'there to there' scene atop the Empire State Building, to name a few), not to show it in widescreen.
No matter what anyone thinks of this movie, it's still my all-time favorite. The Shadow is full of action, has great special effects, a really cool soundtrack, and very talented actors. My personal favorite part is when The Shadow is running up the stairs in the hotel and his huge shadow (the only thing he can never hide) is flaring out behind him. Great scene! I never get tired of it. Watch it! You won't regret it! (hopefully . . . )
Going thru my old laser disks, I came accross The Shadow. I'm 70 years old and as a kid sat in front of the radio listening to The Shadow absolutely absorbed in the story. When we got a tv I was very disappointed with all the shows that made the transition from radio. A lot of it was probably because they didn't match the images in my mind as I listened to the programs.When I watched the laser disk, I was carried back to my childhood and the story matched my radio memories. After watching it I came here to see if a dvd version was available. When I saw that it wasn't widescreen, I decided not to buy it. There is so much information on the edges that it could never be as good as the laser.
This is a review more about the DVD transfer than the content. The DTS audio is much better than the DD version. Cleaner and more dynamic sound (which is important for this movie). The video on the other hand, is full screen not anamorphic wide screen. The artifacts are very visible due to the dark screen and fast actions. It is really too bad Universal had done a great job makeing the DTS version available only to be let down by the poor video. I can not recommend it but if you can live with the poor full frame video, get the DTS version. It worth the extra money.
This review is from: The Shadow (Amazon Instant Video) Great movie, worth the price. Probably best for those with a taste for movies out of the ordinary. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
And is that really very surprising? This is packaged as a "Super Hero"film. Our super hero is a man who, more often than not, is hidden-Strike ONE!. He cavorts, waltzes, glides his way through what may bethe 1920's or 1930's or even 40's - Strike TWO! That means we get oldcars, old costumes, old CGI sets - older actors in most of thesupporting roles. The script is intelligent, somewhat witty, somewhatcampy - in other words you must be able to read and comprehend what youread to possibly have any appreciation for the film - Strike Three! Thefilm is set in a Noir style - lots of suggestive action, use oflighting, shading, and other cinema techniques designed to heighten theatmosphere of the film and push the action through that atmosphere -Strike 4! I could go on, and before you think I think this is a greatfilm, let me say it is a highly entertaining film, a film that isgrossly under-appreciated more for the aforementioned things ratherthan its content. Director Russell Mulcahy and screenwriter WalterGibson do it their way for the most part. Hence the lukewarm, poorreception. Their vision is a highly stylized retelling of the story ofLamont Cranston who is "the Shadow." They provide some breathtakingvisual artistry as well as a fairly faithful adaptation to the Shadowseries without selling out by pandering to those less-inclined toappreciate the film for what it is. Again, that is why it was notsuccessful at the box office. There is no Shadow II. Shadow III. TheShadow Vs. Whomever. The acting is very solid. Alec Baldwin is reallyrather good in his role. Attention to detail in both his performance,make up, props, settings, and all aesthetic things are very high. Hehas a good voice for the role. True, Penelope Ann Miller is somewhatweak - but charming. Peter Boyle does a nice job with his small role.So does Tim Curry. John Lone over-does it as the villain of the piece.But the award for most wasted talent has to go to Ian McKellen who doesvirtually nothing except look befuddled. That is about all he does andgives a very strained performance doing virtually nothing. Nice to seeJonathan Winters in a film. He should have been in so many more - whata talent. But the star of this film is the film's artistic content -what you see on the screen. All that aforementioned artistry anddetail. The special effects are rather good too. I was really impressedwith the look of this film and the film in general. You might want togive The Shadow a try. After all - he knows what lurks in the hearts ofmen. Too bad he didn't take a closer look before they tried to sellthis film to the audience of its time.
I have to say that although it is a cheesy remake, it holds a certainplace in my heart. I liked Alec Baldwin who played Lamont Cranston akathe Shadow. I found him to be very charismatic and sexy in the role. Ilike the semi Gothic feel of New York City especially at night. JohnLone who played the madman trying to destroy the city was great. He wasvery believable. He was also very attractive especially at thebeginning with the long hair which upset me when they had it cut off.But thats just me i suppose. The thing i liked most was the look of theeyes on both mentioned actors when they went into the minds of othersand manipulated them. Overall a great film and very entertaining. Itbecomes a bit addictive so watch in small amounts.