Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

THE SHADOW STRIKES


THE SHADOW STRIKES (1937). Director: Lynn Shores.

Rod La Rocque plays Lamont Cranston/The Shadow in this disappointing adaptation of a Shadow pulp novel by Walter Gibson. Cranston pretends to be the lawyer Chester Randall so that he can investigate the murder of a client of his who was on the verge of changing his will. In the old man's mansion Cranston interacts with various relatives, including a pretty gal, Marcia (Agnes Anderson aka Lynn Anders) who develops a yen for him. James Blakeley is the ne'er-do-well Jasper, Marcia's brother, who has an expensive gambling addiction. Cy Kendall, who plays Barney Grossett in this, played the portly villain Monroe in The Green Hornet serial. He's as unimpressive and rotund as ever. La Rocque briefly dresses up as The Shadow, complete with cloak and hood, at one point, but the sequence is so short as to be meaningless. NOTE: Click here to read about a Shadow feature directed by James Wong Howe!

Verdict: Watch the far superior Shadow serial instead. **.

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