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The Shadow

4.2 out of 5 stars 476 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Alec Baldwin stars with Penelope Ann Miller as the legendary crime-fighting superhero in "The wittiest action-adventure since Indiana Jones!" (NBC News). Donning his sweeping black cape and disguise, The Shadow takes on his most dangerous nemesis yet: the last descendant of the great Genghis Khan whose weapon of choice is an atomic bomb. With the fate of humanity hanging in the balance, they square off for a spectacular battle in a dazzling mixture of mind-blowing special effects, humor and a dose of the macabre that will hold you spellbound!

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A mixed bag that received mixed reviews when released in 1994, this lavish film works overtime to honor the spirit and style of the vintage pulp novels and radio shows that made The Shadow a household name in the 1930s and '40s. Alec Baldwin plays the Shadow, a.k.a. Lamont Cranston, who arrives in New York from his decadent life in Tibet, fully reformed and disciplined in his ability "to cloud men's minds." A crime fighter who lurks in the dark recesses of the city, the Shadow faces his most deadly challenge when Shiwan Khan (John Lone), the last surviving descendant of Genghis Khan, hatches a plot to conquer the world. The scheme involves a madman (Tim Curry), a hapless scientist (Ian McKellen), and various traps designed to catch and kill the Shadow, who must also contend with his blossoming romance with Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller), a slender beauty capable of a little mind play of her own. The movie's art deco production design turns out to be a scene-stealer when the plot drags, and in the title role Baldwin is never given enough good material to create a compelling character. Still, The Shadow is true to the legacy that inspired it, admirably avoiding any conspicuous compromise of its 1930s style and setting. If you can't get into the story, you're sure to be hooked by the look of the production, which is never less than dazzling. --Jeff Shannon

Product Details

  • Actors: Alec Baldwin, Penelope Ann Miller, John Lone, Tim Curry, Peter Boyle
  • Directors: Russell Mulcahy
  • Writers: David Koepp
  • Producers: Martin Bregman, Willi Baer, Michael S. Bregman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 1997
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (476 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 078321958X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,057 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Shadow" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
...though how in the (blank) could Universal have released this on DVD and NOT done WIDESCREEN? The DTS transfer is as crisp and clear as you'd ever want, but this is a movie of astounding visual scope that cries out for a widescreen version. (I have this movie on VHS, DVD, and Dolby Digital Laserdisc, and the DDLD is by far the best of the three, because it's widescreen and the DD is amazingly crisp for LD.)
Still, though, there's a lot to like about this movie: Alec Baldwin is dead-on perfect as Lamont Cranston and his darker side, The Shadow; Baldwin can go from charming to chilling with one flex of his facial muscles, and that ability is nicely on display here, even if The Shadow is buried under a hat and cloak and heavy makeup. Penelope Ann Miller looks gorgeous as Margo Lane, the blonde bombshell with a brain to match, but isn't challenged much by the material. John Lone chews up scenery as Shiwan Khan, last descendent of Genghis Khan and darker reflection of The Shadow's edgy goodness. The art deco sets are terrific; the music is rich and moody; the visual scope of 1933 New York City is breathtaking.
I recommend this one with qualifications: If/when a widescreen version comes out, get it instead of the other DVD or VHS versions. But the movie itself is well worth seeing, particularly if you're an old-time radio fan.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw the movie in the theater and enjoyed it very much! The ending was a bit abrupt but the ride was great. Baldwin played the part just right and the whole world of The Shadow was very well done. The only problem I have with the DVD is that, to my knowledge, it has never been released in wide screen format. How Universal could release such a good movie in pan-and-scan only is a mystery. Even the DTS version isn't in wide screen! Aside from that, I think this movie would be a pleasent suprise to sci-fi fans.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is probably my choice for "most underrated movie" ever.

I love the premise, characters, casting, and especially the score. It will be old news to Batman Begins fans, due to similarities in origin (rich man loses his identity in Asia to return a transformed crime-fighting force)... but keep in mind, this movie came out a decade earlier, and the Shadow is older than the Batman in general. Also, Cranston (a.k.a. the Shadow) is darker than Batman.

Baldwin is great as the gravelly-voiced Shadow, but belts out a good maniacal laugh when he needs too. You can't stop looking at the Shadow. Penelope Ann Miller also turns in a very good performance, as does John Lone as the villain.

The DOWNSIDE to this disc is that it very much lacks in transfer and aspect ratio. It's presented in 4:3 (1.33: 1), for boxy old TV... a real letdown for a great film. The transfer is also very poor... dirt and scratches appear obviously in the opening titles.

Still, it is very much worth seeing - a lot of fun and an absolute MUST for anyone who enjoyed Batman, but it will not live up to your system if you have a top of the line audio/visual setup.
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Format: VHS Tape
As with all the films that I reviewed, I also have this movie in my collection. Based upon the popular pulp novels, radio series, motion pictures, and movie serials,this feature is a FABULOUS entry in the genre of super-hero films. Russell Mulcahy does an excellent job of directing. Alec Baldwin gives a TERRIFIC representation of the character made popular in the 1930s radio show by the voice of the late, great Orson Welles. Penelope Ann Miller is a swell "MARGOT LANE". The special effects are extraordinary. One time famous comedian Johnathan Winters, on his comeback trail, appears as the uncle of "LAMONT CRANSTON". He also had a cameo in the film "THE FLINTSTONES". I recommend to fans of adventure films, to buy "THE SHADOW" and add it to their movie library.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Before a quick summation of the story, one warning: a big one for those into good visuals (as I am). Universal Studios committed the unbelievable "sin" of photographing this is 2.35:1 widescreen but only offering it on DVD in formatted-to-TV, so you miss 40 percent of the great visuals. Not only that, they zoom the picture to fill the screen so it isn't sharp, either. I hope this situation is rectified. It's a disgrace.

As for the story, it is a very, very hokey no-brained-but very entertaining fantasy/adventure, based on the popular radio hero of the 1930s.

This is just pure escapism, not to be judged seriously because it's a dumb story. It's cartoon-like, an outlandish story that mixes action, comedy and a superhero with time-travel and all sorts of strange happenings. For someone who likes to gawk at the sights and sounds of the `30s and `40s, this is a fun film. Just be warned that you're not seeing all that is to be seen!
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A Kid's Review on February 2, 2007
Format: DVD
I will never be able to understand why THE SHADOW (1994) is so underrated. Sure, there are things I would have changed, but--the acting was convincing, the special effects dazzling, the dialog witty--and it the film was appropriately set in New York.

The film borrows from both the pulps and the radio show. The Shadow is appropriately clad with an eerie, echoing voice. Shiwan Khan is properly cruel but humorous (how can a Tibetan have pupils THAT big??)

This is not exactly a family movie. There is some language, a scene with scantily-clad concubines. Oh, and the demon-possessed knife called the Purba.

Overall, a faithfully adapted crime fighter/superhero movie. Highly recommended.
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