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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.
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really like this movie. The main character was sort of a blend of the pulp and radio characters. One of my favorites!Published 17 days ago by David Templar
Great movie from my childhood. Scene translation could be better but, the action makes up for it.Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Because I ordered several DVDs in the same order, I was not able to view this Shadow disc until 2-days after the time limit to return had passed. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Mark T. Wexler
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