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The Shadow
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Product Description

The legendary crimefighting superhero in this lavish 30s action-adventure. Donning his sweeping black cape and disguise the shadow takes on his most dangerous nemesis yet in this entertaining mixture of awesome special effects humor and a dose of the macabre that holds you spellbound. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 11/02/2004 Starring: Alec Baldwin Run time: 108 minutes Rating: Pg13

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

Customer Reviews:

  • The best!
    This is by far the best adaptation of a comic book / radio show out there. Forget Spiderman, X-men, and Batman. The Shadow is a stylized, classy, fun movie all around with witty dialog, wonderful effects, and an amazing look to it. Russell Mulcahy has outdone himself with this one. I loved the look of the music videos he directed in the 80's for Duran Duran. (look at his profile on Wikipedia - he did more music videos than I ever realized) This movie is a wonderful addition to his resume.
    The Shadow has great visuals, a fantastic score by Jerry Goldsmith, fabulous costumes, and the city has a perfect "Gotham" feel to it. The dialog has many wonderful humorous points to it, and it's one of the few movies where the hero and villian will sit down together to have a polite conversation about exactly how they're going to kill one another, and they do it with the utmost of class.
    It's a big budget movie that somehow flopped at the box office, but is nevertheless worth a look! ...more info
  • Great action-fantasy
    This film was definitely not nominated for any academy awards but it sure is a lot of fun to watch. Well filmed and well acted and really well produced, this movie is a great chance to shut off the old brain and just go with the flow....more info
  • Rating for the Laser Disk
    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....more info
  • It Just Couldn't Get Any Better!
    Tales of the Shadow used to come in two forms: the old radio serial where the Shadow had the power to cloud the minds of men, and the books where he just used a black cloak to blend into the night. The movie chose to follow the radio version and invested good money into having superior special effects making the Shadow invisible.

    The plot is a little silly: the last descendant of Genghis Kahn is building an atomic bomb to blackmail New York with. But despite the basic plot, there's a great mixture of action and humor provided by Alec Baldwin and Penelope Ann Miller who have a great chemistry together. As Lamont Cranston and the Shadow, the harder he tries to push Margo Lane (played by Miller) away, the more determined she is to be with him as his lover and as one his many agents who he comes to depend on.

    It's a shame this movie didn't do well when it first came out: I think it was a little too ahead of it's time. Had The Shadow came out after the X-Men, it would have been a lot more popular I think, but 1994 wasn't a good year for superheroes. However, this is a really good movie-- better than the likes of Daredevil, Electra, and the horrible movie, the Punisher. And in fact Marvel was nowhere near this movie, and I think this is one reason why it was so good-- and yet, also one of the reasons it didn't get the kind of distribution that would have made this movie more popular. There are a few cheesy moments, but those are few and far in between; most of the movie is really great.

    Besides Alec Baldwin and Penelope Ann Miller, the cast also includes Peter Boyle, and Ian McKellen (Magneto in the X-Men movies) as Dr. Reinhardt Lane. With a talented cast like this, the movie can't help but be something delightful to watch. And best of all I think, is that this movie is in full screen rather than the horrendous letter-box format that is forced upon so many DVDs, so who can ask for anything more?
    ...more info
  • "The Shadow knows . . ."
    This is a good, but not great, 40's superhero film. The Shadow, a mysterious figure roaming in the "most wretched lair of villainy we know as . . . New York City," must stop Shiwan Khan (the descendant of Genghis Khan) from destroying the city and ruling the world. This might be a very simplistic plot, but I was quite entertained. It has some great Art Deco designs, fairly intense action sequences, and some perfectly-timed humor. I wouldn't call this a definite must-see, but it's enjoyable enough to keep people interested.

    Grade: A-...more info
  • The Shadow=pretty good!
    I bought The Shadow for my brother (a sci-fi fan) and liked it myself. I don't need to watch it again but it was a neat story line....more info
  • Sunday afternoon fun
    Ok, just to be upfront this film isn't what I would call a "full price" movie. But, if you find it on sale or in a bargin blowout sale, it is worth buying. It is silly, but fun. This is not the disaster the "Phantom" (Billy Zane) was. Let go and just watch. Don't look for edgy writing or serious special effects, just have fun. And any movie with Johnaton Winters can't be all that bad....more info
  • Who knows what evil? The Shadow wonders...
    This film misses the point. In the original books, the Shadow is a powerful figure, confident enough to judge the evil that men do and execute the criminals on the spot. (Please note;I am not arguing that this is a good idea.)

    The tagline for the series of pulp novels was "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!" But not here. In this film the Shadow seems confused. As if the "power to cloud mens minds" backfired. He appears to have a certain ability at premonition, but lacks the clarity of thought to turn this into anything, including a successful date with the beautiful Margo Lane. Millionaire playboy? Hardly, if his reaction to Margo's erotic dream is any indication.

    The producers seem to have believed that the Shadow needed to be a conflicted character. In the books this was far from the fact. The strength of the character was his ultimate certainty that he knew right and wrong and he was put on earth to punish the wrong. Uncertainty is boring in the Shadows case and he stumbles around until the plot is laid at his feet by his enemy. Even the great secret is "discovered" sort of accidentally. A hotel has been hidden from every New Yorker by mass hypnosis and is the secret base for Shiwan Khan who transported himself from the orient to N.Y. in a coffin because...oh never mind. It is all fairly stupid.

    I never expect plausibility in a film like this. In fact I love the stretch of imagination of Star Wars or Indiana Jones. There is an edge to walk before the film becomes parody. The Shadow's laugh is not one of humor. This should have been a thriller with a real mystery and the conflict should have come from the idea that this man, Lamont Cranston, feels superior to the law and takes matters into his own hands, ruthlessly gunning down criminals. An eye for an eye is his message to the underworld. People serve him not because he is a lovable lad, but because he scares them. Yes he saves the lives of many of his agents, but he turns around and places them in danger for his cause.

    On the plus side this film is visually interesting. The Shadow has a certain look throughout his literary history. Two of the strongest visual interpreters are Jim Steranko and Michael Kaluta. The art direction wisely takes its cue from these amazing graphic artists and the results are impressive. The results are also brief and this is unfortunate. Had we been able to spend more time with the Shadow in the shadows the film could have achieved a darkness to rival the Tim Burton/ Keaton or Nolan/ Bale Batman films. The rating I give is for the sets and design of the film more than anything else. I would give five stars for this aspect of the movie alone.

    The cast is respectable and I do like the choice of Baldwin as the Shadow. He just is never given the opportunity to be truly menacing. the supporting cast is very good. Tim Curry being nuts, Peter Boyle doing his usual excellent work. John Lone is marvelous as Shiwan Khan and really the only character that strikes a true chord with me in comparison to the books.

    If you are a fan of the character you will see this movie. You will likely be disappointed and left wanting something better. If you are not a fan of the character you will not become one here. Find some old copies of Kaluta's graphic storytelling and enjoy both an intriguing character and a great sequential art storyteller.

    ...more info
  • One of the best superhero movies from the 90s
    I still watch this film and smile everytime I watch it. Its got good acting some great special effects although some might seem dated today. It took a old superhero from the 30s and 40s and almost brought him back. But I think people were expecting a Batamn movie when this was released, that its not, it reeks with soem of the Batman cliches but if you have to remember The Shadow influenced Batman long ago. This is a clean, fun filled piece of matinee material. A must own for anyone who collects superhero films or just ones that want to be taken away from the real world for a while....more info
  • Multilevel results but overall good fun.
    The film is not as good as it could have been, but it does connect in several areas and results in a compeling film. The 1930's stylings are well done and it adds to the atmosphere. A little flat at times when it should have crackled and sizzled. Still a good romp though. I also can't believe there is no widescreen version of it on DVD unless the original was not in WS?...more info
  • "Am I In Hell? Not Yet ~ A Clouded Mind Sees Nothing"
    Released in '94 'The Shadow' is a wonderful adaptation of the dark, mystical comic superhero LaMont Cranston, a.k.a., the Shadow. Alec Baldwin is magnificent in the part of the lost soul returning after seven year in Tibet to fight evil in all its various forms. That's kind of hard for me to admit considering I'm not a fan of Alec Baldwin. In fact I believe this is the only movie I've ever enjoyed him in.

    Be that as it may, this is one of those undiscovered gems that few know about. Cinematography, script and cast are immpeccable. Set in the '30's, it captures the era perfectly.

    What a cast; John Lone (one of the great, under-used actors of our time is brilliant as Khan), Tim Curry, Ian McKellen, Peter Boyle, Jonathan Winters, James Hong and Penelope Ann Miller as Margo Lane.

    The Only Negative: Film is presented in Pan & Scan format, deserves a redo in widescreen. Otherwise perfect....more info
  • Good/Clean Sci-Fi Fantasy
    This is a "fun" sci-fi/fantasy movie. Not scary yet implies violence. Reminded me of the old radio programs that my parents told us about....more info
  • Movie 5 stars, Aspect Ratio and Transfer: 1 star.
    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....more info
  • Not bad.
    I remeber watching this show when i was about 14 and though it was fantastic. It's still a pretty good show and a decent watch. Interesting to see Ian Mckellan in this type of small role. Although it wasn't as goood as I rembered it being it was still a pretty good watch. I don't regret my purchase at all....more info
  • The Shadow
    Great movie especially if you like the classic radio programs. Quirky and kept my attention and just all around fun....more info
  • If You Like the old Pulp Fiction Novels...
    ...Then you will like this.

    In spite of crtical reviews, this "period piece" does a nice job of capturing the essence of the old radio shows.
    You've got some marvelous "over the top" acting by the villains (as it should be), you've got a hero(?) with a dubious past, and enough action to satisfy the "saturday matinee kid" in you.

    The sound track by Goldsmith is outstanding, and the sound effects beg you to have SURROUND (if you don't already) me, the machine gun scene in the beginning is worth it alone!

    It's not academy award material...then again, it's not SUPPOSED to be. It's just a nice addition to any DVD collection, especially at these prices.

    Believe me..the SHADOW knows....
    ...more info
  • Great Movie with a Not-So-Great Transfer
    This movie is amazing. Alec Baldwin is perfect for the role of The Shadow. This film should have at least gotten a sequel. Oh well, at least it had a complete ending, unlike The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. There are two things about this DVD that I hate. 1: There are no special features. 2: This is a Pan-and-Scan transfer, which makes me feel like I'm watching a TV movie. If you think there should be a DVD of this film with a WIDESCREEN TRANSFER and SPECIAL FEATURES....more info