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(The Shadow) International Crime

International Crime 1938

While I would have preferred to have moved onto the two Shadow sequels after the Shadow Returns, instead the only other Shadow movie available on Amazon Prime was the second Shadow film featuring Rod la Rocque as the Shadow in a very different form than he would later become. And also most likely a different version of the Shadow than the one that was already popular at the time of this film despite the fact that both of their stories were based on The Shadow pulp novels. This one was based on Foxhound. Instead of the vigilante with the power to cloud men’s minds, here he’s basically an investigative journalist with a focus on crime stories. He doesn’t have any special powers, he doesn’t have any real special abilities other than a bit of quick thinking and a knack for accents. And his secret identity isn’t really a secret at all. As for the crime drama half of the movie, there’s barely a crime and the movie spends more time on the radio show and newspaper office than it does on the actual crime. There’s some comedy bits but not enough to keep interest in the period’s typical sixty minute run time.

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The Shadow Returns

The Shadow Returns 1946

Getting back into watching these superhero movies and writing reviews again definitely makes me realize how much I missed going back into some of the older superhero movies. This was available on Amazon Prime which I currently have so I figured I’d give it a shot. I had already reviewed the first full length Shadow movie a while back but that didn’t really feel too much like the Shadow from that 90’s that I’ve been more familiar with. Just nine years later, this feels like a giant step towards the more familiar Shadow with the addition of Margo and his personal cab driver though there are still some discrepancies. This also feels more like the later Shadow movie with the addition of plenty of humor where this is almost more of a sitcom murder mystery rather than a serious detective movie. There were plenty of fun moments throughout the movie despite the plot being overly weak and convoluted. It also didn’t help that the version showing on Amazon Prime does have some sound issues where the sound completely cuts out in a few places so I missed a little bit of the dialogue. Not enough to get lost, just enough to be annoying.

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The Shadow

The Shadow 1994

One thing that I’ve realized recently and yet still haven’t gotten in the habit of doing is to make this first paragraph of the film review an interesting little caption on what is to come in the rest of the review. It’s the first thing someone reads when they’re looking at the post from another page and yet just like I’m doing right now, I use this precious space talking about some random topic. But at least for the regular readers, I hope that’s just an interesting quirk that adds to my personality. Yesterday evening I looked up the movie to finish out this loosely themed collection of superheroes with guns and/or classic pulp heroes that started with The Punisher movies, and ends with The Shadow. I don’t remember when I first saw The Shadow, it has been many years since I’ve seen it but I remembered enjoying it. Watching it again now I notice a lot more little things that are an interesting little spin on the traditional superhero, it has a lot of noir charm, and an impressive cast of actors. The Shadow still holds up quite well in my eyes.

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