The Shadow Returns (1946)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery


The Shadow Returns (1946) Poster

People are literally flying off balconies to their deaths as Lamont Cranston, aka the Shadow, tries to make sense out of a confusing jumble of murders, disappearances, jewels that aren't ... See full summary »


5.7/10
131

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Cast & Crew

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Directors:

Phil Rosen , William Beaudine

Writer:

George Callahan (original screenplay)

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2 June 2009 | nova-63
5
| A Missed Opportunity
The Monogram series is usually panned and rightfully so, but it is not without some interesting pieces. The change in characterization of Lamont and Margo is somewhat shocking. From the all business approach of the radio serials, we now have the couple engaged to be married and trading wise cracks. This Thin Man/Nick & Nora Charles approach falls somewhat flat as writer George Callahan is no Dashiell Hammett. Shrevvy is a comic character with little intelligence. Burbank operates a detective agency and opens the films giving The Shadow a tip about a possible crime. I would have liked to have seen more of his character as the interpretation is very straight, without comedy, but he has a very minor part in the Monogram series.

The mystery elements of the film are pure George Callahan. As in his Charlie Chan screenplays, the actually mystery is not important. Callahan's screenplays contain wacky gadgets and fun settings, but the mystery is an after thought and not played on the square. Here, a businessman has smuggled jewels into the country in a casket. Crooks gather at his estate to buy the jewels. Before a sale can be made the police and The Shadow arrive on the scene. Right before their eyes, the businessman jumps from a balcony to his death. The Shadow knows the man did not jump, but was murdered. Now he sets out to learn how he was murdered and by whom?

Of note, the filmmakers decided to show The Shadow as a shadow on the wall. He is never seen in costume, only as the shadow. This works well for me. The largest detriment to the series is the abundance of comedy. Add to that Shrevvy's characterization which is very poor and hurts the film because he is in it so much.

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Genres

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

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