The Invisible Avenger
Movie Lover: Carolanne Sudderth
Santa Monica, California
-- February, 1, 2004
This Shadow doesn't live up to previous incarnations manifested by Orson Welles and Mad Magazine.
Some of the changes are disconcerting for lovers of radio version. Cranston's sidekick, Margo Lane (Agnes Moorhead), "the only one who knows to whom the voice of the Invisible Shadow belongs" is gone
Instead, Cranston is accompanied by an Eastern guru (male) -- He makes some cryptic, intriguing warnings about the consequences of Lamont "becoming the shadow once too often," but these intriguing comments are never followed up,
Adding to the feeling that the this film was to be the first in an updated serial-based-on-the-classic, but that this series was cancelled after the first episode.
And as for the loss of Orson Welles as the (anti?)hero ... That deep, distincitive voice and its deep mellifluous laughter rumbling through the darkness ( ... Who knows what evil ...) is hard to replace, very hard. God bless you, Orson, wherever you are.
The movie does captures the smoky, ominous ambience of New Orleans' jazz underground, albeit in a 50s B-movie fashion. But the feeling of "filthy Oriental heathens" in embroidered silks lurking in the backrooms or greedy mine owners wringing their hands as zombies carry their out evil wishes in underground caverns is gone.
This version is a little too FBI.
Yes, he's still the Shadow. But it's not the quite same voice-in-the-night that kept us wee children snug and happy knowing there was someone there to rescue us if things began going bump in the night.
Fun on a rainy night in front of the TV with carton of steaming chow mein, and interesting in its own way, but the Shadow, it ain't.
The Shadow in New Orleans!!
Movie Lover: Dan Starr
Tomball, TX US
-- September, 18, 2003
This version of The Shadow is much more in keeping with the classic Orson Welles radio show. The Shadow’s powers manifest themselves as invisibility and the ability to cloud men’s minds through hypnosis. He does not, however, don the cape, hat, and goblin-nose of the popular comic book and Alec Baldwin movie.
The movie itself isn’t bad at all. This film clocks in at just under an hour and has the feel of a TV movie (due to some cuts, its brevity, etc.). The picture and sound quality are probably as good as when originally broadcast. Most of the players are fine, though some are awful!
Oh, I also wanted to mention that the New Orleans location is very atmospheric and the DVD cover artwork is, as usual, neat! This is a fun film for a rainy weekend!