Steven Hellerstedt | 04/06/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"These are okay detective movies, but it's really not The Shadow.
Lamont Cranston has been turned into Lamont Granston and he's an ordinary joe who's a crime reporter. That's as exciting as it gets. There's nothing in these movies that has anything to do with The Shadow so you've been warned.
You might want to save your money since these two "Shadow" movies aren't what they claim to be. The Shadow serial and the Alec Baldwin movie are the way to go for fans of The Shadow. The Invisible Avenger isn't as close to the mark as the serial and Baldwin film, but it's worth a look too."
FOR SHADOW FANS - A MUST OWN
Craig H. Cosgray | DALLAS, TEXAS USA | 02/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As others have stated the two films do not much follow the "Pulp" magazine story line. However the two films are pretty keen movies along the line of The Thin Man, Mr. Wong, Charlie Chan...etc. So if you like those you will like these. Any avid collector of Shadow memorabilia should have these historic films. Grand National Pictures was bought by Astor Pictures in NYC... they went broke and the original prints were actually thrown into the East River by the company warehousing them... for non-payment of rent. We found these two "lost" prints rotting in a collector's house... We spent a fortune to clean and restore them to the best possible condition... we did 4 digital sound passes, sound sync, color corrections, wet-gate, DVNR, and encoded twice. So while not perfect... we guarantee they are the finest on the market... Who knows where the Shadow lurks? ... MARENGO FILMS"
Not your father's Shadow
Steven Hellerstedt | 09/16/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"SHADOW STRIKES (1937) - ** stars. A millionaire is murdered and relatives and an underworld goon or two circle in for the spoils. In this one the Shadow is a lawyer/amateur criminologist, appears in a strange cape/hat/cowl outfit in the denouement scene and has his shadow thrown provocatively against a couple of walls, but that's about it.
INTERNATIONAL CRIME (1938) - *** stars. A wealthy businessman is the murder victim in this one. Lamont Cranston (the Shadow) is an amateur criminologist/newspaper columnist/radio announcer. The beautiful Astrid Allwyn co-stars in this one as an eager beaver aspiring newspaper woman. Directed by veteran Charles LaMont, who would go on to direct a number of Abbott & Costello and Ma & Pa Kettle movies. The mood is definitely lighter in this superior movie.
Rod LaRocque plays Lamont Cranston in these two early Shadow films. Most of the juicy aspects of the radio character are absent here. No clouding men's minds. No bitter fruits borne by the weeds of crime. No invisibility. No distorted voice and manic cackle. No real reason to go out of your way to see them, either.
Good B-Movie Mystery
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Whether or not you prefer The Shadow of radio or the pulps, this is not the invisible crimefighter or the black-clad crime-buster. Rod La Rocque plays a more mild-mannered, Clark Kent-style of alter ego to The Shadow. The Shadow (in disguise) only makes two brief appearances in the first film, THE SHADOW STRIKES (1937).
INTERNATIONAL CRIME (1938) is better than the first. Rod reprises his role as Lamont Cranston, only this time he is both a radio announcer and a one-man detective agency. Astrid Allwyn plays the ditzy Phoebe Lane. There is also appearances from Commissioner Weston (portrayed as an old grouch) and cabbi, Moe Shrevnitz.
I recommend this double feature (which is brilliantly restored, by the way) DVD to any lovers of mysteries, old films, B-Movies, or those of you will take a chance on seeing The Shadow's first two movie appearances."