The Shadow (1933)
Released in 1933: A man known only as the Shadow kills right under the nose of a famous Scotland Yard detective.
Directed by George A. Cooper
Written by Terence Egan and Fowler Mear from a play by Gerald Verner.
The Actors: Henry Kendall (Reggie Ogden), Elizabeth Allan (Sonia Bryant), Felix Aylmer (Sir Richard Bryant), Jeanne Stuart (Moya Silverton), Cyril Raymond (Silverton), Viola Compton (Mrs. Bascomb), John Turnbull (the Inspector), Gordon Begg (Willit), Charles Carson (Sir Edward Hulme KC), Dennis Cowles (Inspector Fleming), Vincent Holman (Wallis), James Raglan (Beverley Kent), Ralph Truman (Elliot).
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Well, I've got to tell you that after enjoying the radio adventures of 'The Shadow,' a crime-fighting mystery man, I was excited to obtain and share this movie with you. How sad that as I watched this one, it was not about the crime-fighter, but The Shadow in this movie is a mysterious killer in England that evades Scotland Yard. We discover that this mystery man causes the death of wealthy and influential men and women, and stays one step ahead of the police. Sir Richard Bryant, a policeman, fears he will lose his job if he fails to capture the killer. Sir Richard goes to his country estate for the weekend while his policemen scour the countryside for the killer. One policeman almost traps the Shadow, and when he see's him, he recognizes him, but then is killed. Of course, members of Sir Richard's house start dying, and we discover that the shadow is among us.
If you enjoy mystery who-dun-it movies, this is a very entertaining movie, well worth the watch, but I have one detail that just puzzles me. I must admit that I've never been wealthy enough for a large mansion with servants, and I always watch movies that feature households like that with a bit of dreamy envy. But this movie has a short scene that baffles me. A male servant wheels in a cart with tea, and several members of the family gather round for tea time. One lady gets startled when Sir Richard speaks about the Shadow, and she drops her cup of tea and it lands a few inches from her feet. She stands up, walks to the door of the library and summons the butler. Then she returns to her seat and sits down, and as the butler approaches, she motions to the teacup at her feet and the butler dutifully picks it up. Now, I may be a simple country fellow, but I think that no matter how wealthy I ever was, I could pick up my own fallen cup that lay inches from my foot and not bother the butler. I guess maybe I'm just not cut out to have a butler . . .