Shadows over Shanghai (October 14, 1938)
Released on October 14, 1938: An American newspaper reporter helps a young woman smuggle a valuable amulet out of Shanghai, with a Russian spy and a Chinese spy hot on their trail.
Directed by Charles Lamont
Written by Richard Sale and Joseph Hoffman.
The Actors: James Dunn (Johnny McGinty), Ralph Morgan (Howard Barclay), Robert Barrat (Igor Sargoza), Lynda Grey (Irene Roma), Paul Sutton (Yokahama), Edward Woods (Peter Roma), Edwin Mordant (Doctor Adams), Chester Gan (Lun Sat Li), Victor Wong (Wu Chang), Edward Keane (American Consul), Billy Bevan (Gallicuddy), William Haade (Captain Murphy), Richard Loo (Fong), Victor Sen Yung (Wang), Layne Tom Jr. (Chinese boy at school).
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Spy vs Spy vs Reporter vs Young Lady
In 1938 America was not at war - it wouldn't be until December 7, 1941 that Japan would attack Pearl Harbor and thrust America into the Second World War. But in 1938 Japan was already at war with China. 1930's Japan was determined to rule the world, and conquering their neighbor China was the first step. In this spy vs. spy war thriller an American newspaper man in Shanghai saves a young woman being attacked by a Russian spy, and gets involved with a mysterious amulet that the young woman must try to smuggle back to San Francisco. James Dunn, as reporter Johnny McGinty, helps the young woman smuggle the item out of China with the help of an American man that we think is a spy, but who's side is he really on? A Chinese spy and a Russian spy are hot on their trail and the bullets fly as the young woman and the brash newspaper reporter try to escape war-torn Shanghai. Everyone wants the amulet, and after the American spy hides it we are not sure where it actually is, because the American spy is more clever than we think. This is a great suspenseful adventure on its own, with a star-studded cast, but before you pop a bowl of white kernel popcorn and drizzle some warm melted butter on it, I'd like you to know about one of the actors that is only in the first few minutes of this spy thriller. Edward Woods might have been a motion picture super-star, but because of a twist of fate years earlier he missed his chance at being a star, and his final motion picture part was in the first few minutes of this movie. As the movie opens we meet Lynda Grey, who is Irene Roma, an American girl working in a Chinese mission for orphaned children. Her brother Peter, played by Edward Woods, is flying a bi-plane overhead and the Russian spy Igor shoots him out of the sky. It is Edward Woods, as Peter Roma, who gives his sister the amulet and instructions to get it to San Francisco and keep it out of the hands of the Russian spy . . . and we never see him again. This fellow Edward Woods only acted in 13 movies . . . maybe because the fates were against him on one day in 1931. After acting in his first movie in 1930 he was selected to star in a crime drama called 'The Public Enemy' with another new actor named James Cagney cast as the second lead character. When director William A. Wellman met both men before shooting began he decided to switch the parts of Woods and Cagney, casting James Cagney as the first lead and Edward Woods as the second lead. James Cagney thrilled the audiences with his performance . . . and no one remembered the second lead, played by Edward Woods. Cagney became one of the biggest names in the golden age of motion pictures, and Woods went on to play bit parts in a handful of movies before leaving motion pictures forever after being in this picture for a few minutes.
Billy Bevan and James Dunn
Chester Gan as Lun Sat Li
Edward Keane as the American Consul in Shadows over Shanghai
Edward Woods in his final motion picture scene, with Lynda Grey
Edward Woods as Peter Roma
Edward Woods in his bi-plane trying to evade the Russian spy Igor, who shoots him out of the sky
Edwin Mordant as the kindly Doctor Adams at the Chinese orphanage
James Dunn and Richard Loo
James Dunn and William Haade
James Dunn as newspaper reporter Johnny McGinty
Linda Grey and Edwin Mordant
Lynda Grey and James Dunn
Lynda Grey as Irene Roma-McGinty
Paul Sutton as Yokahama and James Dunn
Paul Sutton in Shadows over Shanghai
Ralph Morgan, Billy Bevan and James Dunn
Ralph Morgan, James Dunn and Lynda Grey at the Chinese wedding ceremony
Ralph Morgan as spy Howard Barclay
Ralph Morgan meets Lynda Grey
Richard Loo as henchman Fong
Robert Barrat in the 1938 movie Shadows over Shanghai
Robert Barrat kidnaps James Dunn
Robert Barrat as Igor Sargoza shoots Edward Woods out of the sky
Robert Barrat as Russian spy Igor Sargoza
Robert Barrat, as a Russian spy, questions the Chinese children
Victor Wong, as Wu Chang, performse the wedding ceremony
William Haade as Captain Murphy in Shadows over Shanghai