Cast & Crew
Just as Lamont Cranston, the mild-mannered businessman who dons the mask of "The Shadow" to fight crime, promises his fiancée, Margo Lane, to give up sleuthing, a detective from the Burbank Agency asks him to observe the proceedings at Forest Park Cemetery where a man named Yomans is unearthing a pouch of jewels from a coffin. Meanwhile, J. R. Weston, the police commissioner and Lamont's uncle, is notified about the jewels and sends Inspector Cardona to investigate. When Yomans mysteriously disappears after securing the pouch, Cardona and Lamont go to the house of Michael Hasdon, the owner of the jewels. Also awaiting Yomans at Hasdon's is a syndicate formed to buy the jewels. Cardona interrogates the group: Charles Frobay, an importer-exporter; William Monk, an ex-racketeer; showgirl Lenore Jessup; a man named Breck; and Hasdon's butler, John Adams. Donning the mask of The Shadow, Lamont insists on speaking to Hasdon, but Hasdon falls to his death from a balcony before he can answer. That night, after leaving the house with Cardona, Lamont returns as The Shadow and eavesdrops on the group as they plan to eliminate Frobay from their syndicate. Puzzled, Lamont and Margo drive to Frobay's warehouse with Shevvie, their chauffeur. After observing Adams sneak in through a back door, they follow him and are stopped by a guard, who ushers them to Frobay's office. While Frobay's back is turned, Lamont rifles through his desk drawer and extracts a gemstone and a small notebook. Upon returning to their car, Lamont finds a dead body in the back seat, which he then delivers to police headquarters. Back at his apartment at the Broadmoor Arms, Lamont examines the gem and discovers that it is not a precious jewel. As Lamont leafs through the notebook, which contains formulas, Burbank calls to inform him that there was no duty levied on Hasdon's gems, thus confirming that they were not precious stones. Upon reconvening the group at Hasdon's that evening, Lamont, disguised as The Shadow, attends and knocks Adams unconscious. Dressed as Lamont, he then enters the room and suggests that Cardona question Adams. As Cardona approaches Adams, however, the butler plunges over the balcony to certain death. When Cardona blames The Shadow for the murders, Weston surmises that the victims were killed because they could expose the jewel thief. Once again disguised as The Shadow, Lamont and Shevvie drive back to the warehouse. As Lamont interrogates Frobay, Frobay falls down the dumbwaiter to his death. Lamont and Shevvie then sneak out before Cardona arrives and blames them for Frobay's murder. When the corpse found in Lamont's car is identified as Yomans, Lamont realizes that someone posed as Yomans to obtain the jewels and returns to investigate Forbay's warehouse with Margo. Finding a hidden laboratory behind a secret door, Lamont spies a wall safe. After extracting the jewels from the safe, Lamont discovers that each one contains part of a formula for manufacturing a super strength plastic. Worth millions, the formula provides the motive for murder. After reassembling the police and suspects at Hasdon's house, Lamont plants the formula in Weston's pocket and then suggests that one of the many bullwhips that adorn the walls was used by the killer to drag the victims to their death. His modus operandi exposed, Breck, who was impersonating Yomans, tries to flee and is apprehended by the police.
Robert Emmett Keane
E. R. Hickson
The working title of this film was The Shadow. This was the first in a series of three films produced in 1946 by Monogram based on stories published in Shadow Magazine. All three films were produced by Joe Kaufman, written by George Callahan, photographed by William Sickner and edited by Ace Herman. Kane Richmond starred as "Lamont Cranston," Barbara Reed as "Margo Lane" and Pierre Watkin as "Commissioner Weston" in all three entries. In the second and third films, Behind the Mask and The Missing Lady, George Chandler replaced Tom Dugan as "Shevvie," and in the final film, The Missing Lady, James Flavin replaced Joseph Crehan as "Cardona."
The "Shadow" stories were first popularized on the radio in the early 1930s. Orson Welles, who played "The Shadow" in the 1937 Mutual radio shows, is perhaps the best known "Shadow." Other films based on the character created for the Shadow Magazine and written by various authors under the pseudonym Maxwell Grant, include a series of short films produced by Universal, beginning with the 1931 film A Burglar to the Rescue, directed by George Cochrane, and a 1937 Colony Pictures film titled The Shadow Strikes, starring Rod La Rocque and directed by Lynn Shores (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.3986). In 1940, Columbia produced a fifteen-episode serial based on the character of "The Shadow," starring Victor Jory and Veda Ann Borg and directed by James W. Horne. The 1994 film The Shadow, directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Alec Baldwin, John Lone and Penelope Ann Miller was also based on the Grant character.