Monday, July 23, 2018

Two Big Reveals in Cry Shadow!

I recently read the Belmont paperback Cry Shadow! published in 1965.  I'm reviewing my notes and will be writing up a full review - hopefully this week!  But there were 2 big reveals in the book I couldn't wait to share, so here they are!

1.  We learn a little bit more about Lamont Cranston's past as it is revealed that he served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War 2!  The OSS was an intelligence gathering organization and the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  I'll fill in more details when I do my review of Cry Shadow! and will also need to update the biography of The Shadow from the Belmont paperback series.

2.  The Shadow uses the Henry Arnaud disguise/alter-ego in Cry Shadow!  Shadow fans probably recognize the Henry Arnaud name as it was one used by The Shadow in the pulp stories.  However, this is the first time it's been used in The Shadow Belmont series.  

I've taken pages of notes on Cry Shadow! and my goal is to have a full review of it by the end of this week.  But as a Shadow fan, I couldn't wait to share these two big reveals!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Shadow Movie Tie-Ins

I wanted to share some great articles and resources I've found on tie-ins to the 1994 The Shadow movie.  I didn't know many of these items existed!  When The Shadow movie premiered in 1994, I was in the Air Force stationed overseas, so I don't remember ever seeing any of the toys or even the movie!  

Here's a great article by Hoju Koolander that looks at toys, watches and clothing tied in to The Shadow movie!  It was quite a coincidence when I found Hoju's article and then he happened to find one of my tweets on Twitter around the same time!  (If you're on Twitter, give him a follow!)  
The Shadow: Rare 90's Merchandise

One of my favorite Shadow websites is  Here is the link to the sites page on promotional items, toys, etc. from The Shadow movie.
The Shadow Movie Memorabilia

The Virtual Toy Chest has some pictures of The Shadow action figures and vehicles.
Virtual Toy Chest's The Shadow Archive

Movie Tie-In Toys blog has some good background information on the movie and some of the toys.
The Shadow 1994 Kenner

Hope you find these sites helpful, informative and entertaining!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Shadow's Transformation

One thing that has always mystified me about the 1994 The Shadow movie concerns Lamont Cranston's transformation into The Shadow.  The first time we see The Shadow, it's like what we see on the covers of his pulp magazines - hawk-like nose, black slouch hat, black cloak, etc.  

Then we see him as a disheveled Lamont Cranston in the back seat of Moe's cab (after dropping Dr. Tam off at home) and orders Moe to take him to the Cobalt Club.  Gone is the hawk-like nose!

Why does Lamont Cranston transform into The Shadow?  I have been reading through the official movie magazine and other articles on the background of the movie to find something definitive but to no avail.  So here is my working theory on why Cranston transforms into The Shadow.  My theory goes to the time Cranston is taken captive and meets the Tulku, the mystic teacher who dwells in the Temple of the Cobra.  There the Tulku tells Cranston, "I also know that for as long as you can remember, you struggled against your own black heart and always lost. You watched your spirit, your very face change as the beast claws its way out from within you. You are in great pain, aren't you?  You know what evil lurks in the hearts of men, for you have seen that evil in your own...I will teach you to use your black shadow to fight evil." (Emphasis added)

Based on what the Tulku says, it is Cranston's struggle with his own evil, his own black heart, that causes a physical transformation.  In the past, that transformation led to evil acts.  But in his years of training with the Tulku, Cranston still goes through that physical transformation, but now he harnesses it for good!

That's my theory on why Lamont Cranston transforms into The Shadow.  On a side note, the movie comes very close to how The Shadow is portrayed in the 1960's Belmont Book Shadow series.  In that series, Lamont Cranston must put on the slouch hat, cloak, and girasol ring to become The Shadow and have full use of all the powers of the mind that he learned from a mystic teacher in the Orient.  I wonder if the Belmont Books had any influence on this part of the movie!?!?

A description of The Shadow from Belmont Books "The Shadow Strikes"

While I will always prefer The Shadow of the pulp stories, I really like the different shades and tones of his character in the 1994 movie.  My theory could be completely wrong but it was fun trying to piece it together.  If you have your own theory on why Cranston transforms into The Shadow, I'd love to hear it!

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Shadow Merchandise!

I just found out that Conde Nast has an online store where you can buy The Shadow merchandise!  From what I've seen, they also have merchandise for Doc Savage.  They have a collection of The Shadow coffee mugs, t-shirts, prints, etc.  Click here for a look at the coffee mugs (one of them is pictured below)!

Now I know where I'm going to direct my family to do their Christmas shopping for me this year!!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

24th Anniversary of The Shadow Movie

Today, July 1, is the 24th anniversary of the 1994 The Shadow movie that starred Alec Baldwin and Lamont Cranston/The Shadow and Penelope Ann Miller as Margo Lane!

The Shadow movie opened in 1,677 theaters and was the #2 movie for its opening weekend, coming in behind The Lion King which was in its second week.  The Shadow brought in $11,713,845 during its opening weekend!

Unfortunately, it didn't sustain its opening weekend momentum and the movie's run in theaters only lasted 4 weeks.  It brought in $32,063,435 domestic and  $16,000,000 overseas.  At its widest release, it was in 1,769 theaters.

Being a Shadow fan for only about a year now I must say that I really love this movie.  It captures the right blend of The Shadow from the pulps and The Shadow from the radio show.  And, it is sooo much better than the black and white Shadow movies that came before it!  The way I see it, the producers for the film had to walk a line between pleasing long-time Shadow fans and attracting people that had never heard of The Shadow.  The movie incorporated parts from the pulps (The Shadow's agents, his cloak, slouch hat, etc.) and the radio show (the lovely Margo Lane).