Shadow, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

High in the Tibetan mountains in the late thirties, opium dealer Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin) is kidnapped by mystic Tulku. Tulku assaults him and teaches him occult magic - all for the sake of Cranston's redemption. Seven years later, Cranston, now a billionaire playboy, is back in his hometown of New York City. And gangsters beware, for Cranston's alter ego is The Shadow, the elusive bane of evildoers, endowed with the powers of sorcery. When Cranston becomes The Shadow, his features take on the hawkish appearance described in the original Shadow radio show and pulp novels of the thirties and forties. Enter Shiwan Khan (John Lone), last descendant of cutthroat Genghis Khan. His mind-control powers and other witchery match the Shadow's. When Cranston refuses to join him in conquering the world, Khan pits his occultic powers against Cranston's. The Shadow battles Khan and his army to save the world. This fairly entertaining film is obviously meant to make money off persons attracted to violence and sorcery.

While not typically gory, violence in the film is constant, with people stabbed, bitten, punched, kicked, thrown through windows and off of buildings. Others are shot with pistols, machine guns and crossbows, exploded in a fiery car crash, nearly drowned, and impaled on a sharp piece of a mirror. Even worse is the film's glorification of evil occult magic. A face appears in the flames of a pillar of fire and flames come from a fireplace to encircle a woman. Both The Shadow and his nemesis use mind control, forcing some to commit suicide. Both can become invisible, leaving only their shadows. An evil demonic knife handle bites with needle-sharp teeth and screeches wickedly. The dialogue contains some mild crudities and two regular profanities. The film has no sexual conduct, but does have several suggestive remarks and incidents. All of these elements, particularly the exploitation and glorification of sorcery, thoroughly damage the moral quality of THE SHADOW.

Preview Reviewer: Bob Liparulo
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal Plaza, Building 507A/3, Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times - Mild only

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Many (20) times - Regular 2 (C,G), Exclamatory 18

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (many shooting and other killings; fatal falls from high buildings; man thrown through window; gas truck explodes; demonic dagger bites hand, cuts throat, plunges into victim's body; bloody sword battle; piece of mirror jabbed into forehead).

Sex: None

Nudity: Near nudity - several times (low-cut dresses, woman in flimsy negligee)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (man in bed with scantily clad women; man eyes woman's cleavage, makes crude remark; woman hints at sex; man suggestively rubs woman; shadow of naked woman; sensual kissing and graphic description of sensual dream)

Drugs: Few times (social alcohol drinking)

Other: Occultic, demonic powers glorified

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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