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The Shadow knows...


A 1994 Universal live-action film based off the pulp hero The Shadow, the movie follows the adventures of Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin), who uses his psychic powers as the Shadow to make up for the atrocities he committed in the past. But all is not well in the Big Apple - Shiwan Khan (John Lone), the last descendant of Genghis and fellow psychic, has come to finish his great-grandscestor's work, and he's not about to let anyone stand in his way. Margo Lane was played by Penelope Ann Miller.

No relation to the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name.

The Shadow provides examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Margo's father, Dr. Reinhardt Lane.
  • All-Star Cast
  • The Atoner: Lamont's work as the Shadow is so he can atone for the suffering he caused as the ruthless drug lord Ying Ko.
  • Big Applesauce: Justified in that Shiwan is also here to test himself against Lamont, and if at all possible, get him to change sides.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: One of Shiwan's guards willingly falls to his death rather than be captured by the Shadow.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Lamont knows he's a bad person and struggles with his dark side (which manifests as The Shadow, who does bad things for good reasons), while Shiwan Khan is a brutal megalomaniac bent on total world domination.
  • Bland-Name Product: Llama cigarettes, an obvious parody of Camel.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: The scene in the Chinese restaraunt ends with Shiwan and Lamont trying to shoot each other, only to have the bullets collide in midair. They both stare at the bullets for a moment afterward, as if even they think it's cool.
    • Actually, more like dumbfounded.
  • Book Ends: "This is green. That's red." Also, "I'll know."
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: When Margo goes to her father's lab to find him, Shiwan puts her in a trance and sends her after Lamont. When he later confronts him about it, he tells him that he sent Margo to be killed, which would set Lamont back on the road to evil.
  • Brick Joke: "I'd like to give you a name," Lamont says to Shiwan, as he gave the name of a psychiatrist. Guess who takes custody of Shiwan in the end? The very same doctor.
    • "Nice tie".
  • The Butcher: Ying Ko, The Butcher of Lhasa.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Lamont goes through this twice.
  • Cement Shoes: The Shadow saves a science professor from gangsters who were going to dump him in the river for accidentally witnessing a crime.
  • Cool Car: Shrevvy's cab, the toy version of which received a full arsenal of weapons.
  • Deceptive Disciple: The Tulku tried to save Shiwan like he did with Lamont, but ended up getting killed for his troubles.
  • Diesel Punk: Of the Diesel Noir subgenre.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Lamont as Ying Ko dreams of the Tulku before he gets abducted to his temple, and later has a nightmare about Shiwan.
  • The Driver: Moe Shrevnitz.
  • Drowning Pit: Farley shoots the Shadow, locks him in a pressure testing chamber at his lab, and starts filling it with water.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Phurba. And damn that thing is freaky.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers
  • Mr. Fanservice: Lamont (Alec Baldwin) was quite dapper in the scene when he meets Margo.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: What the Shadow gives Shiwan Khan at the end. He destroys the villain's psychic abilities and then has him committed to an asylum by one of his minions.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Lamont follows one of Shiwan's men into one of these.
  • Glamour Failure: The Shadow "clouds men's minds", making them unable to see him. However, he still leaves signs of a physical presence. This is used against him twice, both times ending with him getting shot.
  • Hall of Mirrors: The Shadow chases Shiwan into a storage area of mirrors, and ultimately uses his powers to shatter them.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Lamont and Shiwan have these, invoked with contact lenses, and changes in the lighting. The Shadow has metallic gray eyes while Shiwan's are black
  • I Owe You My Life: Inverted - When the Shadow saves Dr. Tam's life and enlists him as one of his agents. It's apparently how he recruits all his minions.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: "Kill you? *chuckles* If I wanted you dead, Ying Ko, I would have your liver on a pole right now."
    • Also: "I would no sooner kill you than I would destroy a Rembrandt."
  • Innocent Innuendo:
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 LAMONT: Psychically, I'm very well endowed.

MARGO: I'll bet you are.

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 LAMONT: You are a barbarian.

SHIWAN: Thank you. We both are.

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 LI PENG: (having just taken Ying Ko's accountant hostage) Even your men are not marksman enough to shoot around him!

YING KO: You're right. (to the accountant) Wu, you're a wonderful friend. You're like a father to me.

WU: Thank you, Ying Ko.

YING KO: (to his marksmen) Shoot through him.

Cquote2.svg
  • Super Window Jump: Shiwan escapes the Chinese restaurant by jumping out a window after breaking the glass with his powers. Farley later dives through a glass mural, after the Shadow made him think it was an exit, with less pleasant results.
  • Unobtanium: Bronzium, believed by the Chinese to be what the universe was made of, and what Shiwan uses for his bomb.
  • Visible Invisibility
  • Voice of the Legion: The Tulku.
  • Wicked Cultured: Shiwan, later on. "I would no sooner destroy you than I would destroy a Rembrandt."
  • Wire Dilemma: Dr. Lane is forced to disarm the bomb without knowing how he built it. And did we mention that he's colorblind?
Cquote1.svg

 MARGO: (strained, nudging the green wire) This is green. (nudges the red wire) That's red.

Cquote2.svg
  • Wrong Wire: When Dr. Lane first tries to disarm the bomb, he accidentally makes the timer go to warp speed, and fixing it leaves him with only two minutes. Finally, he decides that it's "usually green"... and pulls the red wire.
  • Yellow Peril: Fortunately averted. While the villains are Mongols, Dr. Tam is also Asian.
  • You Have Failed Me: Shiwan killed one of his warriors hypnotized by Lamont.
    • Perhaps more pragmatic than the usual version. A minion who's vulnerable to your enemy's mind control is a definite liability.
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