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Movie Tidbits

Note: I'm accepting submissions for this page. Know of any good tidbits about The Shadow? Email me!

Movie Music

The Shadow (1994) movie soundtrack was used in 3 movie trailers:
  • John Carpenter's Village of the Damned (1995) used the opening of "The Hotel"
  • The Saint (1997) used "The Poppy Fields"
  • Cold Creek Manor (2003) used the opening of "The Hotel"


Any Relation?

Did you know that director/writer Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Spider-Man) wrote a script for a Shadow movie? He even wanted Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness, Spider-Man) to play the title role. Unfortunately, Raimi could not get the rights to the character, and had to rewrite the script and create a new hero. The movie that resulted was Darkman (1990), starring Liam Neeson (Schindler's List, Star Wars Episode I, Batman Begins) . (Thanks to Michael M. for the information!)


What Could've Been...

In 1996, Universal Pictures supposedly had plans to release a direct-to-video sequel of The Shadow. This was following the successful sequel releases of Darkman and Tremors. Unfortunately, the plans never came to fruition and the project was shelved. (Thanks to Michael M. for the information!)
By the way, that Shadow sequel was rumoured to be an adaptation of the pulp novel The Voodoo Master.


Big Guns

Looking for a replica of the .45s from the 1994 movie? The closest match today is the .45 or .50 Grizzly Win Mag . Coming in a close second is the AMT Hardballer .45, made famous in the first Terminator movie. You can find a replica of the AMT as an airsoft at Tokyo Marui (unfortunately this web site is in Japanese, but try searching Google for dealers). As for a replica of the Grizzly, try searching the internet. (Thanks to Peter Lukas for the information and picture!)

Webmistress's Note: For the 1994 movie, The Shadow's Silver Heat .45 automatics were designed to have a more dramatic effect on screen.
According to Steve Karnes, the armorer on the 1994 movie, the guns were "special order Grizzly .45 Win Mag pistols custom built by LAR Grizzly for the movie. They added some to the slide and left off the groves on top of the slide to make it appear as oversized Colt 1911 .45 autos". For more information, read this interview with Mr. Karnes. (Thanks to Steve Karnes for the information!)
According to the special edition issue of Starlog for the movie, the barrels of the guns were sawed off and extended until they were three and a half inches longer than a regular .45. The handles themelves were also "beefed up". Placed side by side, a Silver Heat .45 could easily dwarf a real .45 automatic from The Shadow's era!


The Real Phurba

If you're at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, check out their Tibetian section.There you'll find an actual Phurba on display. The information about this dagger reads:
Ritual Dagger - 1500 to 1600, Tibet, bronze and iron
This type of Tibetan ritual instrument for subjegating demons is known as a phurba. Padma Sambhawa with its introduction when he brought Buddhism to Tibet in the eight century. The three heads of the Vajrakila are shown on top, each one slightly different but each with a third eye, frowning eyebrows, and fangs to accentuate the god's wrathful appearance. The handle is formed by a knob with lotus petals situated between two knots, below which is a ritual crocodile called a Makara, from whose jaws issue the iron blade and two serpents. The triple blade symbolizes overcoming the three root poisons: desire, ignorance and hatred.
The comments submitted along with this information were quite intriguing as well. I'll let Kame (the person who sent me the phurba info above) explain:
(Comparison to the 1994 movie): So, the 'head' of phurba was the Vajrakila that bit Lamont in the temple of the Cobras. When it suddenly sprouted legs and was walking about, it was the Makara. The part that struck me the most was the triple blade, the overcoming of desire, ignorance and hatred (something that Lamont seemed to have a lot of when he was living a bad life).
(Thanks to Kame for the information and picture!)

The Phurba Connection

Did you know that SFX supervisor Allison Savitch worked on both the 1994 Shadow movie as well as the 1997 Mortal Kombat movie? The phurba and the Mortal Kombat Raptor were both made by United Cutlery
A brief mention on page 9 in the Mortal Kombat The Movie: Behind the Scenes book (Prima Lifestyles, 1995)
(Thanks to Kelcey for the information and picture!)


Movie Connections

  • Judge for a Day (September 20, 1935)
    This animated short features Betty Boop enduring a barage of annoying people on her way to work at the local courthouse (where she is a stenographer). In retaliation, Betty dreams up an appropriate punishment where these "pests" get their comeuppance and public humiliation. Around the 6:30 min mark, check out "Public Pest #44 - whose radio imitations make you sore" and his punishment: being surrounded by a flock of noisy parrots reciting famous radio quotes, including The Shadow's creepy laugh.
    (Thanks to Kelcey for the information and the link!)

  • Pieces (1982)
    According to the trivia section of IMDB, the chainsaw-wielding villain of this horror movie was inspired by The Shadow. Check out the artwork for the DVD. (Thanks to OthymianO for the information!)

  • Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
    According to the trivia section of IMDB, the villanous character of Maxwell Dent is a combination of Maxwell Grant and Lester Dent's names. Pretty ironic considering that they both wrote about crime-fighters! (Thanks to Clyde Vincent for the information!)

  • School Ties (1992)
    There is a scene near the beginning when the main character is meeting his college dorm-mates. One character, nicknamed "Mack" [Andrew Lowery] , is introduced leaping into the room in a brown trenchcoat, fedora, and sunglasses and quoting the opening and closing radio show catchphrases, along with "The Shadow knows!", and the laugh.
    (Thanks to Don for the information!)
    Another six degrees of separation: Ben Affleck, who also stars in this movie, went on to portray Batman in "Suicide Squad" (2016 - cameo only),"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2016), and "Justice League" (2017). As mentioned below, The Shadow is often noted as the inspriation for this caped crusader.

  • The Recruit (2003)
    In one scene, CIA agent Walter Burke (played by Al Pacino) says, "Who knows, who knows. The Shadow knows." (Thanks to NeGrosky Black for the information!)
    Another six degrees of separation: Gabriel Macht, who also stars in this movie, went on to portray The Spirit in the 2008 movie. As mentioned below, The Spirit may have had a Shadow-y inspiration.

  • Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2004)
    This direct-to-DVD animated movie pits Scooby Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang against zombie pirates while on a cruise to the Bermuda Triangle. Among the featured characters is Mister Mysterio, who is clad in a slouch hat and cloak, much like The Shadow. And just as The Shadow uses mind-clouding, Mister Mysterio uses hypnotism.

  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
    Check out the production artwork in the Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow DVD. One of the costume design concepts for the villainess, the Mysterious Lady, looks very much like The Shadow's outfit (complete with slouch hat and scarf)! This artwork also appeared on the movie's official Web site. The outfit itself never made it into the movie. (Thanks to Don for the information!)

  • Madagascar (2005)
    Near the beginning of the movie, one of the penguins tells Marty the Zebra about their secret plan to escape the zoo. Afterwards, he waves his flippers around and says "You didn't see anything", as if to hypnotize Marty. A nice reference to the the Cobalt Club scene in the 1994 movie where Lamont is hypnotizing Commissioner Barth.

  • Batman Begins (2005)
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then this is quite a tribute.
    Check out:
    Scott Alan Mendelson's blog article's reaction to this site's comparision (Thanks to Poncie B. for the heads-up!)

  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
    - View this sneek peek for the direct-to-DVD six-part anime anthology film that follows on Batman's further adventures picking up from the end of Batman Begins and leading into The Dark Knight. Includes an interview with Dennis O'Neil, who wrote some of the 1970s Shadow comics. Worth noting is a mention of Batman's inspiration by The Shadow (about 50 to 60 seconds into the preview). (Thanks to Doug for the link!)
    - On the 2-disc special edition DVD, The Shadow is briefly mentioned as one of the inspirations for Batman in the documentary "Batman and Me" about the life of Bob Kane. Also includes a brief collage of Shadow pulp covers.

  • The Dark Knight (2008)
    - On the 2-disc Special Edition DVD and the Blu-ray edition of this movie featured a 1-hour documentary called "The Psychology of the Dark Knight" which takes a psychoanalyst's look at what really makes Batman tick. Worth noting is a mention of Batman's inspiration by The Shadow (about 10 minutes in).

  • K20: The Fiend With Twenty Faces (2008)
    - Set in a parallel universe in 1949 in which Japan never went to war with the US, a Shadow-esque masked vigilante wearing a hat and cloak uses a myriad of disguises to steal from the rich. But that's only the beginning. Check out the review and trailer (scroll down to the bottom) from the Aint it Cool News site.
    K20 Soundtrack Cover (Thanks to Doug for the link and the picture!)

  • The Spirit (2008)
    - On the Special Features section of the DVD, there's a mini documentary titled "History Repeats" about the history of Will Eisner's The Spirit. It's mentioned on there that The Spirit was created back in 1938 and one of the influnental characters at that time was The Shadow.

  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    - Look carefully at the mascot for the Gothan rogues (a fictional football team featured in the movie). Perhaps one final nod to The Shadow in the final movie of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy? (Note: you'll need to sit through an ad before the clip is shown)
    (Thanks to Kelcey for the link!)


Hollywood and The Shadow

This mini-report from the 2005 Comic Con by Mile High Comics talks about director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) bowing out of doing a movie version of The Green Hornet. But scroll down to the comments below, it talks about Hollywood and the pulp heroes, and especially of the 1994 movie and how it was done wrong. A nice primer for those keeping an eye out for the next Shadow movie.
Read it here
(Thanks to Doug Rice for the information and Christopher Weigle for the updated link!)


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