- The Shadow/Lamont Cranston
- Joseph "Joe" Brecker:
A vindictive death row murderer.
- Danny Brecker: Joe's brother.
- Mrs. Brecker: Joe and Danny's mother.
- Judge Wilson: One of the many targeted
in Joe's campaign of vengence.
- Margo Lane
- Commissioner Weston
- Jurors Mr. Hanson and Mrs. Adams
- Prosecuting Attorney Sloan
- Courtroom observers and Bystanders
- Prison Guard and Death House Inmates
- Mr. O'Hara, a grocer
- Mrs. Adams' daughter
- Judge Wilson's Butler
- Inspector, detective, Homicide detective
- Newspaper Seller
Synopsis: (Warning! Contains spoilers!)
Joseph "Joe" Brecker is found guilty of murder
in the first degree, but he shows no remorse for his crime.
Unrepentant, he passes sentence on the people who have helped
convict him: Judge Wilson, Prosecuting Attorney Sloan, the
twelve jurors, and The Shadow the only person smart
enough to catch him. Judge Wilson is unfazed by this threat,
and assumes that Joe has nothing to say in his defense. Joe
disagrees; the threat was exactly that. Joe knows he will
be put to death for his crime, and vows that for every day
he sits in the Death House, a person he has threatened will
die, starting with the foreman of the jury. The court is in
a uproar. Judge Wilson, still unmoved, sentences Joe to death
by electric chair.
As the courtroom observers clear out, they
talk amongst themselves about Joe's threat. One man believes
that the threat was a bluff and that Joe is just crazy. A
woman is relieved that she wasn't on the jury. As the people
chatter away, we learn that there is no way that Joe can carry
out his revenge since the members of his gang are either dead
or in jail. Also, no one has seen The Shadow himself, so how
can Joe kill what he cannot see? Upon hearing the talk, Margo
notes that it must be flattering for The Shadow to inspire
such awe and fear in people. Lamont sadly replies that the
innocent as well as the guilty are afraid of The Shadow. "The
unknown is so often associated with evil, " he explains.
"There's no help for it. The Shadow must remain a shadow."
Margo changes the subject and asks Lamont about the seriousness
of Joe's threat. Lamont decides to visit Joe as The Shadow
to answer that question.
At the Death House, Joe receives a visit
from his brother, Danny. The prison guard gives them five
minutes to talk. Joe reminds Danny of what he needs to do.
He tricks Danny into believing that Judge Wilson, the jurors,
Prosecuting Attorney Sloan, and The Shadow were the ones who
drafted Danny into the army, which led to Danny being sent
to France to fight. Unfortunately, that experience left him
so shellshocked that Danny now has trouble remembering anything.
After reminding Danny of his instructions yet again, Joe adds
the governor to the list of targets and warns Danny about
The Shadow. He tells his brother to avoid his apartment and
their mother's house. Danny is reluctant to stay away from
their mother and fears that she might worry about him. Joe
reassures him that she will know that Danny has things to
do. Danny asks about "the guy he can't see" (a.k.a.
The Shadow) and wonders if The Shadow is actually dead, like
Danny's war buddies who talk to him in the dark. Joe tells
him that The Shadow is very much alive, but he will know if
he is near by the sound of his voice. Joe suggests that Danny
should bring along some hand grenades that he keeps at his
apartment (!) and throw one at The Shadow if he hears his
voice. Danny asks Joe how he would know that it is The Shadow.
Joe replies that The Shadow has a "queer kind of laugh"
and that he calls himself "The Shadow". The prison
guard soon arrives and tells them that their five minutes
are up. Danny leaves, but not without another quick reminder
about his instructions.
Joe begins to gloat to himself that he will
get his revenge. Suddenly he hears something, but no one is
there. The Shadow has come for a visit. Joe asks him why he
will not leave him alone. The Shadow wants to know how Joe
is going to kill the people who put him away. Joe refuses
to talk, so The Shadow uses his mind reading ability to see
into Joe's thoughts. Joe thinks that The Shadow is trying
to trick him, but when The Shadow reveals that Joe is thinking
about Danny running home to get his high powered rifle with
a telescopic sight and silencer, and Danny's medals in marksmanship
in the war, Joe begins to panic. It seems Danny's sniper skills
were so good that he could hide in an open battlefield, pick
off his enemies at long range, and avoid being seen! The Shadow
laughs in triumph. Desperate to protect his brother, Joe pretends
not to believe The Shadow and says that even if he is right,
he will never find Danny. By this time, Joe is hysterical.
The other inmates shout him down, and the prison guard soon
appears. Joe tells the guard that The Shadow was here, but
the guard does not believe him. The guard tells him that it
is time to "walk the last mile". The deputies are
waiting, and there will be plenty of shadows where Joe is
Later, Mr. Hanson, one of the jurors, is
advised by a police inspector not to be walking in the streets.
The inspector was assigned to Mr. Hanson to protect him, should
Joe's threats prove true. The inspector tells Mr. Hanson that
if anything happens, he will be demoted to pounding the beat.
Mr. Hanson is insistent; he has a business to run, and he
cannot hide in his office forever. Suddenly, Mr. Hanson gasps
and falls to the ground. Greg from Homicide arrives on the
scene and declares Mr. Hanson dead. Joe has kept his word.
As more jurors are assassinated, Lamont becomes more and more
frustrated at being unable to locate Danny. Another juror,
Mrs. Adams, risks leaving her home to buy some groceries with
her daughter. Mr. O'Hara, the grocer, is shocked to see that
she is not in hiding like the remaining jurors. Mrs. Adams
tells him that she needed some things and managed to slip
past the detective who was guarding her. Mrs. Adam's daughter
asks for candy, and as Mrs. Adams is answering her, she gasps
and falls to the ground. Bewildered, her daughter tries to
get her to wake up and starts to cry. Mrs. Adams is dead.
At Judge Wilson's apartment, his butler asks
if it is wise to leave the window curtains open. Judge Wilson
is confident that his apartment on the twentieth floor will
deter any assassination attempt. The phone starts to ring
and the butler answers it. It is the governor on the line.
The governor tells Judge Wilson that he was not able to commute
Joe's sentence. The judge replies that even if the governor
was successful, there will be no law and order left. He also
learns that the governor will not cancel his engagement to
ride in the parade tomorrow. The governor will be riding in
an open car the perfect target. Judge Wilson suddenly
gasps. Danny's bullet has finally found him.
Margo meets up with Lamont to discuss their
next move. The Shadow and the cops have both failed to locate
Danny. Lamont has done some research on Danny and discovered
his military history of being a sniper in the war in France.
He laments that society has trained Danny to kill men, telling
him that they were enemies who needed to be killed. Though
shellshocked, Danny still remembers what society has taught
him: to kill. Lamont says that even though the judge and jurors
were innocent as individuals, everyone (as a whole) is guilty
of producing people like Danny. We teach men to kill in times
of war, then turn around and expect them to respect life in
times of peace.
Lamont instructs Margo to visit Mrs. Brecker,
Joe and Danny's mother. Chances are, Danny will visit her
before or after Joe dies in the electric chair at 5 p.m. They
only have about ten minutes. Margo asks if she should pose
as a reporter. Lamont says she could, but she should avoid
asking Mrs. Brecker any questions. He will follow behind as
The Shadow. Margo goes to Mrs. Brecker's basement apartment.
Mrs. Brecker answers the door, and Margo asks if she can come
in. Mrs. Brecker tells her that it does not matter anymore;
her two sons are gone. Margo tries to soothe her but it does
not help, for how could anyone know what this poor woman has
been through? One son is a murderer and another is missing.
In a few minutes, Joe will be dead and there is nothing she
or anyone can do. Mrs. Brecker bursts into tears. Suddenly
Danny appears. He knows he is not supposed to visit, but he
cannot stay away from his own mother. Relieved to see Danny,
and concerned about his whereabouts, Mrs. Brecker asks him
where he has been and what has Joe asked him to do. Danny
replies that he is doing what Joe told him to do. He notices
Margo and becomes suspicious. Mrs. Brecker assures him that
Margo is a friend who has come to sit with her, and that Margo
will not tell anyone he is here. Danny tells his mother that
Joe will die at 5 o'clock, and he will go out to do one more
thing for his brother. Mrs. Brecker refuses to let her son
leave; she has already figured out that he was the one behind
the murders of the judge and jurors. She pleads with him to
give himself up to the police, reassuring him that the police
will not hurt him. "You didn't know what you were doing,"
she begs Danny.
The clock strikes five. Mrs. Brecker starts
Danny turns to go. He tells his mother that
he will go to the tower to finish the job Joe told him to
do. Margo tries to stop him, but Danny tells her to stay out
of it. The Shadow steps in and confronts Danny, telling him
to stop for his mother's sake. Remembering Joe's advice, Danny
pulls out a hand grenade and reaches for the pin. Still sobbing,
Mrs. Brecker begs her son to stop, but Danny pulls the pin
from the grenade, tosses it in the direction of The Shadow's
voice, and makes his escape. Swiftly, The Shadow manages to
catch the grenade and throw it out of the window into the
courtyard before it has a chance to explode. It would be the
closest call The Shadow has ever had.
Lamont later visits Margo with a problem.
He has lost track of Danny since the grenade incident and
is trying to pinpoint his location. Lamont has been trying
to find a tall building or tower from which Danny can assassinate
the governor during the parade. Putting their heads together,
Lamont and Margo deduce that the most likely place would be
the unfinished Wardman Tower, now only a steel frame. With
no workers, and only a watchman on street level, it is an
easy place for Danny to hide. Margo offers to drive Lamont
to the tower. But if the Wardman Tower is not the one they
are looking for, then they will have to settle with a new
governor of the state!
At the Wardman Tower, Danny looks down at
the parade and waits for the governor's car to arrive. He
checks the wind velocity; it is zero. The range is three hundred
yards. The governor's car finally arrives, and Danny is certain
that he won't miss. Suddenly he hears the voice of The Shadow.
Danny is surprised that The Shadow is still alive. The Shadow
tells him that Joe gave Danny the wrong advice about using
the grenade. Danny asks The Shadow how he found him. The Shadow
replies that it does not matter; what really matters is that
Danny must not kill any more people. Danny is insistent on
killing the governor; he promised Joe he would do it. The
Shadow tells Danny that this promise will never be kept, and
orders him to put the rife down on the steel girder and crawl
back to the catwalk. Danny agrees to put the rifle down, but
he quickly pulls out a grenade, hoping to finish off The Shadow
for good. Danny calls out to The Shadow, demanding to know
where he is, so that he will know where to toss the grenade.
The Shadow repeatedly asks Danny to crawl back to the catwalk,
but Danny refuses and threatens to drop the grenade on the
parade goers below if The Shadow gets anywhere near him.
Danny pulls the pin.
Using his powers of mind clouding, The Shadow
hypnotizes Danny into clasping the grenade tightly and not
to drop it. Danny finds himself falling under The Shadow's
power and does as he is told, tightening his fingers around
the grenade, being extra careful not to drop it...
The grenade explodes.
Visiting the scene of the crime at the Wardman
Tower, Commissioner Weston is told by a detective that a high
powered rifle had fallen onto the street in front of the governor's
car. The explosion had gone off on the thirtieth floor, the
detective tells Weston, and suspects that it was a time bomb
that had gone off too soon. The police had found some newspaper
clippings and an identity card in the pocket of what was left
of Danny Brecker. Weston laments that they will never know
what really happened. On a good note, Weston is glad that
The Shadow (who has always outsmarted the police in their
investigations) did not have as much luck on this case as
the police did.
"Not quite, Commissioner," The
Weston jokes that The Shadow has arrived
to claim the credit, but The Shadow tells him that there is
no credit nor glory in the death of Danny.
"Danny Brecker was a victim. A human
instrument of destruction fashioned by mankind that teaches
men to kill their enemies in time of war, yet expects them
to forget their murderous art in time of peace. Danny Brecker
was an enemy of society a killer but only because you and
I and countless thousands made him one. No, Commissioner.
There is no glory in this for you or The Shadow or for any