“Why I’ve got more brains in my little finer than the whole of Scotland Yard put together.”
A man known only as “The Shadow” is blackmailing rich and prominent people. Those that don’t or can’t pay are either killed, commit suicide or their lives are ruined. Scotland Yard has no clues as to his identity. One undercover detective, police detective Elliot, manages to arrange a meeting with the Shadow to sell him some dirt on a prominent person. The Shadow kills him. When his body is found he is clutching a charm in the shape of a fist.
The case then goes to Chief Inspector Fleming (Denis Cowles). Fleming has a lead on the case. He has contacted someone who may be able to give him information on the charm. Sir Richard Bryant (Felix Aylmer) tells Fleming that he is going to his home in the country. He instructs Fleming to call him when he has more information.
Sir Richard has some house guests at his country home. They are his daughter Sonia (Elizabeth Allan), the son of an old friend, Reggie Ogden (Henry Kendall), Richard’s sister-in-law Mrs. Bascomb (Viola Compton) and his secretary Beverly Kent (James Ragian).
While Sir Richard and his guests are having tea, Inspector Fleming calls saying he is on his way to the house and that he knows who the shadow is. The phone lines are then cut. Jim Silverton (Cyril Raymond) and his sister Moya (Jeanne Stuart) show up. They say their car broke down and with the intense fog outside they are stranded. But there is something sinister with this seemingly innocent couple. Jim is actually a burglar casing the estate and Moya is his wife. Inspector Fleming arrives with the charm he had been researching and with some news. He knows who The Shadow is and is just about to …
“The Shadow” was released in 1933 and was directed by George A. Cooper. It is a British film. It also has nothing to do with the American radio program or its various configurations. This is a basic who-done-it in “The Old Dark House” fashion with comic aspects. There are a few red herrings and the identity of The Shadow is not really hard to surmise. It is based on a book written by Australian author Donald Stuart.
A lot of people thought it was basically average to above average with some dull spots. That’s about right for the most part although I didn’t find it dull. I actually enjoyed it. The plot may have been a little thin but the main characters were well rounded. Of course the show stealer was Henry Kendall. He plays the bumbling annoying blueblood Reggie Ogden to perfection.
Henry Kendall was a veteran actor of stage and screen appearing in at least 60 movies and TV shows. He’s also done some producing and directing. He served in the British Royal Air Force and was awarded The Air Force Cross. In the book "Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light" by Patrick McGilligan, Alfred Hitchcock is quoted as saying that Henry Kendall was "A fairly obvious homosexual." Kendall was never married.