[[caption-width-right:216:The Shadow knows...]]

A 1994 Creator/{{Universal}} live-action film based off the pulp hero ''Radio/TheShadow'', the movie follows the adventures of Lamont Cranston (Creator/AlecBaldwin), who uses his psychic powers as the Shadow to hunt criminals in New York City 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, Lamont's love interest, was played by Penelope Ann Miller, while her father, physicist Reinhardt Lane, was played by Creator/IanMcKellen.

There was a novelization by Creator/JamesLuceno that valiantly tries to tie the movie into the pulps and radio series. The makers were hoping to start an entire new superhero film franchise but the film performed poorly at the box office and [[StillbornFranchise the franchise was stillborn.]]

No relation to the Creator/HansChristianAndersen [[Literature/TheShadow story of the same name]].

!!This film provides examples of:

* AbsentMindedProfessor: Margo's father, Dr. Reinhardt Lane.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: That campy billboard that Shiwan uses to hypnotize Dr. Lane? [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kls7DSyPalg Those really existed.]]
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Alec Baldwin doesn't speak Chinese but it doesn't stop him from ordering a Peking duck.
* TheAtoner: Lamont's work as the Shadow is so he can atone for the suffering he caused as the ruthless drug lord Ying Ko.
* BadassBoast: Numerous. As an example, Lamont whispering from the shadows at some mobsters about to murder a witness, "Did you really think you would get away with it? Did you really think that ''I'' wouldn't know?"
* BadassCreed: "The [[UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan Kha-Khan]], the [[TheScourgeOfGod Power of God on Earth]], [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority Emperor of Mankind]]"
* BadassInANiceSuit: Both Lamont and Khan although Khan's is a little too small for him, showing his lack of familiarity with Western culture.
* BigApplesauce: Justified in that Shiwan is also there to test himself against Lamont, or even better, persuade him to change sides.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: One of Shiwan's guards willingly falls to his death rather than be captured by the Shadow.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Lamont ''knows'' he's a bad person and struggles with his dark side (which he channels when he becomes The Shadow, who does bad things for good reasons), while Shiwan Khan is a brutal megalomaniac [[TakeOverTheWorld bent on total world domination]].
* BlandNameProduct: Llama cigarettes, an obvious parody of Camel right down to a period-appropriate slogan - "I'D WALK A MILE FOR A CAMEL" becomes;
* BookEnds: "''This'' is green. ''That's'' red." Also, "I'll know."
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: 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.
* BrickJoke:
** "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".
* BroughtDownToNormal: [[spoiler:Shiwan]] is subjected to this trope when [[spoiler:the Shadow drives a glass shard into his brain, removing his psychic powers]].
* TheButcher: Ying Ko, The Butcher of Lhasa.
* CanonWelding: The novelization by James Luceno attempts to reconcile the differences between the pulps and the radio series while placing the film in continuity with both series.
* CatapultNightmare: Lamont goes through this twice.
* CementShoes: The Shadow saves a science professor from gangsters who were going to dump him in the river for accidentally witnessing a crime.
* ChekhovsSkill: More like Chekhov's Disability. Dr. Lane's red-green colorblindness [[spoiler:leads to him nearly cutting the wrong wire in a WireDilemma purely by accident]].
** Lamont can be invisible, but he can't hide his Shadow, which lets his enemies know where he is. So when he goes to fight Claymore who does have knowledge of that weakness, he uses his clouding ability to make multiple false shadows giving Claymore the impression that he overcame that weakness.
* ColorBlindConfusion: This leads Dr. Lane to [[spoiler:cut the WrongWire on the nuclear bomb]], making the timer go to warp speed. By the time he's reconnected that wire to fix it, he's gone from having hours to having about two minutes.
* CompellingVoice: Lamont Cranston in Shadow mode, and Shiwan Khan.
* CoolCar: A slightly understated instance. The Shadow has no special vehicle but is driven about in Shrevvy's cab, a ''real'' 1936 Cord 810, the toy version of which received a full arsenal of weapons.
* CoolGun: Lamont's pair of 1911s.
* DeadpanSnarker: Margo, Moe, Khan and occasionally Lamont.
* DeceptiveDisciple: The Tulku tried to save Shiwan like he did with Lamont, but ended up getting killed for his troubles.
* DieselPunk: Of the Diesel Noir subgenre.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Margo goes barefoot indoors most of the time.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Lamont as Ying Ko dreams of the Tulku before he gets abducted to his temple, and later has a nightmare about Shiwan.
-->'''Margo''': Oh, God I dreamed.\\
'''Lamont''': So did I. What did you dream?\\
'''Margo''': I was lying naked on a beach in the South Seas. The tide was coming up to my toes. The sun was beating down. My skin hot and cool at the same time. It was wonderful. What was yours?\\
'''Lamont''': [[BodyHorror I dreamed I tore all the skin off my face and was somebody else underneath]].\\
'''Margo''': You have problems.
-->'''Lamont''': I'm aware of that.
* TheDriver: Moe Shrevnitz.
* DrowningPit: Farley shoots the Shadow, locks him in a pressure testing chamber at his lab, and starts filling it with water.
* EmpathicWeapon: The Phurba. And ''damn'' that thing is freaky.
* EnlightenmentSuperpowers
* EvilCounterpart: [[EvilCounterpart/{{Film}} Shiwan Khan serves as this to The Shadow]]
* EvilSorcerer: Technically a ''duel'' between Evil Sorcerers, as [[ByronicHero the Shadow himself]] would be the first to admit he's a piece of work. But Shiwan Khan -- [[SingleLineOfDescent the last descendant of Genghis Khan]], who was taught by the same teacher (whom Shiwan then killed) as Lamont -- actually makes it his ambition to ''top'' him. [[spoiler:In the end, Lamont proves himself more than a match for Shiwan and has a surgeon friend remove Shiwan's PsychicPowers through brain surgery]].
* "ExtraExtraReadAllAboutIt: Madman threatens to blow the city sky-high!"
* FamousAncestor: Shiwan Khan claims to be the last descendant of Genghis Khan. Being ''a'' descendant is likely, being the ''last'' descendant is not (see SingleLineOfDescent below).
* FateWorseThanDeath: What the Shadow gives [[spoiler:Shiwan Khan]] at the end. [[spoiler:He destroys the villain's psychic abilities and then has him committed to an asylum by one of his minions]] which for someone as pompous as Khan would be Hell.
* FriendlyLocalChinatown: Lamont follows one of Shiwan's men into one of these.
* GlamourFailure: 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.
* AGodAmI: Khan believes this fervently.
* GoryDiscretionShot: When Lamont [[spoiler:drives a piece of broken glass into Khan's skull]], we see a brief shot of [[spoiler:the shard floating in front of Khan's face]], followed by a SmashToBlack.
* HallOfMirrors: The Shadow chases Shiwan into a storage area full of mirrors, and ultimately uses his powers to shatter them.
* HistoricalInJoke:
-->'''Dr. Tam''': ''I suppose you'd call it an [[ExpospeakGag implosive-explosive sub-molecular device]].''\\
'''Lamont''': ''Or an '''[[AtomicHate Atomic bomb]].''' ''\\
'''Dr. Tam''': ''Hey, that's catchy.''
** Which emphasizes both Dr. Lane's genius and his foolishness at the same time - He's at least twenty years ahead of his time, having built an A-bomb before Einstein established the theoretical framework for how it would work, but he also doesn't realize how dangerous the thing is.
* HypnoticEyes: Lamont and Shiwan have these, invoked with contact lenses, and changes in the lighting. The Shadow has [[BlackAndGreyMorality metallic gray]] eyes while Shiwan's are [[DarkIsEvil black]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: A non fatal comical one: Lamont spends his first meeting with Margo wooing her using his telepathy to find her likes. Only to find out she is telepathic as well. So he tries to spend the remainder of the movie avoiding her so she doesn't [[spoiler: find out he is The Shadow.]]
* IHaveAFamily: Dr Tam tries this on his would-be murderers. The leader just scoffs and says "They'll get over it".
* IOweYouMyLife: 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.
-->'''The Shadow:''' I've saved your life, Roy Tam - it now belongs to me!
* IfIWantedYouDead:
** "Kill you? *chuckles* If I wanted you dead, Ying Ko, I would have your liver on a pole right now."
** Also: "I would sooner destroy a Rembrandt than kill you".
* InnocentInnuendo:
-->'''Lamont:''' Psychically, I'm very well endowed.\\
'''Margo:'''(looking down) I'll bet you are.
* InsultBackfire:
-->'''Lamont:''' You, sir, are a barbarian.\\
'''Shiwan:''' Thank you. We both are.
* JabbaTableManners: Shiwan, in the Chinese restaurant.
* JediMindTrick: One of the Shadow's powers.
* KilledMidSentence: The cab driver who drove Shiwan Khan after his arrival in New York [[PsychicAssistedSuicide drives straight into a fuel truck.]] His last words are "This must be my lucky...".
* LargeHam:
** Taylor Dayne's "Original Sin (Theme From ''The Shadow'')" over the end credits - "Produced, Written And Arranged By Jim Steinman." Any questions?
** Lamont as the Shadow.
** Khan. Just Khan.
** Farley after his mental breakdown.
* LaughingMad: Farley, until he falls to his death.
* LicensedPinballTable: [[Pinball/TheShadow Click here for details.]]
* {{Lobotomy}}: [[spoiler:At the end, the villain is lobotomized in such a way that all he has lost is his psychic powers.]]
* MaleGaze: In-universe. Farley Claymore can't seem to tear his eyes off Margo Lane's "clever neckline".
* ManOfWealthAndTaste: Both Lamont and Shiwan Khan. Khan admires Lamont so much he even buys the same brand of suit and tie.
* MasterOfIllusion: Both Shiwan and the Shadow, but Shiwan is such a master that he clouds the minds of ''everyone in New York at the same time''. Specifically, he hides a hundred-story five-star hotel -- smack-dab in the middle of the city -- just to have a luxurious lair for himself.
* MrFanservice: Lamont (Alec Baldwin) was quite dapper in the scene when he meets Margo.
* MsFanservice: Penelope Ann Miller as Margo especially in her white dress.
* MythologyGag:
** Shiwan asking where Lamont got his tie is a spoof of the product placement used in the radio show.
** Mrs. Tam thinks The Shadow was made up to make people listen to the radio more. Well, it was a radio show...
* NightmareSequence: The first time is a warning about Shiwan's arrival, the second time is a nightmare about him pulling his face off, revealing Shiwan underneath, and the third time is a FlashbackNightmare of his time as Ying Ko.
* NeverRecycleABuilding: Inverted - Shiwan made everyone believe that the building got torn down, though no one can remember when. [[spoiler:Or ''if''.]]
* NinetyPercentOfYourBrain: When Shiwan Khan [[spoiler:awakes from the surgery that removes his powers]], he is told that the surgeons removed a part of the brain that no one ever uses.
* NotBrainwashed: Farley Claymore, who signed up with Khan in exchange for power.
* NotSoDifferent:
** "Accept the truth - there is no light without shadow, and you and I are that shadow."
** Lamont's dream, in which he rips his own face off like a mask to reveal Shiwan's underneath.
* PinnedToTheWall: The (invisible) hero is pounding the tar out of some Mongol Warriors in a lab. One of them grabs a flashlight, scans the room, and finds him. A few well-placed arrows stick the Shadow to the wall...until [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome the fully three-dimensional Shadow emerges from out of his own shadow]], GunsAkimbo.
* PrettyInMink: Margo wears a white fox wrap to a club.
* ProductPlacement: "Brooks Brothers. 75th and Madison."
* PsychicAssistedSuicide: Shiwan uses his powers to off a museum guard who saw him in Genghis's coffin, a cab driver who took him to his lair, and a marine who insulted his fashion sense. The Shadow later uses his powers to [[spoiler:make Farley Claymore jump through a third-story window.]]
* PsychicPowers: Primarily {{Telepathy}}, although the Shadow eventually manages to achieve MindOverMatter.
* ReluctantMadScientist: Dr. Lane, helped along by Shiwan's mind control.
* SealedEvilInACan: Played with. A museum receives a silver sarcophagus from a mysterious source, with an inscription on it saying it's the coffin of Genghis Khan. When the security guard is left alone with it the coffin starts to shake around and eventually opens up to reveal a man in the dress of a Mongol warrior, who telepathically forces the security guard to shoot himself. However, it turns out it's not actually Genghis Khan, but a modern-day descendant.
* SexyBacklessOutfit: Margo
* TheShangriLa
* ShootTheBullet: Happens by accident when Khan and Lamont confront each other in the Chinese restaurant. They're both visibly stunned at what just happened.
* ShootTheHostage:
-->'''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.
* ShownTheirWork: The crew was able to acquire a real [[CoolCar 1936 Cord 810 taxi]], modified slightly for filming yet still (noticeably) keeping the front wheel drive.
* SingleLineOfDescent: Shiwan Khan is [[FridgeLogic somehow]] the "last descendant of Genghis Khan". Genghis Khan was [[ReallyGetsAround a prolific shagger]] with more wives than you can shake a stick at. The world is filled with his descendants (some estimates put 1 out of every 200 people on Earth today in his family tree), so Khan would presumably have to kill [[FridgeHorror millions of people around the world, even if we were only talking about]] [[LineageComesFromTheFather male lineage alone]]. Then again, in his arrogance, Khan might have just pretended he was the last [[RuleOfCool to sound cool]], or he may believe he's the only one who deserves the name.
* TheSociopath: Khan and indeed Lamont before his HeelFaceTurn.
* SuperWindowJump: 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, [[DisneyVillainDeath with less pleasant results]].
* SycophanticServant: Farley Claymore.
* {{Unobtanium}}: Bronzium, believed by the Chinese to be what the universe was made of, and what Shiwan uses for his bomb. It may actually be enriched uranium or even plutonium, though how you would get the latter with 1920's technology boggles the mind.
* VillainBall: Shiwan sends Farley Claymore, a NonActionGuy and the only person who can build more atomic bombs for him, to fight the Shadow, whom he has no chance against.
* VillainousBreakdown: Farley Claymore has an excellent one, first The Shadow, a man he thinks he left to die is stalking him. Next he tries shooting at his shadow everywhere it goes. Unlike last time, it doesn't work. To make matters worse as he empties his tommygun he is laughing, sweating and obviously scared out of his mind. The only time he grows a pair, is when he demands The Shadow to come out of hiding and fight like a man. When he does come out of hiding, Claymore is reduced to a giggling, stuttering drooling scaredy cat. [[spoiler: Fortunately, he doesn't [[MercyKill live long.]] ]]
* VisibleInvisibility
* VoiceOfTheLegion: The Tulku.
* WeCanRuleTogether: Shiwan offers to make "Yingko" his partner.
** A slight subversion as Shiwan's idea of ruling is sharing half the world with Lamont so that they can go to war with one another [[ForTheEvulz for kicks.]]
* WickedCultured: Shiwan, later on. "I would no sooner destroy you than I would destroy a Rembrandt." Also, "That is a very nice tie! May I ask, where could I acquire one?"
* WireDilemma: Dr. Lane is forced to disarm the bomb without knowing how he built it. And did we mention that he's colorblind?
-->'''Margo:''' (strained, nudging the green wire) ''This'' is green. (nudges the red wire) ''That's'' red.
* WrongWire: 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"... [[spoiler: and pulls the red wire.]]
* YellowPeril: Fortunately averted. While the villains are Mongols, Dr. Tam and the Tulku are also Asian. Inverted with Dr. Claymore, who is white, and Lamont, also white, before his redemption. As Ying Ko, Lamont was a drug-lord who was terrorizing Tibet and its people.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Shiwan killed one of his warriors hypnotized by Lamont.
** Probably more pragmatic than the usual spitefulness. A minion who's vulnerable to your enemy's mind control is a definite liability.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: Lamont feels this when Shiwan makes his WeCanRuleTogether offer.
-->'''Lamont Cranston:''' [[ThatManIsDead That's not my name anymore.]]\\
'''Shiwan Khan:''' But it is nevertheless still who you ''are'', isn't it?!