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 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 Ian McKellen.No relation to the Hans Christian Andersenstory of the same name.
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.
Cement Shoes: The Shadow saves a science professor from gangsters who were going to dump him in the river for accidentally witnessing a crime.
Chekhov's Skill: More like Chekhov's Disability. Dr. Lane's red-green colorblindness leads to him nearly cutting the wrong wire in a Wire Dilemma 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.
Evil Sorcerer: Shiwan Khan, the last descendant of Genghis Khan, who was taught by the same teacher (whom Shiwan then killed) as Lamont. In fact, Shiwan is strong enough to cloud the minds of all New Yorkers by making them not see a huge building in the middle of the city. In the end, Lamont proves himself more than a match for Shiwan and has a surgeon friend remove Shiwan's Psychic Powers through brain surgery.
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 which for someone as pompous as Khan would be Hell.
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.
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.
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
Hoist by His Own Petard: 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 find out he is The Shadow.
I Have a Family: Dr Tam tries this on his would-be murderers. The leader just scoffs and says "They'll get over it".
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.
Lobotomy: At the end, the villain is lobotomized in such a way that all he has lost is his psychic powers.
Male Gaze: In-universe. Farley Claymore can't seem to tear his eyes off Margo Lane's "clever neckline".
Man of Wealth and Taste: Both Lamont and Shiwan Khan. Khan admires Lamont so much he even buys the same brand of suit and tie.
The Merch: The movie received a Batman-esque toyline. Besides the usual Shadow variations, there was a Lamont Cranston/Shadow figure, two Shiwan Khan variants, a Mongol Warrior, and the voodoo-themed Dr. Mocquino. And, yes, the very cool taxicab was a part of the toyline, though it lacked a Moe Shrevnitz figure. The Shadow also got a Batmobile of his own, the Mirage SX-100.
Mr. Fanservice: Lamont (Alec Baldwin) was quite dapper in the scene when he meets Margo.
Ms. Fanservice: Penelope Ann Miller as Margo expecially in her white dress.
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...
Nightmare Sequence: 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 Flashback Nightmare of his time as Ying Ko.
Never Recycle a Building: Inverted - Shiwan made everyone believe that the building got torn down, though no one can remember when. Or if.
Not Brainwashed: Farley Claymore, who signed up with Khan in exchange for power.
Psychic-Assisted Suicide: 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 make Farley Claymore jump through a third-story window.
Sealed Evil in a Can: 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.
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.
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. It may actually be enriched uranium or even plutonium, though how you would get the latter with 1920's technology boggles the mind.
Villainous Breakdown: 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. Fortunately, he doesn't live long.
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 and other for kicks.
Wicked Cultured: 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?"
Wire Dilemma: 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.
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 and the Tulku are also Asian.