Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Shadow Laughs!

This 1933 breezy crime mystery might be trying to fool folks into thinking it had something to do with Street & Smith's famous pulp feature The Shadow, but the truth it hasn't a thing to do with any of that.

The Shadow Laughs is a whodunnit with a smarmy reporter (Hal Skelly) dividing his time between making wisecracks, hitting on a small time criminal's sister, and solving a bank heist which is turning up dead bodies with thousand dollar bills in hand. The police are a bunch of bozos in this one and let the reporter lead the way messing up crime scenes and constantly interfering with their investigation.

It's passable entertainment, not as bad as some reviews make it out to be, but it's nothing more. And contrary to some reviews of this flick, there is a shadow to be seen and it does laugh at least once, so the title is fair enough I suppose.

On an acting note, this movie does feature Cesar Romero in his very first outing, and he's recognizable as a henchman for a gang boss. Rose Hobart plays the romantic lead and she had already played Muriel Carew in the 1931 Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde a picture of considerable reputation. She later shows up Tower of London with Karloff.

This ain't a movie to seek out, but it's not terrible to watch if you stumble across it.

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