International Crime (1938)

US / 64 minutes / bw / Grand National Dir: Charles Lamont Pr: Max Alexander, Arthur Alexander Scr: Jack Natteford, John Krafft Story: Foxhound (1937) by Maxwell Grant (i.e., Theodore A. Tinsley) Cine: Marcel Le Picard Cast: Rod La Rocque, Astrid Allwyn, Thomas Jackson, Oscar O’Shea, Lew Hearn, Wilhelm von Brincken, Tenen Holtz, William Pawley, Wm. Moore (i.e., Peter Potter), John St. Polis, Jack Baxley, Walter Bonn, Harry Bradley, Will Stanton.

This follow-up to the previous year’s The Shadow Strikes (1937) is often listed as a sequel, but so much has been changed about the essential setup—perhaps reflecting the fact that this movie was based on a much later novel in the series than its predecessor—that it’s almost as if it’s a completely separate entity linked only by the fact that the two movies’ leading characters share a name and pseudonym.

Rod La Rocque as Lamont Cranston

In this iteration Lamont Cranston is a crime reporter on the Daily Classic (or Evening Classic; both names are used); he also gives a bulletin every evening on the paper’s affiliate radio station, EMOR. The Shadow isn’t the name of his crime-fighting alter ego; it’s merely the Continue reading

The Shadow Strikes (1937)

US / 62 minutes / bw / Grand National Dir: Lynn Shores Pr: Max Alexander, Arthur Alexander Scr: Al Martin, Rex Taylor Story: The Ghost of the Manor (1933) by Maxwell Grant (i.e., Walter B. Gibson) Cine: Marcel Pickard (i.e., Marcel Le Picard) Cast: Rod La Rocque, Lynn Anders (i.e., Agnes Anderson), James Blakeley, Walter McGrail, Bill Kellogg, Cy Kendall, Kenneth Harlan, Norman Ainsley, John St. Polis, Wilson Benge, John Carnivale, James Morton, John Dilson.

I posted a while back about the dire Monogram series of The Shadow movies, and thought it might be fun to look at a couple of the character’s earlier screen incarnations. Here’s the first of two movies released in the 1930s by Grand National, with Rod La Rocque in the title role; the other was International Crime (1938), about which I’ll be posting here shortly.

Rod La Rocque as Lamont Cranston

Lamont Cranston (La Rocque), in his guise as The Shadow, interrupts a robbery in the offices of lawyer Chester Randall and calls the cops on the thieves, but fails to make himself scarce by the time the cops—Captain Breen (Harlan) and Breen’s sidekick Kelly (Morton)—turn up. To explain his presence to them he presents himself as Chester Randall.

Lynn Anders/Agnes Anderson as Marcia

Just then the phone rings. Elderly millionaire Caleb Delthern (St. Polis), Continue reading

Drag-Net, The (1936)

US / 62 minutes / bw / Burroughs–Tarzan Dir: Vin Moore Pr: W.N. Selig Scr: J. Mulhauser (i.e., James Mulhauser) Story: play by Willard Mack Cine: Edward Kull Cast: Rod La Rocque, Marian Nixon, Betty Compson, Jack Adair, John Dilson, Edward Keane, Donald Kerr, Joseph W. Girard, John Bantry, Ed LeSaint, Allen Mathews, Sid Payne.

The Drag-Net - hardworking social report Kit Van Buren (Nixon)

Hard-working, hard-partying social reporter Kit Van Buren (Marian Nixon).

Ne’er-do-well playboy Lawrence “Larry” Thomas Jr. (La Rocque) is turfed out of the family legal practice by his father (LeSaint) for his idleness and decadent habits. Instead he must take a job as assistant to DA Thomas J. Harrison (Girard). The night before joining the DA’s office Larry takes his society-reporter girlfriend Katherine “Kit” Van Buren (Nixon) to a dancing/gambling niterie called The Dover Club, run by notorious hoodlum Joe Ross (Adair):

Larry: Tonight we celebrate.
Kit: Celebrate? But that’s what we do five nights in a week, isn’t it?

The Drag-Net - Mollie (Compson) arrives at the Dover Club

Mollie (Betty Compson) arrives at the Dover Club.

That evening Mollie Cole (Compson) arrives to see Ross. Her husband Fred (Bantry) is doing eight years for a crime he committed with Ross and crooked shyster Arnold Crane (Dilson); Crane promised he’d Continue reading