Invisible Avenger

Tagged: Film

Film (1958; vt The Invisible Avenger, vt Bourbon Street Shadows, vt Terror in the Night). Republic Pictures. Produced by Emanuel Demby and Eric Sayers. Directed by James Wong Howe, Ben Parker and John Sledge. Written by George Bellak and Ruth Jeffries from a story by Walter B Gibson (uncredited). Cast includes Mark Daniels, Steve Dano, Richard Derr, Dan Mullin and Helena Westcott. 60 minutes. Black and white.

Expatriate revolutionary Victor Ramirez (Mullin) escapes his native Caribbean nation of Santa Cruz to the City of New Orleans, Louisiana, with his country's secret police in pursuit. In the city, he attempts to obtain help from the hero Lamont Cranston alias The Shadow (Derr), making his approach through musician Tony Alcalde (Dano), who knows how to contact Cranston but is killed before he doing so. Cranston investigates Daro's murder, which leads to his aiding Ramirez. Cranston's mentor Jogendra (Daniels) is on hand to aid him; they use Telepathy to communicate with each other. The Shadow also employs Hypnosis to vanish from his foe's sight as the action unfolds (see Invisibility).

Invisible Avenger was planned as the first two episodes of a Shadow Television series; for uncertain reasons these were instead edited together as this modest feature film. It is of note as the first film to feature The Shadow's powers of telepathy, although the Pulp hero here seems more like a private detective with unusual abilities. The plot's echoes of then contemporary events in Cuba were probably intentional. [GSt]

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