Invisible Avenger

1981. INVISIBLE AVENGER (1958-usa). With Richard Derr, Mark Daniels, Helen WESTCOTT. Co-directed by JAMES WONG HOWE. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts, men? Only The Shadow knows…” This catchphrase is all-too-familiar to mystery lovers as the opening lines of a vastly popular radio program showcasing a stalwart hero: Lamont Cranston, AKA “The Shadow.” Cranston also was featured in several movies, one of which is this bone-chilling melodrama. The setting is New Orleans, where Pablo Ramirez, a politician and native of the Latin American country of Santa Cruz, is in exile. Ramirez’ situation is a delicate one. His supporters are preparing to march against Santa Cruz’ dictator, and are looking for him to return home and assume power. Ramirez hoping that Cranston can help him, and has approached Tony Alcade, a jazz trumpeter and friend of Cranston, to act as intermediary. While on the phone with Cranston, Alcade is brutally murdered. Escorted by Jogendra, his mentor, an Oriental mystic who has taught him “certain ancient techniques of mind,” Cranston sets off for New Orleans to investigate. He promptly finds himself touring the seamier night spots of Bourbon Street, where he encounters a gallery of sinister types who are suspicious at best, brutal and violent at worst. What makes the character of Cranston so extraordinary that, with the help of Jogendra, he has developed the uncanny ability to make himself invisible. To anyone present when Cranston employs his powers, all that appears left of him is his shadow! James Wong Howe, who co-directed the film with John Sledge, is better-known as one of HollywoodÕs all time-great cinematographers. 57 minutes. Crime Mystery Suspense