The Shielding Shadow

The Shielding Shadow is a 1916 American action film serial directed by Louis J. Gasnier and Donald MacKenzie and starring Grace Darmond and Ralph Kellard.[1]

The Shielding Shadow
Directed byLouis J. Gasnier
Donald MacKenzie
Written byRandall Parrish
George B. Seitz
StarringGrace Darmond
Ralph Kellard
Distributed byPathé Exchange
Astra Film
Release date
  • October 1, 1916 (1916-10-01)
Running time
15 episodes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


The 15 chapter story involves the heroine being protected by a shadow with burning eyes. There's also a cloak of invisibility, some hypnotism and a giant octopus added to the mix.



Most of the chapters of this serial are lost with only chapters 4, 10, 11, 14 and 15 still remaining according to Treasures from the Film Archives by Ronald S. Magliozzi.

A French-American production, The Shielding Shadow was directly inspired by another silent movie serial, Judex - produced by Pathé Exchange's competitor Gaumont - whose first episode was titled The Mysterious Shadow. As Judex's release was delayed because of World War I, The Shielding Shadow was distributed in the United States before Judex. The Gaumont production, however, managed to be released in France before The Shielding Shadow (known in France as Ravengar). Both films appear to have been inspirations for the American pulp character The Shadow, who wears a costume similar to Judex's and has a power of invisibility like The Shielding Shadow's protagonist.[2]


  1. "Progressive Silent Film List: The Shielding Shadow". Retrieved July 5, 2009.
  2. Xavier Fournier, Super-héros : une histoire française, Huginn Muninn, 2014, p. 70-73
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