Shadow On the Land is a rarely-seen US TV adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here, featuring Jackie Cooper, Gene Hackman, Carol Lynley, John Forsythe, and a bunch of old school TV names. This is an attempt at an action-packed TV series that didn’t happen by Sidney Sheldon, of all people, so…it’s a very loose adaptation, shall we say.
In fact, it’s more of a fanfic sequel or something like it – the story takes place in It Can’t Happen Here’s world, only it’s the sixties and the US has been a fascist state since the thirties.
The movie’s never been released on video – most failed series pilots aren’t – and is not easily found for viewing online or as a bootleg, even. I thought I’d rectify that – it’s very much of interest to a wide range of geeks. (And seems to be watched and talked about on the Internet only by conspiracy heads, lately.)
Shadow On the Land can be seen as kind of a first pass for V, the 1980s miniseries/stealth about stealthy alien invaders who are rather obvious Nazi analogs. That series famously started out as an adaptation of It Can’t Happen Here, as well, and from the looks of the pilot for Shadow On the Land, the two series would have been very similar. Except one has alien fascists and one has just plain fascists.
Anyway, I know I’m not the only person who’s ever looked all over for a copy of this movie, and I hope this makes somebody’s day like it would mine, if I all of a sudden found it.