East of Shanghai (1931)
"Rich and Strange" (original title)

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Believing that an unexpected inheritance will bring them happiness, a married couple instead finds their relationship strained to the breaking point.



(novel), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Henry Kendall ...
Percy Marmont ...
Commander Gordon
The Princess
Elsie Randolph ...
The Old Maid


Fred and Emily Hill are leading a boring life in London. They receive a big inheritance by a rich relative and now they can realize all their dreams. They leave for a cruise behaving as rich people....but this is the beginning of the end. Richness makes they soon forget their love and family. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 December 1931 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

East of Shanghai  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title comes from Ariel's song in "The Tempest": "Full fathom five thy father lies, / Of his bones are coral made, / Those are pearls that were his eyes: / Nothing of him that doth fade, / But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange." See more »


When the Princess and Fred are getting up from the lounge chairs on the boat deck, the Princess's scarf is stuck to the sequins on her dress while sitting down but in the next shot when they are standing, the scarf is hanging loose by her side. See more »


[first lines]
Fred Hill: Hello Em.
Emily Hill: Hello Fred. I think you'll like me in this dress when it's done. Oh, have you broken your umbrella?
See more »


Referenced in The Story of 'Frenzy' (2001) See more »


Music by Fritz Stahlberg
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Strange Hitchcock
3 March 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In this early Alfred Hitchcock film, some more production values were invested in Rich and Strange than you would normally find in an early British sound film for 1931. Hitchcock did actual location shooting in Port Said and in Marseilles in this travelogue of a movie.

Marrieds Henry Kendall and Joan Barry seem to have settled in a very comfortable rut in their marriage. Might have been different had they had some children, but apparently that was not to be the case. Certainly if a small legacy hadn't come their way they would not have invested it in a round the world cruise.

But spend it that way they did and it proves to be an adventure of sorts. Both go on some flirtatious flings and a shipwreck in the China seas manages to bring them both together.

One thing I did like was the special effects in handling the sinking of their ship, quite good for its time. The dramatic highlight of the film is Kendall and Barry who were left on the drifting hulk of the ship, there and later on the Chinese junk that rescues them. The Chinese are portrayed with unusual sensitivity in terms of Kendall and Barry recognizing that while they're different and appear strange, they've got no right interfering in their culture.

Still its not what you would expect from Hitchcock, no chases after the McGuffin, no intricate murder or spy plots. He's out of his element, but to be fair he wasn't big enough to be calling his own shots then.

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