MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 9,398 this week

Shanghai Express (1932)

Passed  -  Adventure | Drama | Romance  -  12 February 1932 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,888 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 32 critic

Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three... See full summary »

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 10 Jan 2011
 
DVD
a list of 40 titles
created 27 May 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 14 Oct 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 23 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Shanghai Express (1932)

Shanghai Express (1932) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Shanghai Express.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Blonde Venus (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A cabaret singer takes up with a millionaire to pay for her gravely ill husband's operation.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Herbert Marshall
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Country orphan Lily goes to Berlin to stay with her tippling aunt, and soon meets Richard, handsome sculptor across the street. Persuaded half-reluctantly to pose for Richard, her physical ... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A former Imperial Russian general and cousin of the Czar ends up in Hollywood as an extra in a movie directed by a former revolutionary.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent, William Powell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling, a dragon-lady who worked herself up from poverty to buy the casino. Sir Guy ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Victor Mature
Desire (1936)
Comedy | Romance | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, John Halliday
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova
Angel (1937)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas
Bad Girl (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell
Underworld (1927)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson
Stars: George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent
Piccadilly (1929)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young Chinese woman, working in the kitchen at a London dance club, is given the chance to become the club's main act which soon leads to a plot of betrayal, forbidden love and murder.

Director: Ewald André Dupont
Stars: Gilda Gray, Anna May Wong, Jameson Thomas
East Lynne (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Ann Harding, Clive Brook, Conrad Nagel
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Shanghai Lily
...
Captain 'Doc' Harvey
...
Hui Fei
...
Mr. Henry Chang
...
Sam Salt
Lawrence Grant ...
Reverend Mr. Carmichael
Louise Closser Hale ...
Mrs. Haggerty
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Eric Baum
Emile Chautard ...
Major Lenard
Edit

Storyline

Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three days. The British Army doctor, Donald Harvey, knew Lil before she became a famous "coaster." A fellow passenger defines a coaster as "a woman who lives by her wits along the China coast." When Chinese guerillas stop the train, Dr. Harvey is selected as the hostage. Lil saves him, but can she make him believe that she really hasn't changed from the woman he loved five years before? Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Many Men Had Loved Her -- but only one had been loved in return !


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

12 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El expreso de Shanghai  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Howard Hawks made an uncredited contribution to the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

The telegraph forms shown on screen are filled out in Chinese and meant to be Chinese, but in fact are in English and therefore American. See more »

Quotes

Shanghai Lily: Can't you do something about this?
Reverend Mr. Carmichael: All I can suggest is that you get down on your knees and pray.
Shanghai Lily: I think that you're right, if God is still on speaking terms with me.
Reverend Mr. Carmichael: God remains on speaking terms with everybody.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Slaying the Dragon (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"It Took More Than One Man To Change My Name To Shanghai Lily"
11 May 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of Marlene Dietrich's most popular films from her early period with Joseph Von Sternberg was Shanghai Express. In fact her portrayal of the notorious Shanghai Lily is the main reason for watching this film today.

Set in Kuomintang China, the film concentrates on a group of train passengers making a journey from Peking to Shanghai. These are the white passengers all heading for their extraterritorial enclaves on the China coast and a couple of richer Chinese. One of them is Warner Oland who is a seemingly respectable Chinese merchant, but actually a notorious warlord leader a group that Chiang Kai-Shek has sworn to exterminate. In fact during this period his government was doing just that.

Oland is best known for playing Chinese detective Charlie Chan, but he's not dispensing fortune cookie wisdom here. He's a most menacing figure who when he's revealed holds all the lives of the passengers in his hands. The other Oriental in this group is well to do prostitute Anna May Wong. She and Dietrich find themselves kindred spirits and are shunned by the other passengers.

It's a reunion of sorts for Dietrich, another of the passengers is Clive Brook a British army doctor who is on his way to China to perform a delicate operation on a big shot. He and Dietrich were once involved, but when he dumped her, she took the road that made her the notorious Shanghai Lily.

The main weakness of Shanghai Express in fact is Brook. He's such a cold fish drip of a man, I can't see how Dietrich and he could ever have been involved. The film would work a lot better if the role had been cast with someone of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr's charm. Still Brook proves the old flame hasn't quite died down and in fact it hasn't for Marlene either.

Other characters on the train are Lawrence Grant as a reverend Davidson type missionary, Louise Closser Hale as an old American dowager, Emile Chautard as a disgraced French Army officer, Gustave Von Seyfertitz as a hypocritical opium dealer, and Eugene Palette as a crass American businessman as only Eugene Palette can play them. They provide quite a cross section of the western powers who were nibbling on the Chinese body politic at the time.

Shanghai Express won an Oscar for Cinematography and was in the running for Best Picture that year, losing to Grand Hotel which has a lot of similarities to this film. Dietrich is unforgettable as Shanghai Lily and this is a must for her fans.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD paisleyraye
One of Dietrich's best ejgreen77
Smoking gerardgraetrex
Discuss Shanghai Express (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?