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Shanghai Express (1932)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  12 February 1932 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,392 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 34 critic

A loose woman rediscovers a former lover during a dangerous train ride to Shanghai.

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(screen play by), (based on the story by)
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Title: Shanghai Express (1932)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Captain 'Doc' Harvey
...
Hui Fei
...
Mr. Henry Chang
...
Sam Salt
...
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 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The black-and-white leather gloves Dietrich wears at the start of the film were custom-made by Hermes. 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

Sam Salt: I can't make head or tail outta' you, Mr. Chang. Are you Chinese, or are you white, or what are you?
Mr. Henry Chang: My mother is Chinese. My father was white.
Sam Salt: You look more like a white man to me.
Mr. Henry Chang: I'm not proud of my white blood.
Sam Salt: Oh, you're not, are you?
Mr. Henry Chang: No, I'm not.
Sam Salt: Rather be a Chinaman, huh?
Mr. Henry Chang: Yes.
Sam Salt: What future is there in bein' a Chinaman? You're born, eat your way through a handful of rice, and you die. What a country! Let's have a drink!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Without Regret (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Excellent Marlene Dietrich Romance Film
26 February 2000 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Nine first-class passengers board a train to travel the 3-day trip from Peiping, China, to Shanghai. Nine souls with widely varying backgrounds & uncertain futures. For they are traveling into countryside racked by civil war and one of their number may not be all he seems. What dangers await & who will survive the journey on the SHANGHAI EXPRESS?

Marlene Dietrich is mysteriously beautiful as Shanghai Lilly, a `coaster' (a woman living by her wits on the coast of China) whom all men - and most viewers- find fascinating. Clive Brook, a silent film star little remembered now, is very effective as the British Army doctor who was once Lilly's lover. Anna May Wong plays an exotic Chinese prostitute who is used to taking care of herself.

The supporting cast is equally good: Warner Oland as a sly Eurasian; Eugene Pallette as a jovial American gambler; Lawrence Grant as a grumpy old English missionary; Gustav von Seyffertitz as an invalid German with a dangerous secret; Emile Chautard as an elderly French Major with a hidden past; and wonderful old Louise Closser Hale as a feisty American widow who runs `the best boarding house in Shanghai.'

Paramount put a lot of money into this pre-Production Code adventure drama, which has an exciting plot, good acting & plenty of romance. The Peiping scenes, with the crowded tenements squeezing right down to the very railroad tracks, are especially well done.


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