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Shanghai Express (1932) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • In 1931, during the civil war in China, a train leaves Beijing to Shanghai. Among the passengers, the British Captain Donald "Doc" Harvey that is traveling to operate the Vice-Governor of Shanghai; the courtesan Hui Fei; the Reverend Mr. Carmichael; the boarding house owner, Mrs. Haggerty; the French Major Lenard; the dealer Eric Baum; and the local Mr. Henry Chang. Out of the blue, Captain Harvey stumbles with the notorious courtesan Shanghai Lily, who is a "coaster" ("a woman that travels along the China coast with her wealthy clients"), and he recognizes her as her former lover Magdalen. Five years ago, Shanghai Lily tested his faith and love for her and Doc left her, in the beginning of her promiscuous life. Their encounter rekindles the old flame of their love and he shows the is wearing the watch she gave to him. The train is stopped by Chinese soldiers seeking out a rebel agent and they arrest him. But Chang telegraphs a coded message and the rebels take over the train along the trip. Chang, who is their leader, interviews the passengers to find someone worthwhile to be exchanged by the arrested agent and he chooses Captain Harvey. Chang also tries to force Shanghai Lily to stay with him but Captain Harvey defends her and knocks him down; then he rapes Hui Fei. When the government releases the rebel agent, Chang decides to revenge Harvey blinding him. However, Shanghai Lily offers herself to Chang to release Harvey. What will happen to her?

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • The notorious Shanghai Lily, the White Flower of China, travels by train from Peking to Shanghai, much to the consternation of her fellow travelers. Lily has quite a reputation as a woman who does whatever is necessary to get by. On board the train she runs into a former flame a doctor, Captain Donald 'Doc' Harvey. These are dangerous times as the civil war has spread and the train will be traveling through rebel-held territories. Harvey wants nothing to do with her now but when their train is stopped and he is taken hostage and held for ransom, Lily is prepared to go to any length to have him set free.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • A loose woman rediscovers a former lover during a dangerous train ride to Shanghai.

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