6.8/10
1,985
56 user 25 critic

The Shanghai Gesture (1941)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 January 1942 (USA)
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 »

Writers:

(adaptation), (collaborator for adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 (SD) with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Atwill, Edward Everett Horton
Macao (1952)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix
Morocco (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A cabaret singer and a Legionnaire fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the results of his womanizing and due to the appearance of a rich man who wants her for himself.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Adolphe Menjou
Ana-ta-han (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Josef von Sternberg directed, photographed, provides the voice-over narration and wrote the screenplay (from a based-on-actual event novel by Michiro Maruyana translated by Younghill Kang) ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Akemi Negishi, Tadashi Suganuma, Kisaburo Sawamura
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders
Dishonored (1931)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Austrian Secret Service sends its most seductive agent to spy on the Russians.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Victor McLaglen, Gustav von Seyffertitz
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain
Whirlpool (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe
Dragonwyck (1946)
Drama | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A simple Connecticut farm girl is recruited by a distant relative, an aristocratic patroon, to be governess to his young daughter in his Hudson Valley mansion.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Vincent Price
Sundown (1941)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In 1941, a mysterious Somaliland native woman helps the British against the Nazis.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gene Tierney, Bruce Cabot, George Sanders
Blonde Venus (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sir Guy Charteris
...
Doctor Omar
...
'Mother' Gin Sling
Phyllis Brooks ...
The Chorus Girl
Albert Bassermann ...
The Commissioner
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
The Amah
...
The Bookkeeper
...
The Gambler
...
The Coolie
Clyde Fillmore ...
The Comprador
Grayce Hampton ...
The Social Leader
Rex Evans ...
The Counselor
Mikhail Rasumny ...
The Appraiser (as Mikhail Rasumni)
Michael Dalmatoff ...
The Bartender (as Michael Delmatoff)
Edit

Storyline

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 Charteris, wealthy entrepreneur, has purchased a large area of Shanghai, forcing Gin Sling to vacate by the coming Chinese New Year. Under orders from Gin Sling, who has found out Poppy is Charteris' daughter, the smarmy Doctor Omar leads Poppy deeper and deeper into an addiction to gambling and alcohol. Gin Sling, realizing that Charteris was her long-ago husband who she thinks abandoned her, plans her revenge by inviting Charteris to a Chinese New Year dinner party to expose his past indiscretions. Charteris, however, has a suprise of his own to spring on Gin Sling. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mystery-lure of the Far East! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shangai, ville de folies  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (1981) (restored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the 1930s Cecil B. DeMille wanted to film John Colton's play with Jetta Goudal as Mother Goddam, but Censorship Czar Will Hays would not lift his ban on the play. See more »

Quotes

Omar: The moving finger writes, and having writ - it moves on. Nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears wash out a word of it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[after the cast credits] ... And a large cast of "HOLLYWOOD EXTRAS" who without expecting credit or mention stand ready day and night to do their best - - and who at their best are more than good enough to deserve mention. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Society of the Spectacle (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Carroll
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
Played on piano by Rex Evans at Gin Sling's dinner party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Certainly among the most beautiful films ever
23 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the most beautiful films ever made. Von Sternberg had a strange and painterly way of composing a frame when he shot his films. In earlier films the scenes abounded in detail, and often had layers that would stretch back into the distance, or simply add complexity and a sense of the tumult of the living all around. In this film he seemed to change his focus to the glamorous portrait, and brought to life some of the most stunning shots of actors I have ever seen.

If you wish to see the breathtaking beauty of Gene Tierney at its height that this is the film to see it. She's so willful and spoiled, suggesting the nymphomaniac that nobody could suggest any other way thanks to the censorship. Everyone in the film seems to licking their lips in anticipation of some decadent delight that will be happening off screen. And time and time again Sternberg throws up another static, stagy, yet impossibly beautiful portrait of one of his stars.

The scent of opium and sex practically oozes from every frame.


40 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Irresistible ! Noirfan55
Title - - what gesture ?? doroberts-1
What was the deal with the silent old Chinese amah? the sphynx
Available On DVD ReganRebecca
versions Will-35
florence reed in the shanghai gesture dbanks8816
Discuss The Shanghai Gesture (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?