MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,519 this week

The Shanghai Gesture (1941)

6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,798 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 25 critic

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), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 10 Sep 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 07 Nov 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 10 Jan 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 22 Feb 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 07 Jul 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Shanghai Gesture (1941)

The Shanghai Gesture (1941) on IMDb 6.8/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Shanghai Gesture.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Blue Angel is a sleazy bar and the local boys go there to see Lola who is the dancer. The teacher goes there to confront his students only to fall for the dancer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
China Girl (1942)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In November 1941, American news photographer Johnny 'Bugsy' Williams manages to escape from the Japanese and finds himself back in Burma where he meets the beautiful Miss Haoli Young. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gene Tierney, George Montgomery, Lynn Bari
Sundown (1941)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Englishmen fighting Nazis in Africa discover an exotic mystery woman living among the natives and enlist her aid in overcoming the Germans.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gene Tierney, Bruce Cabot, George Sanders
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Man is haunted by a murder he's committed.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Edward Arnold, Peter Lorre, Marian Marsh
Crime | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 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
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
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Princess is destined to marry the Emperor, until her sister steps in.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Franchot Tone, Grace Moore, Walter Connolly
Thunderbolt (1929)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Morgan, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl, ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Fay Wray, Richard Arlen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Poppy
...
Sir Guy Charteris
...
Doctor Omar
Ona Munson ...
'Mother' Gin Sling
Phyllis Brooks ...
The Chorus Girl
Albert Bassermann ...
The Commissioner
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
The Amah
Eric Blore ...
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:

People Live in Shanghai for Many Reasons... Most of Them Bad! 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

In the play, the setting was a brothel run by "Mother Goddam", who was once sold into prostitution, and it dealt with drug addition and nymphomania as well. Many initial adaptations of the original play were rejected by the Hays office, and they discouraged studios from making the film. The Chinese consulate also voiced objections to the portrayal of the Chinese in the play. See more »

Quotes

Poppy: You said Doctor Omar. Doctor of what?
Omar: Doctor of nothing, Miss Smith. It sounds important and hurts no one. Unlike most doctors.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "Years ago a speck was torn away from the mystery of China and became Shanghai. A distorted mirror of problems that beset the world today, it grew into a refuge for people who wished to live between the lines of laws and customs - - a modern Tower of Babel. Neither Chinese, European, British nor American it maintained itself for years in the ever increasing whirlpool of war. Its destiny, at present, is in the lap of the Gods - - as is the destiny of all cities. Our story has nothing to do with the present." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gangs of New York (2002) 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

 
Three Marlene .
4 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

Marlene Dietrich,even if she does not appear is present here :she's the marvelous Gene Tierney,the terrifying Ona Munson and the cynical Victor Mature."The Shanghai gesture" is one of my favorite Sternberg movies.I love the lines which warns us at the beginning of the film:it's not real Shanghai,it does not take place in the present.

"The Shanghai gesture" is an unclassifiable work: a film noir?a melodrama?Most likely an extravaganza ,an incredible exotic story which smells of the intoxicating perfume of poisonous flowers.The gigantic dive looks like a cobweb which the high priestess Mother Gin Sling spins ."Why not Mother Whiskey Soda? " Tierney asks.

All the characters are not what they seem ,they just pretend.Tierney has two names (one of them is the well-chosen "Poppy") and we only learn her real identity in the second half in a scene which seems completely "out of the movie".Mature is Doctor Omar ,doctor of nothing! Even the women in the cages and the sailors who buy them just pretend .Nothing is real.

Tierney's downfall is depicted in lavish detail:from the elegant woman of the beginning to the wreck Gin Sling invites to her Chinese New Year feast .Directing is absolutely breathtaking,when the camera circles around the dive where a cast of thousands -Sternberg even pays a tribute to the extras in the cast and credits,which is rare ,to my knowledge ,the first and last time it had been made-surrounds the heroine ,or in the final scenes ,when the shots merge with the firecrackers of the New Year.

"The Shanghai gesture" may be a guilty pleasure.But this kind of pleasure ,I ask for more!


46 of 49 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
florence reed in the shanghai gesture dbanks8816
versions Will-35
Discuss The Shanghai Gesture (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?