IMDb > The Shanghai Gesture (1941)
The Shanghai Gesture
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The Shanghai Gesture (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Writers:
Josef von Sternberg (adaptation)
Geza Herczeg (collaborator for adaptation) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Shanghai Gesture on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 January 1942 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
"POPPY"...the Victim of Vengeance! Her love of life and laughter led her to a most amazing doom! See more »
Plot:
A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling... See more » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
Dreamy von Sternberg Morality Tale... See more (56 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gene Tierney ... Poppy

Walter Huston ... Sir Guy Charteris

Victor Mature ... Doctor Omar
Ona Munson ... 'Mother' Gin Sling
Phyllis Brooks ... The Chorus Girl
Albert Bassermann ... The Commissioner
Maria Ouspenskaya ... The Amah
Eric Blore ... The Bookkeeper
Ivan Lebedeff ... The Gambler

Mike Mazurki ... 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)

Marcel Dalio ... The Master of the Spinning Wheel
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

John Abbott ... Poppy's Escort (uncredited)
Enrique Acosta ... Casino Gambler (uncredited)

Mimi Aguglia ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
Brooks Benedict ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
Jean De Briac ... De Micheaux (uncredited)
Steven Geray ... Man in Casino Helping Boris (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Casino Gambler (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Ryerson (uncredited)
Roland Lui ... Kim Chee (uncredited)
Allen Marlow ... Casino Gambler (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
Moy Ming ... Elderly Chinese Man (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Gambler with Cigar (uncredited)
Albert Pollet ... Gambler with Monocle (uncredited)
Emil Rameau ... Roulette Player (uncredited)
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Directed by
Josef von Sternberg 
 
Writing credits
Josef von Sternberg (adaptation)

Geza Herczeg (collaborator for adaptation) and
Jules Furthman (collaborator for adaptation)

John Colton (play)

Karl Vollmöller  collaborator for adaptation (uncredited)

Produced by
Theo. W. Baumfeld .... assistant producer
Albert de Courville .... associate producer
Arnold Pressburger .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Richard Hageman 
 
Cinematography by
Paul Ivano (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Sam Winston 
 
Art Direction by
Boris Leven 
 
Makeup Department
Hazel Rogers .... wigs for Miss Munson
Robert Stephanoff .... makeup artist (as Bob Stephanoff)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Kerr .... assistant director
Fred Pressburger .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Howard Bristol .... interior decorator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jack Noyes .... sound (as C. A. Noyes)
 
Special Effects by
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ned Scott .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Oleg Cassini .... costumes: Miss Tierney
Royer .... costumes: Miss Munson
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Richard Hageman .... conductor
 
Other crew
Tom Gubbins .... technical advisor
Aline Sholes .... technical advisor
Robert Blair .... stand-in: Victor Mature (uncredited)
Keye Luke .... mural: Mother Gin Sling's apartment (uncredited)
Arnold Pressburger .... presenter (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
99 min (copyright length) | USA:98 min (restored version) (1981) | West Germany:95 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (2009) | USA:Approved (PCA #7972)

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:
'Mother' Gin Sling:[on being a sex slave] My soles cut open and pebbles sewn inside to keep me from running away!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in La société du spectacle (1973)See more »
Soundtrack:
I'm Always Chasing RainbowsSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
49 out of 52 people found the following review useful.
Dreamy von Sternberg Morality Tale..., 30 March 2004
Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada

THE SHANGHAI GESTURE displays what was best and worst in Josef von Sternberg's 'German Expressionist' approach to film making, first seen by American audiences in his classic Marlene Dietrich productions of the 1930s. Each setting is decadent and mysterious, shot in soft focus, and wreathed in smoke; a sense of the absurd manifests itself in make-up, hairstyles, and costume; each character postures, incessantly, striking poses before delivering dialog; and there is always an undercurrent of sexual bondage, here manifested in the casual suggestions made by lazy, yet smoldering 'Dr. Omar' (Victor Mature), to the stranded showgirl, 'Dixie' (Phyllis Brooks), and the initially haughty, if naive 'Poppy/Victoria' (Gene Tierney), both of whom he easily 'bends' to his desires. In von Sternberg's world, there are seldom heroes, only survivors and predators.

Set in a fantasy version of the infamous Chinese port, GESTURE gathers a disparate group of international 'types', and sets them down in the multileveled center of inequity, a gambling parlor run by the legendary Chinese 'Mother' Gin Sling (Ona Munson). Ensnared by their debts, the mysterious woman 'owns' them, possessing an extraordinary degree of power.

Then the equally mysterious and powerful Sir Guy Charteris (Walter Huston) arrives in Shanghai, strong enough to control the local government, and with a goal of evicting 'Mother' Gin Sling, and tearing down her property. There is a shared 'skeleton' in both their closets, however, which she will reveal in the film's climactic 'Chinese New Year' dinner party...

While Munson could never 'pass' as Chinese, she does appear exotic and inscrutable, and is actually quite good, as is Huston, displaying a sensitivity masked in arrogant smugness. The true joy of the film, however, is watching the film's younger stars, early in their careers. Victor Mature, at 26, a year after his 'breakthrough' role in ONE MILLION B.C., poses more than acts in his role of an Arab gigolo, but clearly displays the sexuality that would make him a major heartthrob in the 40s; and Gene Tierney, not yet 21, occasionally overplays the 'fall' of her character, yet possesses the luminous beauty that would become her trademark.

Josef von Sternberg would only direct a handful of films after THE SHANGHAI GESTURE (receiving 'on screen' credit in even fewer), and this would be the last film he would have any kind of creative control over.

Faults and all, that alone would make THE SHANGHAI GESTURE worth viewing!

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What was the deal with the silent old Chinese amah? the sphynx
Gene's gown sleepybone
Title - - what gesture ?? doroberts-1
Irresistible ! Noirfan55
I wonder if Gail Sondergaard was offered the role of Mother Gin Sling marquisdeposa
Questions about holes in the plot (SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!) Tristan!-2
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