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

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The Shanghai Gesture -- Mother Gin Sling is the owner of a shanghai casino which, despite her bribes, the local authorities have decided the close under pressure from British financier Sir Guy Charteris. Charteris has his own plans for the property.


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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Josef von Sternberg (adaptation)
Geza Herczeg (collaborator for adaptation) ...
View company contact information for The Shanghai Gesture on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 January 1942 (USA) See more »
"POPPY"...the Victim of Vengeance! Her love of life and laughter led her to a most amazing doom! See more »
A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling... See more » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
Certainly among the most beautiful films ever See more (56 total) »


  (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)
Paul Bradley ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
Jean De Briac ... De Micheaux (uncredited)
Jack Deery ... Casino Patron (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)
Count Stefenelli ... Casino Patron (uncredited)

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)

James M. Cain  uncredited
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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

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 »
'Mother' Gin Sling:[of an ordinance that would outlaw her establishment] I've lived by my own ordinances for a long time now, and I intend to disregard all others.See more »
Movie Connections:
I'm Always Chasing RainbowsSee more »


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39 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
Certainly among the most beautiful films ever, 23 December 2004
Author: Tony Patti from United States

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.

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Irresistible ! Noirfan55
Me likee chinee new yeah phlbrq58
Questions about holes in the plot (SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!) Tristan!-2
What was the deal with the silent old Chinese amah? the sphynx
Gene's gown sleepybone
Title - - what gesture ?? doroberts-1
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