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Dolores del Rio
Michael O'Hara, against his better judgement, hires on as a crew member of Arthur Bannister's yacht, sailing to San Francisco. They pick up Grisby, Bannister's law partner, en route. Bannister has a wife, Rosalie, who seems to like Michael much better than she likes her husband. After they dock in Sausalito, Michael goes along with Grisby's weird plan to fake his (Grisby's) murder so he can disappear untailed. He wants the $5000 Grisby has offered, so he can run off with Rosalie. But Grisby turns up actually murdered, and Michael gets blamed for it. Somebody set him up, but it is not clear who or how. Bannister (the actual murderer?) defends Michael in court. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
At the point in time that The Lady from Shanghai was being made, the marriage of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth was disintegrating. The film was as much an effort by Welles to rekindle the old flames as it was to make a classic noir. Not received well at the time, The Lady from Shanghai has gotten more and more critical acclaim as years pass. Gotten better with age so to speak.
Welles is Irish seaman Michael O'Hara who on a fateful night rescues the beautiful Rita Hayworth from three muggers in Central Park. Sparks do fly, but then comes the rub, turns out the lady is married to crippled, but brilliant criminal attorney Everett Sloane. Nevertheless Sloane takes an apparent liking to Welles and hires him to skipper his yacht.
So far this film is starting to sound a lot like Gilda. If Orson had seen Gilda and was not at this point thinking with his male member, he would have skedaddled back to the seaman's hiring hall in Lower Manhattan. Instead he gets himself involved in a lovely web or intrigue and finds himself pegged for two murders and Sloane as his eminent counsel.
Welles for whatever reason decided that his wife would be a blond in this film. Supposedly Harry Cohn hit the roof as Rita was internationally known for her coppery red hair. This may have soured him on the picture as he joined the legion of studio bosses who saw Welles's vision of independent film making a threat to their power.
Stage actor Glenn Anders plays Sloane's partner Grisby who is one slimy dude, he winds up a corpse. The other corpse to be here is Ted DeCorsia, a bottom feeding private detective who tries to go in business for himself.
It's a good noir thriller, showing Rita at her glamorous best even if she was a blond here. The final shoot out in the hall of mirrors is beautifully staged, but I wouldn't recommend seeing it if one is on any controlled substance.
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