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The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

 -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  9 June 1948 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 14,446 users  
Reviews: 151 user | 71 critic

Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Glenn Anders ...
...
Sidney Broome (as Ted De Corsia)
Erskine Sanford ...
Judge
Gus Schilling ...
Goldie
...
Louis Merrill ...
Jake Bjornsen
Evelyn Ellis ...
Bessie
Harry Shannon ...
Cab Driver
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Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | court | murder plot | seaman | partner | See more »

Taglines:

"I told you... you know nothing about wickedness" See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 June 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Irish  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,927 (USA) (28 August 1998)

Gross:

$7,927 (USA) (28 August 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film was screened for Columbia president Harry Cohn, he found it so incomprehensible he offered to pay $1,000 to anyone who could explain the plot to him. Later he decided to clarify the film by beginning it with the trial scene and telling the preceding part of the story in flashbacks, but abandoned the plan because so much new footage would have had to be shot it would have nearly doubled the film's cost. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. and Mrs Bannister are talking on a bench in the courthouse, he is taking a drag on a cigarette. A moment later, the cigarette is resting in his hand on top of his cane. See more »

Quotes

Michael O'Hara: One who follows his nature keeps his original nature in the end.
See more »


Soundtracks

Please Don't Kiss Me
Written by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher
Performed by Rita Hayworth (dubbed by Anita Ellis) (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Visually stunning, but badly written and acted film noir
23 September 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Apparently Welles made this film to help finance a Mercury Theatre production. It shows. It's sloppy.

The film noir plot is complex. Too complex for Welles, it's riddled with holes. The whole thing hinges on O'Hara behaving in ways that only a fool would even consider. Hayworth is stunning but equally idiotic as the femme fatale. However, Everett Sloane and Glenn Anders are good fun as the Hayworth's crippled, hot-shot criminal defence lawyer, husband and his giggling, slimy business partner, although their performances hinge on caricature rather than character.

The trial scene is hilarious, but in ways that were probably not entirely intended by Welles. Sloane is defending Welles on a murder charge, but then both Sloane and Hayworth, Sloane's wife, get called as witnesses for the prosecution without notice. The whole thing is farcical, so farcical indeed that Welles's character decides to scarper. Visually the section that follows is one of the most stunning I have seen.

Finally, Welles's Irish accent was awful. There did not appear to be any reason for it. His character could just as easily have been an American for all the difference it made to the plot.

In all, the whole is one of the most laughable film noirs I have ever seen.


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