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The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 9 June 1948 (USA)
Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.




(story based on a novel by), (screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Sidney Broome (as Ted De Corsia)
Gus Schilling ...
Louis Merrill ...
Jake Bjornsen
Evelyn Ellis ...
Harry Shannon ...
Cab Driver


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


One who keeps his nature keeps his original nature in the end. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 June 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Irish  »

Box Office


$2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After distinguished service during WWII in coastal patrol off California, the Zaca was sold out of Errol Flynn's estate and went through years of neglect and disputes in ownership. Rescued from certain destruction and restored by a wealthy Italian businessman, it sails now out of Monte Carlo, and is recognized as one of the finest yachts in the world. See more »


The narrator mentions they arrive back in San Francisco in early October, but in the document (prepared by Grisby) that Wells signs verifying his killing of Grisby, it is dated August 9th, supposedly the next day. See more »


George Grisby: You think the world is coming to an end?
Michael O'Hara: There was a start to the world sometime, so I guess it'll come to an end.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no director credit. Welles' main credit reads "Screen Play and Production Orson Wells". See more »


Na Baixa do Sapateiro (Bahia)
Written by Ary Barroso
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This Is One Wild-And-Crazy Film Noir!
13 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Of all the film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s, this has to rank as one of the strangest, and most fun to watch. I say that because of the four main actors: Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane and Glenn Anders.

The first two names are familiar to everyone but it was the last two that made this movie so entertaining to me, especially Anders. His character, "George Grisby," is one of the strangest people I've ever seen on film. His voice, and some of the things he said, have to be heard to be believed. Slaone isn't far behind in the "strange" category. Hayworth is not as glamorous with short, blonde hair but still is Hayworth, which means a lot to ogle if you are a guy. Welles' is as fascinating as always. One tip: if you have the DVD, turn on the English subtitles. His character in this movie is an Irishman and you need the subtitles to understand everything he says.

Welles also directed the film which means you have great camera angles and wonderful facial closeups. You also have a unique ending, visually, with a shootout in a house of mirrors. Great stuff! As bizarre as this film is, I still thought the buffoon-like carnival atmosphere at the trial near the end was too much and took away from the seriousness of the scene. Other than that, no complaints.

This is great entertainment, which is the name of the game.

58 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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