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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 15,452 users  
Reviews: 158 user | 75 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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Edit

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
Edit

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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

Orson Welles originally wanted Barbara Laage for the lead. See more »

Goofs

Rita dives off the cliffs. However, in the following scene as she boards the boat her hair is dry. See more »

Quotes

'Goldie' Goldfish: [Speaking about Broome] I don't speak their language, see, and they want me to identify this guy. What's the Spanish for drunken bum?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sweesters: Virtual Room: La dama de Xangai (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Na Baixa do Sapateiro (Bahia)
(uncredited)
Written by Ary Barroso
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.


18 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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