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The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  9 June 1948 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 16,895 users  
Reviews: 160 user | 81 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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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

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

Near the end of shooting, Orson Welles told Columbia executives that he wanted a complete set repainted on a Saturday for shooting on Monday. Columbia exec Jack Fier told Welles it was impossible, because of union rules and the expense that would be incurred by calling in a crew of painters to work on a weekend. Welles and several friends broke into the paint department that Saturday and repainted the set themselves, and when they were finished they hung a banner on the set that read "The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fier Himself". When the union painters arrived at work on Monday and saw that the set had been repainted by someone else, they refused to work, threw a picket line around the studio and threatened to stay on strike until a union crew was paid triple time for the work that had been done (which was why Fier had refused to authorize the work in the first place). To placate the union, Fier agreed to pay them what they wanted but put the cost on Welles' personal bill. In addition, he had the union painters paint a banner saying "All's Well That Ends Welles". See more »

Goofs

Narrator mentions they arrive back in San Francisco on 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 »

Quotes

Arthur Bannister, Criminal Lawyer: So money doesn't interest you, are you independently wealthy?
Michael O'Hara: I'm independent.
Arthur Bannister, Criminal Lawyer: Of money?
See more »

Connections

References Resurrection (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Michael O'Hara's Femme Fatale
10 March 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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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