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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.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(story based on a novel by), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Glenn Anders ...
...
Sidney Broome (as Ted De Corsia)
...
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:

You'll forget there ever was a woman like Gilda...when you meet the Lady From Shanghai! 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:

$2,300,000 (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

According to Orson Welles, this film grew out of an act of pure desperation. Welles, whose Mercury Theatre company produced a musical version of "Around the World in 80 Days," was in desperate need of money just before the Boston preview. Mere hours before the show was due to open, the costumes had been impounded and unless Welles could come up with $55,000 to pay outstanding debts, the performance would have to be canceled. Stumbling upon a copy of "If I Die Before I Wake," the novel upon which this film is based, Welles phoned Harry Cohn, instructing him to buy the rights to the novel and offering to write, direct and star in the film so long as Cohn would send $55,000 to Boston within two hours. The money arrived, and the production went on as planned. See more »

Goofs

When Grisby is toasting to the murder plot with O'Hara, he holds up a glass that is 3/4 full of beer. When he raises the glass up to drink from it, it is almost completely full. 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 »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits shown over a water background. See more »

Connections

Edited into Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Amado Mio
(uncredited)
Written by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher
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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