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Shanghai Surprise (1986)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Drama  |  29 August 1986 (USA)
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Reviews: 28 user | 21 critic

Glendon Wasey is a fortune hunter looking for a fast track out of China. Gloria Tatlock is a missionary nurse seeking the curing powers of opium for her patients. Fate sets them on a hectic... See full summary »



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Title: Shanghai Surprise (1986)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Glendon Wasey
Walter Faraday
Willie Tuttle
Philip Sayer ...
Justin Kronk
Joe Go
Kay Tong Lim ...
Mei Gan
Sonserai Lee ...
Ho Chong
Professor Toru Tanaka ...
Yamagani San
Michael Aldridge ...
Mr. Burns
Sarah Lam ...
China Doll's Maid
George She ...
Wu Ch'En She
Won Gam Bor ...
Rickshaw King
To Chee Kan ...
China Doll's Boatman


Glendon Wasey is a fortune hunter looking for a fast track out of China. Gloria Tatlock is a missionary nurse seeking the curing powers of opium for her patients. Fate sets them on a hectic, exotic, and even romantic quest for stolen drugs. But they are up against every thug and smuggler in Shangai. Written by Mehmet Karaca <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

china | missionary | opium | villain | car | See All (57) »


A romantic adventure for the dangerous at heart.


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 August 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aventuras en Shanghai  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)


$2,315,683 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though former husband and wife Sean Penn and Madonna only ever made one movie together, it being this film, Madonna did sing the theme song for another Sean Penn movie, which was "Live to Tell" for At Close Range (1986), releasing in the same year as this film. See more »


In the harbor scene when Gloria meets Glendon most ships at the back have flags of communist China that did not even exist at that time (1938). See more »


[first title card]
Title Card: Shanghai 1937
Title Card: The Year of the Japanese Occupation
See more »


Referenced in Blood Massacre (1991) See more »


Hottest gong in town
Music & Lyrics by George Harrison
Arranged by John Du Prez
Performed by The Zig Zaggers
Courtesy of Dark Horse Records & Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

18 May 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Believe me this film is awful. Now I am a BIG Madonna fan and I have tried, out of duty, to watch and enjoy this film, but I can find no redeeming quality. The script is terrible, the direction is misguided, the acting dire...need I go on?

I didn't even get as far as enjoying it, I have never seen it all the way through. Sorry Madonna, but as I am sure you know, this is a stinker!

13 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Not the worst movie ever stephaniebrown
this movie is NOT as bad as people say pudwhacker
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