MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,616 this week

Shanghai Surprise (1986)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Drama  |  29 August 1986 (USA)
2.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 2.9/10 from 3,791 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 16 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

Awfully Good: Shanghai Surprise
| JoBlo.com
Rebel Ha: Madonna's 10 Funniest Moments
| Hitfix
In a Year of 26 Festivals
| MUBI

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 22 Dec 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 04 Mar 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 29 Apr 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 53 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Shanghai Surprise (1986)

Shanghai Surprise (1986) on IMDb 2.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Shanghai Surprise.

User Polls

1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A woman is accused of killing a man to inherit his millions by having sex with him.

Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Madonna, Willem Dafoe, Joe Mantegna
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A bored suburban housewife, seeking adventure to her life, accidentally gets hit on the head, wakes up with amnesia, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan.

Director: Susan Seidelman
Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Madonna, Aidan Quinn
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

An uptight New York tax lawyer gets his life turned upside down, all in a single day, when he's asked to escort a feisty and free-spirited female ex-convict whom asks him to help prove her innocence of her crime.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Madonna, Griffin Dunne, Haviland Morris
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Documentary following singer Madonna on her controversial Blond Ambition tour in 1990.

Director: Alek Keshishian
Stars: Madonna, Donna DeLory, Niki Harris
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A New York film director, working on his latest movie in Los Angeles, begins to reflect the actions in his movie and real life, especially when he begins an affair with the lead actress.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Madonna, James Russo
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Abbie, tired of failed relationships, has a one-night-stand with her gay friend; they agree to raise the resulting baby together.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Madonna, Rupert Everett, Benjamin Bratt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

American judge in Germany must decide if the hijacking of an East German plane into West Berlin was justified.

Director: Leo Penn
Stars: Martin Sheen, Sam Wanamaker, Max Gail
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

This musical is based on four short stories by Damon Runyon. In one tale, gambler Feet Samuels sells his body to science just as he realizes that Hortense loves him and that he would rather... See full summary »

Director: Howard Brookner
Stars: Josef Sommer, Madonna, Tony Azito
Swept Away (2002)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A snooty socialite is stranded on a Mediterranean island with a communist sailor.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Madonna, Adriano Giannini, Bruce Greenwood
Evita (1996)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The hit musical based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas
Crackers (1984)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Garvey is a San Francisco pawnshop operator. His unemployed and criminal friends Dillard, Turtle, and Weslake, team up with Boardwalk, a local pimp, to burgle Garvey's shop while the owner ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Jack Warden, Sean Penn
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.8/10 X  

A street-wise teen gets herself in a series of circumstances and mishaps in her meaningless existence.

Director: Stephen Jon Lewicki
Stars: Jeremy Pattnosh, Madonna, Charles Kurtz
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Glendon Wasey
...
...
Walter Faraday
...
Willie Tuttle
Philip Sayer ...
Justin Kronk
...
Joe Go
Kay Tong Lim ...
Mei Gan
Sonserai Lee ...
China Doll
...
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
Edit

Storyline

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 <mkaraca@ibm.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

A romantic adventure for the dangerous at heart.


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aventuras en Shanghai  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,315,683 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Wasey and Miss Tatlock catch up with Faraday in the ship's cabin, the amount of shaving-foam on Faraday's face varies between shots. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in American Pie Presents Beta House (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Zig-Zag
Music by George Harrison & Jeff Lynne
Arranged by John Du Prez
Performed by The Gaslight Orchestra
Courtesy of Dark Horse Records & Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dreary, dreadful romantic comedy
25 May 1999 | by (Tacoma, WA) – See all my reviews

"Shanghai Surprise" is an idiotic, out-of-date, poorly-acted, campy action film that wants to be a romantic comedy. Madonna, in her second starring role, had about enough acting talent at this point as a doll. Unfortunately, the doll in this movie comes off looking better than she does.

Madonna, playing a missionary (!) nurse (!!) for a Shanghai mission, is in search of opium (!!!) for medicinal purposes (!!?!!) approaches Sean Penn, an American soldier-of-fortune type who happens to speak Chinese. Penn and Madonna, who were married at the time this film were made, are obviously uncomfortable with the material and do little to justify the film's existence. Penn mugs his way through and attempts to crach a few weak jokes, while Madonna stamps her foot and places her hands on her hips as she squeaks (yes, she squeaks, and you must hear it to believe it) in frustration.

The plot is absolutely ridiculous -- Madonna and Sean Penn chasing after a mysterious cargo of opium known as "Faraday's Flowers" (incidentally, the name of the book this movie is based on) must run from a Chinese gangster with porcelain hands, have a romantic interlude with an Imperial concubine, teach baseball skills to another Chinese gangster, and (boy, aren't we surprised) sleep together to seal a deal.

This movie, like "Mommie Dearest" or "Plan Nine From Outer Space" has immense camp value because it's so deliciously awful. Utterly predictable, insipid, and full of instantly forgettable lines, this movie is the equivalent of the yellow stuff they stick on your nachos at the movie theatres -- it's not really good enough to be real cheese, but it's much cheaper and tastes pretty much the same anyway. This movie isn't even cheesy enough to be cheesy.

Avoid "Shanghai Surprise" unless, like me, you like Madonna WAY too much or if you're just a fan of bad movies.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Not the worst movie ever stephaniebrown
this movie is NOT as bad as people say pudwhacker
Soundtrack Lost-Boy
Maybe I should try this again? rob-hart
NEW special edition DVD! york74
Goofy choice of words marshall_neal
Discuss Shanghai Surprise (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?