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Shanghai Surprise (1986)

2.9
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Ratings: 2.9/10 from 3,649 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 15 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

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 more »

Taglines:

A romantic adventure for the dangerous at heart.


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of the crew got food poisoning whilst shooting on location in Asia. 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

Featured in David Walliams' Awfully Good: Awfully Good Movies (2011) 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 »

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User Reviews

Fun, but needed more action scenes
31 January 2013 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

Everyone knows "Shanghai Surprise" (1986), starring Sean Penn and Madonna when they were still very young, is regarded as one of the worst films ever made. Don't believe it. I'm not saying it's a good film, but it's certainly not one of the worst ever made.

People complain about the film and the acting as if it was supposed to be a serious drama when, in fact, it's a goofy romantic-comedy adventure a la "High Road to China" or "Romancing the Stone", but with way more talk and less action. I'd also compare it to "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" but the Indiana Jones films are in a whole different league.

Like I said, people complain about, say, Madonna's acting, but she strikes the right note for a semi-goofy romantic-comedy/adventure. It's low camp all the way. What other approach can you expect in this type of movie?

The highlights are seeing Madonna and Sean when they were so young (not that I'm a fan of either), as well as George Harrison's original songs, the Hong Kong locations, a good Bond-parody villain and the amusing shenanigans throughout.

If "Shanghai Surprise" had added two or three great action sequences the movie would have been better received. As it is, there are NO great action scenes. There are quite a few scenes of quasi-violence and intrigue, but no memorable action sequences like Indiana Jones. But, then again, maybe "Shanghai Surprise" can be respected for daring to be different by not catering to those with ADHD.

GRADE: C+


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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