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The Shanghai Spell (2002)
"El embrujo de Shanghai" (original title)

 -  Drama | Mystery  -  12 April 2002 (Spain)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 344 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 4 critic

A fourteen year old lad discovers his first love at the point of his pencil whilst drawing the portrait of a sickly but coquettish fifteen year old girl. In the neighbourhood an old ... See full summary »

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Title: The Shanghai Spell (2002)

The Shanghai Spell (2002) on IMDb 5.8/10

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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dani
...
Susana
...
Anita / Chen
Fernando Fernán Gómez ...
Capitán Blay (as Fernando Fernán-Gómez)
Eduard Fernández ...
Forcat
Antonio Resines ...
Kim
Rosa Maria Sardà ...
Betibú (as Rosa María Sardá)
Jorge Sanz ...
Denis
...
Finito Chacón (as Juanjo Ballesta)
Cristina Dilla ...
Madre Dani
Joan Borràs ...
Dr. Barjau (as Joan Borrás)
...
Omar
...
Michel Levy (as Feodor Atkine)
Antonio Dechent ...
Capataz
Philippe Beglia ...
Lambert
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Storyline

A fourteen year old lad discovers his first love at the point of his pencil whilst drawing the portrait of a sickly but coquettish fifteen year old girl. In the neighbourhood an old freedom-fighter pits himself against bad types, a pretty cinema-ticket girl takes to the streets at night and a young anarchist dedicates himself to telling tall stories. Far away, in Shanghai, a hero of the Republic meets a beautiful femme fatal with oriental eyes. Reality and fiction become fused in an embrace. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

12 April 2002 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

El embrujo de Shanghai  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was originally a Victor Erice project, but differences between him and producer Andrés Vicente Gómez ended up with his refusal to make the movie. See more »

Connections

References Shadow of a Doubt (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

I Get a Kick Out of You
Written by Cole Porter
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User Reviews

 
Acceptable drama , lavishly produced and impressive set design recreating city of Shanghai
11 March 2013 | by See all my reviews

This is an enjoyable flick based on Juan Marse's novel , being set during and post Spanish Civil War . A very pleasant drama plenty of emotion , sensitive scenes , political intrigue about espionage , treason and mayhem . 1948 , Barcelona , Berrio De Gracia , a fourteen year old lad (Fernando Tielve) finds his first love at the point of his pencil whilst drawing the portrait of a sickly but coquettish fifteen-year-old-girl called Susana (Aida Folch) . There in the neighbourhood of Barcelona , an old freedom-fighter pits himself against his own records , a beautiful cinema-ticket woman (Ariadna Gil) takes to the streets at night and an old man named Captain Blay (Fernando Fernan Gomez) dedicates himself to tell strange tales . Far away, a hero of the Republic called Kim (Antonio Resines) is assigned by Levy (Feodor Atkine) to carry out a dangerous mission to kill a traitor (Gotz Otto) . As Kim must go to Shanghai , there he meets a gorgeous femme fatal (Ariadna Gil) with oriental eyes. Soon some problems start to arise when appears Forcat (Eduard Fernandez) who brings news about Kim .

This is an Award Winning picture by Fernando Trueba , the director of ¨Belle Epoque¨ , including a Spanish all-star-cast . Although it was originally a Victor Erice project, but differences between him and producer Andrés Vicente Gómez ended up with his refusal to make the movie . Drama in which reality and fiction become fused in an embrace . It deals with a historical background , including a coming-of-age tale , intrigue and thrills ; adding culture and politics . ¨Embrujo De Shanghai¨ results to be other of the innumerable stories to deal with deeds regarding Spanish Civil War , a familiar theme about the global horrors of a fratricide war , impossible to forget to our cinema . An agreeable story plenty of intense drama , amusing moments , moving feelings and tragic finale . It is a thought-provoking , wistful drama, easy to watch , and easier to love . It is as beautifully filmed as it is written and acted . This is one of those rare gems that does not stray from its purpose - to be a celebration of love and romance - and intelligent tale of two teens during a hectic time , being splendidly recreated . This is an interesting story that blends tragic elements , adventure , continuous flashbacks recreating an evocative Shanghai with breathtaking production design and many other things .

Director Fernando Trueba , also writes the interesting script based on the novel by Juan Marse , a notorious writer whose books have been continuously adapted such as Si Te Dicen Que Cai , Amante Bilingue , Largo Invierno , Lolita's Club , among others . Filmed in his usual formal and luxurious style , without leaving a trace the brooding themes , in terms of entertainment and narrative excitement . Unforgettable Fernando Fernan Gomez as old anarchist who lives locked-up and tells fantastic stories . Top-notch Ariadna Gil , she parades sexily at her best and more relaxed and enticing than ever . The hit of the show is undoubtedly for the fetching Ariadna who gives one of the best screen acting . Very good secondary cast formed by Spanish familiar faces such as Rosa Maria Sarda , Jorge Sanz , Eduardo Fernandez , Juan Jose Ballesta , Joan Borras , Feodor Atkine , Gotz Otto , Antonio Dechent and many others . Evocative as well as atmospheric musical score by Antoine Duhamel , Fernando Trueba , usual . In addition , a spotless pictorial cinematography by Jose Luis Lopez Linares and a willingness , almost perfect of the elements of each shot , every sequence , every space ; being filmed in Barcelona . The picture lavishly produced by great producer Andres Vicente Gomez and Cristina Huete results entertaining and well worth your time , though sometimes turns out to be slow moving . The film is deep , but never somber , no small accomplishment from Fernando Trueba and his team.

This intelligent , delightful motion picture was well directed by Fernando Trueba . His first success was Ópera Prima (1980) following the style of the "Madrid comedy". He had major success with Sé Infiel y No mires Quién (1985) also known as : Be Wanton and Tread No Shame , starting a longer collaboration with the producer Andrés Vicente Gómez . He went on directing numerous successes such as Coarse salt , Too Much , Milagro de Candeal , Year of Enlightment , The Girl of Your Dreams , Calle 54 , Embrujo De Shanghai , Chico and Rita . Trueba was President of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and he received the 1994 Oscar for Best Foreign Film to Belle Epoque (1992) . His last film was ¨ The Artist and the model¨ again with Aida Folch .


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