Shanghai (2010) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • An American man returns to a corrupt, Japanese-occupied Shanghai four months before Pearl Harbor and discovers his friend has been killed. While he unravels the mysteries of the death, he falls in love and discovers a much larger secret.

  • October, 1941. Paul Soames is a spy with US Naval Intelligence. He is working undercover as a Nazi sympathizing journalist, most recently in Berlin. Still in this undercover role, he is summoned to Shanghai by Richard Astor of Naval Intelligence to assist an agent in trouble, Conner, Paul's oldest and dearest friend. Beyond the second great war happening in Europe, the Sino-Japanese War is happening in China, with the Japanese having taken all major Chinese cities except for Shanghai due to an international treaty, although the general consensus is that the Japanese will still eventually take the city regardless. The Americans have so far remained neutral in this Asian conflict. Shanghai is the world in miniature, with every nationality living in the international sectors of the city under an open yet tense geopolitical situation. Paul arrives in Shanghai to find that Conner has been murdered, and had been in the dark from Astor for a month. As such, Paul takes over whatever Conner was working on, which inherently includes discovering the reason for his murder. Paul learns that Conner was investigating Anthony Lan-Ting, the head of the Shanghai Triad. Astor is aware that Anthony had made a deal with the Japanese to leave him alone to conduct his criminal activities, in return for Anthony doing any of the dirty work the Japanese needed handling. Through his investigation, Paul will find that two women play prominent parts in what Conner was investigating. The first is Anna Lan-Ting, Anthony's beautiful wife whose clandestine activities may make her sympathetic to Paul's investigation. But the key to the entire story may be the second, a young Japanese woman with who Conner had a relationship, the nature of which which is not entirely clear.

  • A '40s period piece which revolves around an American expat who returns to Shanghai in the months before Pearl Harbor due to the death of his friend.


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