6.7/10
2,401
61 user 30 critic

The Shanghai Gesture (1941)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 January 1942 (USA)
In Shanghai, dragon-lady 'Mother' Gin Sling operates a gambling house for wealthy patrons but she clashes with influential land developer Sir Guy Charteris who wants to put her out-of-business.

Writers:

Josef von Sternberg (adaptation), Geza Herczeg (collaborator for adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Macao (1952)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix
Morocco (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A cabaret singer and a Legionnaire fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the results of his womanizing and due to the appearance of a rich man who wants her for himself.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Adolphe Menjou
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman rediscovers a former lover during a dangerous train ride to Shanghai.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Princess is destined to marry the Emperor, until her sister steps in.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Franchot Tone, Grace Moore, Walter Connolly
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova
Whirlpool (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two con artists take a shopgirl under their wing, but complications arise when she begins to fall for a mathematician, disrupting their marrying-for-money scheme.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Laird Cregar
China Girl (1942)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In November 1941, American news photographer Johnny 'Bugsy' Williams manages to escape from the Japanese and finds himself back in Burma where he meets the beautiful Miss Haoli Young. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gene Tierney, George Montgomery, Lynn Bari
Underworld (1927)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson
Stars: George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent
Belle Starr (1941)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

At the end of the Civil War, an embittered Southern belle joins forces with a Confederate guerrilla leader to raid Union towns.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Randolph Scott, Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In WW2, U.S. Army Major Joppolo and his troops are tasked with administering the war damaged Italian town of Adano where the locals decry the loss of the town bell.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gene Tierney, John Hodiak, William Bendix
Anatahan (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In June 1944, twelve Japanese seaman are stranded on an abandoned-and-forgotten island called An-ta-han for seven years. The island's only inhabitants are the overseer of the abandoned ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Akemi Negishi, Tadashi Suganuma, Kisaburo Sawamura
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Tierney ... Poppy
Walter Huston ... Sir Guy Charteris
Victor Mature ... Doctor Omar
Ona Munson ... 'Mother' Gin Sling
Phyllis Brooks ... The Chorus Girl
Albert Bassermann ... The Commissioner
Maria Ouspenskaya ... The Amah
Eric Blore ... The Bookkeeper
Ivan Lebedeff ... The Gambler
Mike Mazurki ... The Coolie
Clyde Fillmore Clyde Fillmore ... The Comprador
Grayce Hampton ... The Social Leader
Rex Evans Rex Evans ... The Counselor
Mikhail Rasumny ... The Appraiser (as Mikhail Rasumni)
Michael Dalmatoff Michael Dalmatoff ... The Bartender (as Michael Delmatoff)
Edit

Storyline

A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling, a dragon-lady who worked herself up from poverty to buy the casino. Sir Guy Charteris, wealthy entrepreneur, has purchased a large area of Shanghai, forcing Gin Sling to vacate by the coming Chinese New Year. Under orders from Gin Sling, who has found out Poppy is Charteris' daughter, the smarmy Doctor Omar leads Poppy deeper and deeper into an addiction to gambling and alcohol. Gin Sling, realizing that Charteris was her long-ago husband who she thinks abandoned her, plans her revenge by inviting Charteris to a Chinese New Year dinner party to expose his past indiscretions. Charteris, however, has a suprise of his own to spring on Gin Sling. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

People Live in Shanghai for Many Reasons... Most of Them Bad! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Chinese

Release Date:

15 January 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shanghai Gesture See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (1981) (restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 5155. See more »

Quotes

Poppy: The other places are like kindergardens compared with this. It smells so incredibly evil! I didn't think such a place existed except in my own imagination. It has a ghastly familiarity like a half-remembered dream. *Anything* could happen here... any moment...
See more »

Crazy Credits

[after the cast credits] ... And a large cast of "HOLLYWOOD EXTRAS" who without expecting credit or mention stand ready day and night to do their best - - and who at their best are more than good enough to deserve mention. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Society of the Spectacle (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Carroll
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
Played on piano by Rex Evans at Gin Sling's dinner party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Madness...madness...
15 November 2002 | by cairnsdavidSee all my reviews

All Von Sternberg films deserve to be seen on the big screen for their visual beauty, but this one also benefits from videoviewing - you can wind it back at those moments when you HAVE to ask, "Did I just see/hear that???" Gene Tierney would evolve into a fine actress, but she's terrible here -think Elizabeth Berkeley in SHOWGIRLS - only MUCH better looking, so we forgive her. Walter Huston is magnificent as always. Oona Munson seizes her role between her teeth and relishes every bite. "The soles of my feet cut open and pebbles sown into them to stop me running away..." YUCK! The loopy plot makes imperfect sense due to many many cuts by the censors, and maybe Maria Ouspenskaya had more to do in some previous, even madder version of the film, but it's an oneiric, mind-reeling romp of staggering decadence and grandeur. One story has Little Jo directing from atop a crane, from which he would toss silver dollars to actors who pleased him, while he himself claims he directed it lying flat on his back. Neither would surprise me, seeing the result.


28 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 61 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed