6.8/10
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58 user 28 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:

(adaptation), (collaborator for adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Poppy
... Sir Guy Charteris
... Doctor Omar
... 'Mother' Gin Sling
... The Chorus Girl
... The Commissioner
... The Amah
... The Bookkeeper
... The Gambler
... The Coolie
Clyde Fillmore ... The Comprador
... The Social Leader
Rex Evans ... The Counselor
... The Appraiser (as Mikhail Rasumni)
Michael Dalmatoff ... The Bartender (as Michael Delmatoff)
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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:

"POPPY"...the Victim of Vengeance! Her love of life and laughter led her to a most amazing doom! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La pecadora de Shanghai  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (1981) (restored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ona Munson had to be persuaded by Josef von Sternberg into taking on the role of Gin Sling after he had tried unsuccessfully to get Gloria Swanson and Anna May Wong for the part. The fact that Munson was American was the first of her concerns about the part. See more »

Quotes

Omar: The moving finger writes, and having writ - it moves on. Nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears wash out a word of it.
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

Referenced in Gangs of New York (2002) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Much better than some reviewers would have you think.

Most of those movie review reference books you see floating around in paperback call this film campy idiocy. It's campy only in the sense that it was made at a time when a certain degree of heavy-handedness and melodrama was the norm in films. It's certainly not idiotic. It is a story of perceived betrayal and self-degradation. The play it was based on was considered quite thought provoking and socially daring. The film was somewhat cleaned up but still addressed the main issues. The characterizations are quite involving, especially Mature's.


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