7.7/10
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The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 24 December 1947 (France)
Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

Director:

Orson Welles (uncredited)

Writers:

Sherwood King (story based on a novel by), Orson Welles (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rita Hayworth ... Elsa Bannister
Orson Welles ... Michael O'Hara
Everett Sloane ... Arthur Bannister
Glenn Anders ... George Grisby
Ted de Corsia ... Sidney Broome (as Ted De Corsia)
Erskine Sanford ... Judge
Gus Schilling Gus Schilling ... Goldie
Carl Frank Carl Frank ... District Attorney Galloway
Louis Merrill Louis Merrill ... Jake Bjornsen
Evelyn Ellis Evelyn Ellis ... Bessie
Harry Shannon ... Cab Driver
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Storyline

Michael O'Hara, against his better judgement, hires on as a crew member of Arthur Bannister's yacht, sailing to San Francisco. They pick up Grisby, Bannister's law partner, en route. Bannister has a wife, Rosalie, who seems to like Michael much better than she likes her husband. After they dock in Sausalito, Michael goes along with Grisby's weird plan to fake his (Grisby's) murder so he can disappear untailed. He wants the $5000 Grisby has offered, so he can run off with Rosalie. But Grisby turns up actually murdered, and Michael gets blamed for it. Somebody set him up, but it is not clear who or how. Bannister (the actual murderer?) defends Michael in court. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One who keeps his nature keeps his original nature in the end. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Cantonese

Release Date:

24 December 1947 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Irish See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,927, 30 August 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,927, 30 August 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of the music accompanying Elsa's dive into the water, Orson Welles said it was more suitable "for some antic moment in a Silly Symphony, a pratfall by Pluto the Pup, or a wild jump into space by Donald Duck." See more »

Goofs

Elsa spent time in Shanghai, which has its own dialect, but in Chinatown she switches between Mandarin and Cantonese. See more »

Quotes

'Goldie' Goldfish: [Speaking about Broome] I don't speak their language, see, and they want me to identify this guy. What's the Spanish for drunken bum?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no director credit. Welles' main credit reads "Screen Play and Production Orson Wells". See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Le contrôle de l'univers (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Amado Mio
(uncredited)
Written by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Mirror, mirror...
1 April 2004 | by jotix100See all my reviews

One can only imagine the film Mr. Welles might have finished without the interference of the studio! This film is a flawed Welles, but worth every minute of it because one can see the greatness of perhaps America's best motion picture director of all times!

We can see the toll it took on Orson Welles the filming of this movie. The story has a lot of holes in it, perhaps because of the demands of the studio executives that didn't trust the director.

It is curious by reading some of the opinions submitted to IMDB that compare Orson Welles with the Coen brothers, Roman Polanski, even Woody Allen, when it should be all of those directors that must be regarded as followers of the great master himself. No one was more original and creative in the history of American cinema than Mr. Welles. Lucky are we to still have his legacy either in retrospective looks such as the one the Film Forum in New York just ended, or his films either on tape or DVD form.

Rita Hayworth was never more lovingly photographed than here. If she was a beauty with her red hair, as a blonde, she is just too stunning for words. Everett Sloan and Glenn Anders made an excellent contribution to the movie.

The only thing that might have made this film another masterpiece to be added to Orson Welles body of work, was his own appearance in it. Had he concentrated in the directing and had another actor interpret Michael O'Hara, a different film might have been achieved altogether. Orson Welles has to be credited for being perhaps a pioneer in taking the camera away from the studio lot into the street. The visuals in this film are so amazing that we leave the theater after seeing this movie truly impressed for the work, the vision and the talent he gave us.


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