7.6/10
26,262
199 user 89 critic

The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 14 April 1948 (USA)
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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1 win. See more awards »

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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 ... Goldie
Carl Frank ... District Attorney Galloway
Louis Merrill Louis Merrill ... Jake Bjornsen
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, Elsa, 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 Elsa. 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:

"Do all rich women play games like this?" See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Central Park scene was shot using a carriage that was bought in Mexico and shipped to New York. Huge arc lights, a sound boom and a 20-foot camera crane followed the carriage nearly a mile to get a single dolly shot. Unfortunately, it was later cut by the editor Columbia brought in to "fix" the picture, completely ruining Orson Welles's concept. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Bannister is lunging for the exit in the mirrored room, the "broken glass" in the foreground stays in frame as the camera pans to the right, spoiling the illusion of a cracked window. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michael O'Hara: When I start out to make a fool of myself, there's very little can stop me. If I'd known where it would end, I'd never let anything start... if I'd been in my right mind, that is. But once I'd seen her, once I'd seen her, I was not in my right mind for quite some time.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Rita (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Na Baixa do Sapateiro (Bahia)
(uncredited)
Written by Ary Barroso
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User Reviews

 
This Is One Wild-And-Crazy Film Noir!
13 October 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Of all the film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s, this has to rank as one of the strangest, and most fun to watch. I say that because of the four main actors: Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane and Glenn Anders.

The first two names are familiar to everyone but it was the last two that made this movie so entertaining to me, especially Anders. His character, "George Grisby," is one of the strangest people I've ever seen on film. His voice, and some of the things he said, have to be heard to be believed. Slaone isn't far behind in the "strange" category. Hayworth is not as glamorous with short, blonde hair but still is Hayworth, which means a lot to ogle if you are a guy. Welles' is as fascinating as always. One tip: if you have the DVD, turn on the English subtitles. His character in this movie is an Irishman and you need the subtitles to understand everything he says.

Welles also directed the film which means you have great camera angles and wonderful facial closeups. You also have a unique ending, visually, with a shootout in a house of mirrors. Great stuff! As bizarre as this film is, I still thought the buffoon-like carnival atmosphere at the trial near the end was too much and took away from the seriousness of the scene. Other than that, no complaints.

This is great entertainment, which is the name of the game.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Cantonese

Release Date:

14 April 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

If I Die Before I Wake See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Mercury Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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