7.6/10
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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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Popularity
1,724 ( 5,011)
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:

"I told you... you know nothing about wickedness" See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Errol Flynn's own pet dachshund is seen in the yacht scenes, since it is Flynn's yacht "Zaca" in the film. Flynn also did all the aerial photography for that film's yacht scenes and is in the film incognito. See more »

Goofs

When Michael stands up as the judge enters and knocks over Arthur's opened pain medicine bottle; the cap is untouched while a certain amount of pills spill on to the table. But on a following shot the orientation of the pills, bottle and cap have changed. The cap is now upside down while the bottle, cap and pills are on different spots on the table. 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

Opening credits shown over a water background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sweesters: Virtual Room: La dama de Xangai (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Amado Mio
(uncredited)
Written by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher
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User Reviews

 
Welles' camera seemed almost to caress Rita Hayworth...

After all, you do not go to an Orson Welles movie to see a nice simple little plot and a burnishing of the image of a happy-ever-after star…

You go to see theatrically heightened characters locked in conflict against colorful and unusual settings, lighted and scored imaginatively, photographed bravely, and the whole thing peppered with unexpected details of surprise that a wiser and duller director would either avoid or not think of in the first place…

As usual, as well as directing, Welles wrote the script and he also played the hero – a young Irish seaman who had knocked about the world and seen its evil, but still retained his clear-eyed trust in the goodness of others… Unfortunately for him, he reposed this trust in Rita Hayworth, whose cool good looks concealed a gloomy past and murderous inclinations for the future… She was married without love, to an impotent, crippled advocate, acted like a malevolent lizard by the brilliant Everett Sloane…

There is a youthful romanticism underlying it all, and this quality came into exuberant play in "The Lady from Shanghai." Before the inevitable happened, Welles escaped – to a final triangular showdown in a hall of mirrors, which has become one of the classic scenes of the post-war cinema …

Welles did not miss a chance throughout the whole film to counterpoint the words and actions with visual detail which enriched the texture and heightened the atmosphere… His camera seemed almost to caress Rita Hayworth as the sun played with her hair and her long limbs while she playfully teased the young seaman into her web


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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »

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