7.6/10
25,876
197 user 88 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)
Reviews
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

In the scene where Mrs. Bannister goes to the Chinese theater in search of Michael, she speaks Cantonese, a Chinese dialect spoken mostly in southern China and Hong Kong. See more »

Goofs

When you see the judge's chambers after Michael swallows the pillow, there is a bust of an eagle on the bookshelf on the left side of door marked private and a bust of a head on the bookshelf between the aforementioned door and an second door on the other side of the room. But on the following cuts when Michael is fighting the court officer; the various busts on the different bookshelves keep changing. 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 Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Na Baixa do Sapateiro (Bahia)
(uncredited)
Written by Ary Barroso
See more »

User Reviews

Good film, Great ending
10 August 2004 | by jkerr216See all my reviews

Okay, the chemistry between Welles and Hayworth was not great, and, to put an end to the "even though they were married" lines, they divorced two weeks after the release of the film. However, as a film-noir and a piece of Orson Welles' body of work, this film is top notch.

Its biggest flaw, besides Welles accent, is that the beginning of the movie is very slow. However, it is necessary for the ending to payoff. It's unfortunate that the current world is moving at light speed, and that movies are chastised for taking ample time to develop their world. A modern example of length being put to good use is The Count of Monte Cristo. Still, that film doesn't compare to "Shanghai".

Once the trial, which is often hilarious, begins, the movie reaches the heights of greatness. It all climaxes with a visually stunning ending in the mirror room of a fun house and a fantastic performance by Hayworth.

The film sticks with you.

Also recommended: The Third Man


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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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