7.7/10
21,988
183 user 103 critic

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:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(story based on a novel by), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gilda (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino learns that his ex-lover is married to his employer.

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello
The Stranger (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young
Mr. Arkadin (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American adventurer investigates the past of mysterious tycoon Arkadin...placing himself in grave danger.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Peter van Eyck, Michael Redgrave
Touch of Evil (1958)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
The Trial (1962)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Arnoldo Foà, Jess Hahn
Macbeth (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy
The Big Heat (1953)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando
Othello (1951)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote
Laura (1944)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400-1413.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Elsa Bannister
... Michael O'Hara
... Arthur Bannister
... George Grisby
... Sidney Broome (as Ted De Corsia)
... Judge
Gus Schilling ... Goldie
... District Attorney Galloway
Louis Merrill ... Jake Bjornsen
Evelyn Ellis ... Bessie
... Cab Driver
Edit

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:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 December 1947 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Black Irish  »

Edit

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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Mexico shoot was plagued by a number of problems, many of them detailed by producer William Castle in his diary. During the day the temperature was usually blisteringly hot, and at least once Rita Hayworth collapsed from the heat. At night millions of poisonous insects swarmed around the arc lights, often blotting them out. One insect caused a substantial delay in shooting when it bit Orson Welles and his eye swelled shut to almost three times its normal size. See more »

Goofs

Rita dives off the cliffs. However, in the following scene as she boards the boat her hair is dry. See more »

Quotes

George Grisby: Mr. Bannister tells me you once killed a man. You are Michael, aren't you?
Michael O'Hara: That's right.
George Grisby: I'm very interested in murders. Forgive me if I seem inquisitive, but where'd it happen?
Michael O'Hara: At Murcia.
George Grisby: How'd you do it? No, let me guess... You did it with your hands, didn't you? Does it ever bother you when you think about it? What did he do to you?
Michael O'Hara: Nothing.
George Grisby: You just killed him for the fun of it, eh?
Michael O'Hara: He was a Franco spy. There was a war on at the time.
George Grisby: Then it wasn't murder, I suppose. Tell me, would you do ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Remembers: Orson Welles See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Orson Welles takes on a pulp-noir novel and, at the least, makes it his own
12 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

As I watched one of Orson Welles' last contributions to Hollywood as a filmmaker, I knew I was watching a great movie unfold, though at times I did not know why. The story in The Lady from Shanghai has the prime elements of a film-noir: average-Joe lead, femme fatale, conspicuous supporting characters, and a comprehensible if somewhat convoluted plot structure. It is an entertaining ride, and it's filled to the brim with Welles' unique gifts as a director, but there are scenes that tend to just not work, or don't feel complete in what was Welles' full vision (the latter is unfortunately too true- executive producer Harry Cohn and the Columbia execs are to blame for that).

Welles co-stars with his then wife, the profoundly gorgeous Rita Hayworth, as Mike O'Hara, an Irish worker who can and does get angry at the right people. Hayworth is Mrs. Bannister, married to Mr. Bannister (Everett Sloane, who played Mr. Bernstein in Citizen Kane), who is accompanied by a friend Mr. Grisby (Glenn Anders, who has great control in his eyes). They want to go sailing on their yacht and take O'Hara along for the ride, and at first he's reluctant, but agrees since he's falling for the married Mrs. As their journey unfolds, O'Hara finds that Bannister and Grisby are not pleasant to be around, and more so with Grisby, who at first seems out of his gourd. Yet as the plot unfolds, O'Hara is drawn into a scam that Grisby is planning for insurance money, with results that I dare not reveal (although they have been discussed over and over by others).

Whatever liabilities pop up here and there in the mystery part of the story (and those few noticeable moments where shots were studio dictated), the performances and the look of the film are what remains striking after over fifty-five years. Though he doesn't have the terrific Greg Tolland (Kane's DP) at his side, dependable Charles Lawton Jr. assists Welles in creating an atmosphere that is both elegant and stark, covered in shadows, deep focus, low angles, the works. A particular accomplishment is the fun-house mirror scene, which is merely a highlight among others. Welles himself is always dependable as an actor- even if his accent isn't anything special- and Hayworth herself makes a scene a little more lush, despite her path in the story.

The Lady from Shanghai is worth checking out, especially for Welles, Hayworth, or film-noir buffs (fans of the Coen brothers might find this fascinating as well). It may just take a little while, repeat viewings (as was for Touch of Evil), for the underlying motives in the plot to sink in.


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 183 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial