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 ... 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, 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:

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:

If I Die Before I Wake 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

Near the end of shooting, Orson Welles told Columbia executives that he wanted a complete set repainted on a Saturday for shooting on Monday. Columbia exec Jack Fier told Welles it was impossible, because of union rules and the expense that would be incurred by calling in a crew of painters to work on a weekend. Welles and several friends broke into the paint department that Saturday and repainted the set themselves, and when they were finished they hung a banner on the set that read "The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fier Himself". When the union painters arrived at work on Monday and saw that the set had been repainted by someone else, they refused to work, threw a picket line around the studio and threatened to stay on strike until a union crew was paid triple time for the work that had been done (which was why Fier had refused to authorize the work in the first place). To placate the union, Fier agreed to pay them what they wanted but put the cost on Welles' personal bill. In addition, he had the union painters paint a banner saying "All's Well That Ends Welles". See more »

Goofs

When Mr. and Mrs Bannister are talking on a bench in the courthouse, he is taking a drag on a cigarette. A moment later, the cigarette is resting in his hand on top of his cane. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits shown over a water background. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Hail, Hail, Black and White (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Don't Kiss Me
by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher
Performed by Rita Hayworth (dubbed by Anita Ellis) (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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