The Lady from Shanghai (1947) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

  • 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.

  • Against his better judgment, Irish seaman Michael O'Hara agrees to work on well-known criminal lawyer Arthur Bannister's yacht. What interests O'Hara however is Elsa Bannister, Arthur''s wife. He had rescued her from a group of ruffians in Central Park the night before and instantly became infatuated with her. They're to sail from New York to San Francisco via the Panama Canal and Bannister's law partner, George Grisby, joins them en route. Michael and Elsa are soon in love. Grimsby want to fake his own death and offers Michael $5000 to help him get away with it. Michael agrees thinking the money will allow he and Elsa to run off together. When Grimsby is found dead however, Michael is charged with his murder.


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