3.1/10
4,512
29 user 22 critic

Shanghai Surprise (1986)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 29 August 1986 (USA)
Glendon Wasey is a fortune hunter looking for a fast track out of China. Gloria Tatlock is a missionary nurse seeking the curing powers of opium for her patients. Fate sets them on a hectic... See full summary »

Director:

Jim Goddard

Writers:

John Kohn (screenplay), Robert Bentley (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

The life of an uptight tax lawyer turns chaotic when he is asked to escort a young woman newly released from prison, who persuades him to help prove her innocence.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Madonna, Griffin Dunne, Haviland Morris
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Abbie, tired of failed relationships, has a one-night-stand with her gay friend; they agree to raise the resulting baby together.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Madonna, Rupert Everett, Benjamin Bratt
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A lawyer defends a woman accused of killing her older lover by having sex with him.

Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Madonna, Willem Dafoe, Joe Mantegna
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A bored suburban housewife, seeking escape from her life, suffers amnesia after an accident, wakes up, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan.

Director: Susan Seidelman
Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Madonna, Aidan Quinn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A New York City film director, working on his latest movie in Los Angeles, begins to reflect the actions in his movie and real-life, especially when he begins an affair with the lead actress.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Madonna, James Russo
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

This musical is based on four short stories by Damon Runyon. In one tale, gambler Feet Samuels sells his body to science just as he realizes that Hortense loves him and that he would rather... See full summary »

Director: Howard Brookner
Stars: Josef Sommer, Madonna, Tony Azito
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Chronicles Madonna's 2004 Re-Invention World Tour and "new" Madonna

Directors: Jonas Åkerlund, Dago Gonzales
Stars: Madonna, Stuart Price, Steve Sidelnyk
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Documentary following singer Madonna on her controversial Blond Ambition tour in 1990.

Director: Alek Keshishian
Stars: Madonna, Donna DeLory, Niki Harris
Madonna: The MDNA Tour (TV Movie 2013)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Madonna returns to stadiums and arenas for her ninth tour, and the highest grossing tour of 2012! EPIX is proud to exclusively broadcast this thrilling, dazzling, cutting edge and controversial concert. In HD.

Directors: Mark Ritchie, Stéphane Sennour, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Madonna, Kevin Antunes, Monte Pittman
Evita (1996)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The hit musical based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Madonna and her crew perform in Australia for The Girlie Show Tour in 1993 in support of the legendary Erotica album. She wouldn't perform there for another 23 years due to scheduling.

Director: Mark Aldo Miceli
Stars: Madonna, Jai Winding, Michael Bearden
Swept Away (2002)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A snooty socialite is stranded on a Mediterranean island with a communist sailor.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Madonna, Adriano Giannini, Bruce Greenwood
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Glendon Wasey
Madonna ... Gloria Tatlock
Paul Freeman ... Walter Faraday
Richard Griffiths ... Willie Tuttle
Philip Sayer Philip Sayer ... Justin Kronk
Clyde Kusatsu ... Joe Go
Kay Tong Lim Kay Tong Lim ... Mei Gan
Sonserai Lee Sonserai Lee ... China Doll
Victor Wong ... Ho Chong
Professor Toru Tanaka ... Yamagani San
Michael Aldridge ... Mr. Burns
Sarah Lam ... China Doll's Maid
George She George She ... Wu Ch'En She
Won Gam Bor Won Gam Bor ... Rickshaw King
To Chee Kan To Chee Kan ... China Doll's Boatman
Edit

Storyline

Glendon Wasey is a fortune hunter looking for a fast track out of China. Gloria Tatlock is a missionary nurse seeking the curing powers of opium for her patients. Fate sets them on a hectic, exotic, and even romantic quest for stolen drugs. But they are up against every thug and smuggler in Shangai. Written by Mehmet Karaca <mkaraca@ibm.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A romantic adventure for the dangerous at heart.


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aventuras en Shanghai See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$719,885, 1 September 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,315,683
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Reportedly, the picture had a budget of around US $17 million but only recouped about US $3 million at the box-office. See more »

Goofs

In the harbor scene when Gloria meets Glendon most ships at the back have flags of communist China that did not even exist at that time (1938). See more »

Quotes

[first title card]
Title Card: Shanghai 1937
Title Card: The Year of the Japanese Occupation
See more »


Soundtracks

Hottest gong in town
Music & Lyrics by George Harrison
Arranged by John Du Prez
Performed by The Zig Zaggers
Courtesy of Dark Horse Records & Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dreary, dreadful romantic comedy
25 May 1999 | by GrammarCubSee all my reviews

"Shanghai Surprise" is an idiotic, out-of-date, poorly-acted, campy action film that wants to be a romantic comedy. Madonna, in her second starring role, had about enough acting talent at this point as a doll. Unfortunately, the doll in this movie comes off looking better than she does.

Madonna, playing a missionary (!) nurse (!!) for a Shanghai mission, is in search of opium (!!!) for medicinal purposes (!!?!!) approaches Sean Penn, an American soldier-of-fortune type who happens to speak Chinese. Penn and Madonna, who were married at the time this film were made, are obviously uncomfortable with the material and do little to justify the film's existence. Penn mugs his way through and attempts to crach a few weak jokes, while Madonna stamps her foot and places her hands on her hips as she squeaks (yes, she squeaks, and you must hear it to believe it) in frustration.

The plot is absolutely ridiculous -- Madonna and Sean Penn chasing after a mysterious cargo of opium known as "Faraday's Flowers" (incidentally, the name of the book this movie is based on) must run from a Chinese gangster with porcelain hands, have a romantic interlude with an Imperial concubine, teach baseball skills to another Chinese gangster, and (boy, aren't we surprised) sleep together to seal a deal.

This movie, like "Mommie Dearest" or "Plan Nine From Outer Space" has immense camp value because it's so deliciously awful. Utterly predictable, insipid, and full of instantly forgettable lines, this movie is the equivalent of the yellow stuff they stick on your nachos at the movie theatres -- it's not really good enough to be real cheese, but it's much cheaper and tastes pretty much the same anyway. This movie isn't even cheesy enough to be cheesy.

Avoid "Shanghai Surprise" unless, like me, you like Madonna WAY too much or if you're just a fan of bad movies.


26 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed