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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)
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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 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:

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 »
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

Shooting was delayed whenever Errol Flynn disappeared for extended lengths of time. His contract stipulated the yacht could not be used unless he was present. See more »

Goofs

When Grisby is toasting to the murder plot with O'Hara, he holds up a glass that is 3/4 full of beer. When he raises the glass up to drink from it, it is almost completely full. 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

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

Connections

Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: Rita Hayworth (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Welles' camera seemed almost to caress Rita Hayworth...

After all, you do not go to an Orson Welles movie to see a nice simple little plot and a burnishing of the image of a happy-ever-after star…

You go to see theatrically heightened characters locked in conflict against colorful and unusual settings, lighted and scored imaginatively, photographed bravely, and the whole thing peppered with unexpected details of surprise that a wiser and duller director would either avoid or not think of in the first place…

As usual, as well as directing, Welles wrote the script and he also played the hero – a young Irish seaman who had knocked about the world and seen its evil, but still retained his clear-eyed trust in the goodness of others… Unfortunately for him, he reposed this trust in Rita Hayworth, whose cool good looks concealed a gloomy past and murderous inclinations for the future… She was married without love, to an impotent, crippled advocate, acted like a malevolent lizard by the brilliant Everett Sloane…

There is a youthful romanticism underlying it all, and this quality came into exuberant play in "The Lady from Shanghai." Before the inevitable happened, Welles escaped – to a final triangular showdown in a hall of mirrors, which has become one of the classic scenes of the post-war cinema …

Welles did not miss a chance throughout the whole film to counterpoint the words and actions with visual detail which enriched the texture and heightened the atmosphere… His camera seemed almost to caress Rita Hayworth as the sun played with her hair and her long limbs while she playfully teased the young seaman into her web…


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