3.2/10
4,759
33 user 23 critic

Shanghai Surprise (1986)

Shanghai, 1938: A missionary woman hires a fortune hunter to help her find 1100 lbs. opium lost, as wounded need the morphine. Adventure and romance follows.

Director:

Jim Goddard

Writers:

John Kohn (screenplay), Robert Bentley (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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
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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 »
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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$729,885, 1 September 1986

Gross USA:

$2,315,683

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was released about eight years after its source novel, "Faraday's Flowers" by Tony Kenrick, was published in 1978. 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

Mei Gan: I'm not interested in your question, Mr. Wasey, only - your answers.
See more »

Connections

Featured in David Walliams' Awfully Good: Awfully Good Movies (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Shanghai Surprise
Music & Lyrics by George Harrison
Performed by George Harrison with Vicki Brown
Courtesy of Dark Horse Records & Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

25 years later: it's mellowed with age
31 July 2011 | by Eric-1226See all my reviews

The thought struck me recently that this movie was unfavorably received by critics and audiences alike at the time of its release (1986) because of the celebrity status of the two leading stars - Madonna and Sean Penn. But, if you watch the movie today, some twenty five years later, and if you are able to put the hype and the celebrity status of those two stars out of your mind, then, the movie doesn't seem so bad. In fact, it's actually a pretty good escapist adventure romp along the lines of an Indiana Jones movie.

I watched this movie for the first time just recently, as I was scared away from viewing it all those many years prior, simply because of all the negative hype surrounding it - the hype that said it was a real stinker. But I actually found it to be a pretty engrossing story, with a nicely done cinematography that oozed a colorful, exotic, sometimes even enchanting Oriental atmosphere that was hard to dismiss. Some of the shots, as filmed, were... beautiful! So don't let 1980's critics scare you away: this movie is worth a shot, and if you can mentally distill the two leads down to just being a guy and a girl from 1930's America thrust into an adventure escapade set in a faraway exotic locale, then you just might enjoy this movie for what it was meant to be: pure escapist entertainment.

Not perfect, but then again, NOT the stinker it has been made out to be.


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