Main Plot Points:
- Baffling murders, fascinating plot twists and remarkable camera work all contribute to this spellbinding, time-honored film noir written, directed by and starring Orson Welles. Hired to work on a yacht belonging to the disabled husband of femme fatale Rita Hayworth, Welles plays an innocent man drawn into a dangerous web of intrigue and murder.
- The subject of great controversy and scandal upon its initial release, The Lady From Shanghai shocked 1948 audiences by presenting Hayworth with her flaming red hair cut short and dyed champagne blonde. Fifty years later, The Lady From Shanghai is considered vintage Welles, his famous hall of mirrors climax hailed as one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history.
- Based on the novel If I Die Before I Wake
What We Thought:
- I had never seen The Lady of Shanghai and after seeing it, I rather liked it.
- For whatever reason I always think of Orson Welles more as a director and man with an awesome voice than an actual actor. I know he was an actor and seeing this, he was a pretty good actor. He shows a wide range as Black Irish Mike O’Hara.
- Speaking of that voice, Welles narrates the film and man could he narrate the heck out of anything. I’m not usually a fan of narration during a movie, but this is Orson Welles so I’m cool with it.
- The lady of the film is the iconic Rita Hayworth. The movies of this era really had some great dames in them. This was when dames were dames and dames meant trouble! Hayworth was a master of these damsel in distress characters who always had a card up her sleeve.
- Then there is the iconic wall of mirrors scene. Even though I hadn’t seen the film, I’ve seen that specific scene plenty of times before. It’s amazing, genuinely amazing even today. It’s been stolen by many directors since and in a world today filled with CGI crap, it’s just breathtaking.
- The new Blu-ray looks fantastic. The film is in Black & White, but remastering looks spotless and has perfect audio adding to the intensity of the film.
- The Lady from Shanghai is a great mix of drama and thriller. It’s a classic courtroom drama in the second half while the first half has you guessing who the real bad guy is. Is Mike being played by the woman he’s looking after? Is he being played by her husband or his partner? Classic film.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Rita Hayworth
- Orson Welles
Recommended if You Like:
- Touch of Evil
- Three Cases of Murder
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