There isn't much to outright dislike about "Shanghai Express", except maybe for the recurring, casual, antiquated fits of racism, but there isn't much to like about it, either. Sure, it won the Oscar for Best Cinematography at the 5th (1932) Academy Awards, but that was based more on its technique, the use of chiaroscuro (contrast in shadows) which make some shots looks striking, and the creative editing. The technique, though, was really only used to show off, and there isn't much of a sense of atmosphere, and it really doesn't feel as if our characters are in Shanghai most of the time. Based on a true story which involved about 300 Chinese people and 20 or so westerners who were held hostage on the Shanghai Express, this film naturally focuses on the whites, with only 2 of the Chinese characters (one of whom, the villain, is half-white), getting major screen-time, and that's really only to develop the plot, too. The acting is also pretty inconsistent, with laughable line delivery even from the star, Marlene Dietrich, who seems to be reading from a script rather than embodying her supposedly legendary Shanghai Lily character. This is a film I wanted, and expected, to love, but one that I really couldn't because it failed to immerse me in its world like superior films of its day (see: Grand Hotel and Bad Girl, both superior Best Picture-nominated films that year).