Shanghai Express - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shanghai Express Reviews

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March 5, 2012
Wow what a lady/actress! Very entertaining to watch. Such a sweet film too. Amazing visuals...
½ February 17, 2012
Marlene Dietrich stars as "Shanghai Lily", a woman of some ill repute traveling across China in a passenger train. The other passengers have nothing but contempt for her and her female companion (Anna May Wong). Well, everyone but Captain Harvey (Clive Brook). He and Marlene had a relationship years ago, but the Captain didn't trust her and threw her over. Since then, she's been wandering the Chinese countryside, destroying men's lives wherever she goes. When Mr. Chang (Warner Oland, known for his role as Charlie Chan) turns out to be the leader of a rebel force, we learn to what extent Marlene still loves the captain and to what extent she will go to protect him. Despite exotic locales and characters, it's Dietrich who is the sole reason for watching "Shanghai Express". She's incredibly beautiful, emotive, and her costumes are a movie unto themselves. Director Josef von Sternberg knows how to shoot his leading lady, and there are moments when Dietrich's face is as beautiful as a framed work of art.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
February 17, 2012
Marlene Dietrich stars as "Shanghai Lily", a woman of some ill repute traveling across China in a passenger train. The other passengers have nothing but contempt for her and her female companion (Anna May Wong). Well, everyone but Captain Harvey (Clive Brook). He and Marlene had a relationship years ago, but the Captain didn't trust her and threw her over. Since then, she's been wandering the Chinese countryside, destroying men's lives wherever she goes. When Mr. Chang (Warner Oland, known for his role as Charlie Chan) turns out to be the leader of a rebel force, we learn to what extent Marlene still loves the captain and to what extent she will go to protect him. Despite exotic locales and characters, it's Dietrich who is the sole reason for watching "Shanghai Express". She's incredibly beautiful, emotive, and her costumes are a movie unto themselves. Director Josef von Sternberg knows how to shoot his leading lady, and there are moments when Dietrich's face is as beautiful as a framed work of art.
January 28, 2012
You can't watch the way Josef von Sternberg directs and Lee Garmes lights Marlene Dietrich and not understand how the star system produced such swelled egos; it's a high key love letter to female beauty. Whether Dietrich deserved such treatment is always debatable, but she is especially sphinx-like here in an early 30's expressionistic train thriller.
January 24, 2012
A good movie...essentially a romance....Marlene Dietrich is superb and is the one on who the whole movie rides on !
January 4, 2012
Anna May Wong (The First Chinese American Movie Star)
December 14, 2011
E niente, oggi un film del genere chi lo guarderebbe? In realtÓ, per quanto noioso possa essere per una generazione come la nostra abituata ad altri tipi di film e di parametri, Shanghai Express Ŕ in fin dei conti una lezione di storia fatta benissimo. La Dietrich Ŕ bellissima e Anna May Wong idem, entrambe bellezze stereotipatissime e volutamente (esotiche), come Ŕ esotica la Cina nella quale recitano.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
November 14, 2011
Marlene is terrific in this as is Anna May Wong. Banton's creations for them are eye popping but the whole thing is almost undone by the dreadful perfomance by Clive Brook.. Marlene's passion for him comes across as a mystery since he is a block of wood throughout the film.
October 6, 2011
A train is travlling through revolutionary China with a group of very different passengers; boarding-house landlady, missionary, prostitutes, businessman, soldiers, smugglers. Their journey does not run smoothly and they find out things about their fellow passengers that change their lives.
July 26, 2011
More popular than I expected for an Oscar nominated film of 1931/32.
½ May 28, 2011
Highly enjoyable movie, an amalgamation of genres but ultimately it's a subtle romance. Marlene Dietrich is so HOT!
April 5, 2011
Did Marlene Dietrich have some kind of Doctor Who TARDIS for a suitcase so she could keep her huge wardrobe? The TARDIS is suppose to have a chameleon circuit to make it change it's shape to blend in with it's surroundings. Shit, Dietrich is a Time Lord!!!
½ March 25, 2011
Dietrich sizzles in a simmering game of "he loves me, he loves me not" in an exquisite setting of artificial exoticism.
March 21, 2011
lol sounds like a chinese take-out place lol
March 18, 2011
Cinema 102 Midterm Essay Question: Compare and contrast Shanghai Express and Stagecoach on 3 of the following: #1 Economy of character development in ensemble road movie; #2 Ethnicity "Us" and"Them"; #3 The "Fallen Woman" pre and post code; #4 Mise en scene/cinematography; #5 The Male Lead
½ March 2, 2011
from imdb: China initially banned the movie, demanding its withdrawal from worldwide circulation. The ban was lifted when Paramount pledged not to make another film involving Chinese politics.
February 20, 2011
A very unusual, strange, but intriguing film set upon a train travelling from Beijing (Peking in the film) to Shanghai during a brutal civil war. The film is very mysterious. The main character is Shanghai Lily (Marlene Dietrich), who seems to be on the train and keeps to herself, adding to the interest of the movie. There are also other characters, including a French man, a German, a Chinese woman (Anna May Wong), a chubby American (Eugene Palette), and several other foreigners (although Wong's character is not a foreigner). It is an unusual war/character study film, because we are interested in knowing if any of the characters will come out of this alived and what Shanghai Lily's character is hiding. My only reservation is that I wish there was some more action; it is mainly talk, but is not overly problematic issue. It is a good film from the early 1930's.
February 12, 2011
Marlene Dietrich and Ana May Wong star as two notorious women of the night in a story of love and revolution set aboard the Shanghai Express. Very strong and sexy. Great costumes on the always beautiful Marlene. So many stand out lines. My favorite "but darling it's only you and me". Fantastic direction by Josef Von Sternberg.
January 24, 2011
(Be careful with this review, because it has some spoilers). Good movie, but von Sternberg concentrates too much in love story although having a great environment and set, with characters (played by good actors) concentrated in such a tension moment that is not fully employed by the director. Von Sternberg, once again, successes with the mix of characters in a exotic location and in the relations between them, but in this case (strange in him) looks too much for the classic sense of morality. Also, some more of the spirit of film noir would have been needed: in this case, the minimalistic approach of old movies goes against the scenography, which could have been much worked (darkness, shadows, sights, not-said words, different compartments, and a lesser simplicity of the stage). So, in summary, a very good idea that is just well (not magnifically) executed, which could have been better if the crucial moments had been longer time, weigh and significance in the movie -in some moments, it seems that the Chinese rebel army are just a group of four friends-. Also, the "good" and "bad" men of the movie would need better actitudes. It comes to my mind that maybe a direction from Fritz Lang or other film noir master, or a good modern remake (a good one, not the usual) could improve it to perfection.
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