Shanghai Express (1932)
Shanghai Express Photos
as Shanghai Lily
as Capt. Donald Harvey
as Mrs. Haggerty
as Hui Fei
as Henry Chang
as Sam Salt
as Rev. Carmichael
as Eric Baum
as Maj. Lenard
as Chinese Spy
as Ticket Agent
Critic Reviews for Shanghai Express
Shanghai Express is a picture of the new school, and when Marlene Dietrich promises Warner Oland to visit him at his castle if he will refrain from destroying Clive Brook's eyesight with a red hot poker, you will not find the situation banal.
The finished product is an example of what can be done with a personality and photogenic face such as Marlene Dietrich possesses to circumvent a trashy story.
The bizarre stop-go cadences of the dialogue delivery are the most blatantly non-naturalistic element, but the overall design and dramatic pacing are equally extraordinary.
It is by all odds the best picture Josef von Sternberg has directed.
More action oriented than the other Dietrich-Sternberg films, this 1932 production is nevertheless one of the most elegantly styled.
Audience Reviews for Shanghai Express
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.
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.
marlene and anna may wong are simply divine amid the trademark von sternberg atmosphere of exotica. beautifully shot with many classic poses. lily's once and future lover clive brook is an awful stiff tho