What to know
Energetic and inventive, The Lady from Shanghai overcomes its script deficiencies with some of Orson Welles' brilliantly conceived set pieces. Read critic reviews
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Cast & Crew
Elsa "Rosalie" Bannister
District Attorney Galloway
Audience Reviews for The Lady From Shanghai
Mar 24, 2019Yeah, the studio interfered but unlike "The Magnificent Ambersons" or "The Stranger" it still fundamentally feels like Welles' vision mostly remains intact. If you can get past his awful Irish accent the movie is filled with some delightfully weird stuff.Alec B Super Reviewer
Jun 08, 2016This classic film noir has it all - a tight script, great scenes on location, and the seductive and beautiful Rita Hayworth. Orson Welles is in the role of the guy realizes he's swimming with sharks, but can't stop himself from doing so. Isn't that a common theme in these movies? At Hayworth's urging, he takes a job on her husband's yacht; her husband (Everett Sloane) is a rich, invalid lawyer who is having his wife followed. Things are uneasy from the outset, and then take a turn for the worse when Sloane's partner Grigsby (Glenn Anders) offers him money out of the blue to commit a murder - on himself, Grigsby. Glenn Anders looks like a maniacal Mike Ditka while making this proposition - oh wait, Mike Ditka already looks maniacal, but you get the idea. Rita Hayworth went blonde for this film, which apparently led to the ire of her fans, but she's a knockout and on top of it, she delivers a strong performance. I'm not sure about Orson Welles' Irish accent, but he did give us a great film, and it really was his baby, having written the screenplay, produced, directed, and starred in it opposite Hayworth, his wife of four years who he would divorce shortly after the film's release. The film has great scenes in San Francisco and Acapulco, the 'open air' feel of which provide an interesting counterpoint to the 'noir' plot. There is also, of course, the iconic final sequence in the hall of mirrors. The film is successful but it's too bad Welles wasn't given full creative control, as a great deal of that last sequence was edited out and destroyed, which is a real shame. One reason I like it is because despite some intricacies in the plot which will keep you guessing, it's all explained logically in the end. Another is Welles' direction, which is intelligent and provides interesting camera angles. I'm not sure why this movie was released to mixed reviews in 1947, but it's worth seeing if you like films in this genre.
Nov 22, 2014Welles may use every cinematic trick in his repertoire, but the story and characters fail to captivate or engross.Marcus W Super Reviewer
Dec 06, 2012The only good thing about this heap of vintage trash is Rita Hayworth. Everything else will hit you like a tranquilizer. Orson Welles directs and stars with a terrible Irish accent; even I could do a more accurate Irish accent than that. It's not only distracting, but annoying. The plot goes in way too many directions for anyone to stand a chance of grasping it and the lean 87 minute running time feels like an eternity.