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4.0
2,467 Ratings

The Lady from Shanghai

Directed by Orson Welles
United States, 1947
Crime, Film noir

Synopsis

Based on the 1938 crime novel If I Die Before I Wake by Sherwood King, Rita Hayworth plays a femme fatale who catches the eye of an Irish sailor in this twisted film noir. He soon finds himself implicated in a murder, despite his innocence.

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The Lady from Shanghai Directed by Orson Welles
At once fluid and discordant, “The Lady From Shanghai” is filled with virtuoso set pieces… The climactic shootout in a fun house hall of mirrors is justly famous, but scarcely less impressive is the sequence shot on location in the hills around Acapulco, Mexico. Climbing through the town, with Anders musing on the inevitability of an atomic Armageddon, Welles invokes the notion of "a bright guilty world.
April 17, 2015
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Each shot is constructed to infuse reality with the nightmarish qualities of an alternate reality. Certain images stand out: sweaty close-ups of jury members; Mr Bannister’s cane protruding from dark shadows; and Michael tip-toeing through a fun house dream sequence. The entire film is one big maze, a confounding dip into the skewed psyche of a woman tainted and defined by her past living and dying in the Far East.
July 24, 2014
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For all the violations it suffered, The Lady From Shanghai seems strangely coherent in its extant form — or rather, coherently incoherent, and in a way that seems quite deliberate. Central to the appeal of the film is the sensation of unease, of anxiety and dread, it so effortlessly conjures. Indeed, it suggests noir’s extreme: convolution pushed into abstraction, a plot so sinister it is impossible to comprehend.
January 29, 2014
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