The Lady from Shanghai

Synopsis: Michael O'Hara, against his better judgement, hires on as a crew member of Arthur Bannister's yacht, sailing to San Francisco. They pick up Grisby, Bannister's law partner, en route. Bannister has a wife, Rosalie, who seems to like Michael much better than she likes her husband. After they dock in Sausalito, Michael goes along with Grisby's weird plan to fake his (Grisby's) murder so he can disappear untailed. He wants the $5000 Grisby has offered, so he can run off with Rosalie. But Grisby turns up actually murdered, and Michael gets blamed for it. Somebody set him up, but it is not clear who or how. Bannister (the actual murderer?) defends Michael in court.
Director(s): Orson Welles
Production: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Rotten Tomatoes:
87 min

When I start out to make a fool of myself...

...there's very little can stop me.

If I'd known where it would end,

I'd have never let anything start...

...if I'd been in my right mind, that is.

But once I'd seen her...

...I was not in my right mind,

for quite some time.

"Good evening," says I,

thinking myself a very gay dog, indeed.

Here was a beautiful girl

all by herself, and me...

...with plenty of time.

Nothing to do but get myself into trouble.

Some people can smell danger. Not me.

I asked her if she'd have a cigarette.

It's my last, I've been looking forward to it.

Don't disappoint me.

But I don't smoke.

That's how I found her.

And from that moment on...

...I did not use my head very much,

except to be thinking of her.

But in the park, in those days...

unconscious boys dedicated themselves to

berth and things thus.

Help! Help!

Nevertheless these uprooted boys were not


And that's maybe the reason

why I start out in this story...

...a little bit like a hero,

which I most certainly am not.

The cab driver was waking up.

He was okay.

So I borrowed his carriage

to drive the lady home.

In a short while, she recovered herself...

...and brightened up,

what with the things I told her... get her mind off the scare she'd had

and to set her thinking...

.. in the value of the man who had saved it.

Rosalie, fair Rosalie.

- A name I'm after calling you.

- Rosalie?

Why not?

It's a gorgeous, romanticaI name entirely.

- I'm Michael.

- You're a character.

I'm just a poor sailor man...

...and him with the Princess of Central Park

at his side.

Princess Rosalie. I wonder now:

Where does the princess come from?

I don't know

why she should tell you, but....

Well, her parents were Russian,

White Russian.

You never heard of the place

where she comes from.

- Would Her Highness care to gamble?

- Gamble? She's done it for a living.

I'll bet you a dollar

I've been to the place of your birth.

- Zhifu.

- It's on the China coast, Zhifu.

The second wickedest city in the world.

- The first?

- Macau. Wouldn't you say?

I would. I worked there.

You worked in Macau?

Here's your dollar.

How do you rate Shanghai?

- I worked there, too.

- Yeah, as a gambler?

- Well....

- I hope you were luckier than tonight.

You need more than luck in Shanghai.

- Do you know what?

- What?

I bet I could drive the car

from down there inside with you.

- There's a police car on the other road.

- Let's get out of the park.

The horse and cart

will make it easy for the cops to find us.

You don't like them very much.

They can struggle

without our doing their work for them.

Watch where you're going, Mac!

Get that nag out of here!

Now the cops are bound to pick us up.

We'd best leave the cab here and walk.

- You certainly don't like the police.

- I do not.

My car's right there in the garage, anyway.

Tell me, Michael... there a reason

why the police don't like you?

Well, they've never put me in jail

in America.

You know, the nicest jails are in Australia.

The worst are in Spain.

- What law did you break in Spain?

- I killed a man.

Just now, you almost killed a girl.

- Is there a law against that?

- Try it. You won't like the jails here.

They put you in jail for murder here?

I didn't think so.

A man killed his wife in Frisco last week.

She'd gone to the icebox

for a bit of supper.

He thought she was a burglar, he said.

He shot her five times in the head.

- Number 47!

- He had a good lawyer.

I saw his picture in the paper.

Bainbridge or something.

- Bannister.

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Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (; May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, director, writer, and producer who worked in theatre, radio, and film. He is remembered for his innovative work in all three: in theatre, most notably Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; in radio, the legendary 1938 broadcast "The War of the Worlds"; and in film, Citizen Kane (1941), consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made. In his 20s, Welles directed a number of high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast, and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937 he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941. Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds performed for his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was actually occurring. Although some contemporary sources say these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to notoriety. His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which he co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles was an outsider to the studio system and directed only 13 full-length films in his career. He struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios and later in life with a variety of independent financiers, and his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur".Welles followed up Citizen Kane with 12 other feature films, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Touch of Evil (1958), and Chimes at Midnight (1966). Other works of his, such as The Lady from Shanghai (1947) and F for Fake (1973), are also well-regarded. In 2002, Welles was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. Known for his baritone voice, Welles was an actor in radio and film, a Shakespearean stage actor, and a magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Lady from Shanghai" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Jun 2021. <>.

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