Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

The Lady from Shanghai Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The Lady From Shanghai, a complex, involving puzzle-within-a-puzzle mystery story, is a showcase for Orson Welles, showing his singular talents and sensibilities as few other films have. The story is superficially simple: a seaman Michael O'Hara (Welles) is hired as a crew member on the yacht of the wealthy Banister (Everett Sloane). His beautiful but mysterious wife Elsa (Rita Hayworth) has met O'Hara earlier, when he saved her from a mugging. What ensues is a complicated and bizarre pattern of deception, fraud and murder, with O'Hara finding himself implicated in a murder, despite his innocence. The film is best remembered for its final sequence when the plot comes to a literally smashing climax in the famous "hall of mirrors" sequence, with Elsa and Banister shooting it out amidst shards of shattering glass. Orson Welles, who produced, directed, wrote and starred in the film, is sometimes self-indulgent in his use of visual tricks and techniques, which at times sacrifice plot for visual brilliance, but he pulls it together in the end to produce a stunning, difficult film. Rita Hayworth gives one of her best performances as the deceptive, seductive temptress, hard-edged and cynical. The film confounds, unsettles and disorients the viewer, very much as Welles intended to do. While not an easy film, it is well worth the attention required to follow it, and Welles offers no easy solutions or any false happy endings to his tour-de-force mystery. ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi

  • Release date:June 9, 1948

Cast

Rita Hayworth
as Elsa "Rosalie" Bannister
Orson Welles
as Michael O'Hara
Everett Sloane
as Arthur Bannister
Ted de Corsia
as Sidney Broome
Erskine Sanford
as Judge
Gus Schilling
as Goldie
Lou Merrill
as Jake
Evelyn Ellis
as Bessie
Harry Shannon
as Cab Driver
Eddie Coke
as Policeman
Joe Palma
as Cab Driver
Richard Wilson
as District Attorney's Assistant
Edythe Elliott
as Old Lady
Peter Cusanelli
as Bartender
Joseph Granby
as Police Lieutenant
Norman Thomson
as Policeman
Harry Strang
as Policeman
Maynard Holmes
as Truck Driver
Jack Baxley
as Guard
Dorothy Vaughan
as Old Woman
Steve Benton
as Policeman
Milt Kibbee
as Policeman
Philip Van Zandt
as Policeman
William Alland
as Reporter
Alvin Hammer
as Reporter
Mary Newton
as Reporter
Byron Kane
as Reporter
Jessie Arnold
as Schoolteacher
Mabel Smaney
as People
Jean Wong
as Ticket Seller
Grace Lem
as Chinese Woman
Philip Morris
as Port Steward
Mabel Smaney
as People
Joseph Granby
as Police Lieutenant
Philip Morris
as Port Steward
Milt Kibbee
as Policeman
Maynard Holmes
as Truck Driver
Grace Lem
as Chinese Woman
Mary Newton
as Reporter
Byron Kane
as Reporter
Steve Benton
as Policeman
Jean Wong
as Ticket Seller
Philip Van Zandt
as Policeman
Edythe Elliott
as Old Lady
Eddie Coke
as Policeman
Richard Wilson
as District Attorney's Assistant
Jessie Arnold
as Schoolteacher
Alvin Hammer
as Reporter
William Alland
as Reporter
Peter Cusanelli
as Bartender
Dorothy Vaughan
as Old Woman
Jack Baxley
as Guard
Joe Palma
as Cab Driver
Norman Thomson
as Policeman
Harry Strang
as Policeman

Crew

Orson Welles
Director
Orson Welles
Producer
Harry Cohn
Producer
Orson Welles
Screenwriter
Sherwood King
Book Author
Charles Lawton
Cinematographer
Heinz Roemheld
Composer (Music Score)
Morris W. Stoloff
Musical Direction/Supervision
Viola Lawrence
Editor
Sturges Carne
Art Director
Stephen Goosson
Art Director
William Castle
Associate Producer
Richard Wilson
Associate Producer
Wilbur Menefee
Set Designer
Jean Louis
Costume Designer
Lodge Cunningham
Sound/Sound Designer
Advertisement