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The Lady from Shanghai

Rita Hayworth , Orson Welles , Orson Welles    DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.95
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Product Description


Legend has it that Orson Welles more or less conned studio boss Harry Cohn over the phone into making this movie by grabbing the title from a nearby paperback. In any case, The Lady from Shanghai is one of Welles's most fascinating works, a bizarre tale of an Irish sailor (Welles) who accompanies a beautiful woman (Rita Hayworth) and her handicapped husband (Everett Sloane) on a cruise and becomes involved in a murder plot. But never mind all that (the aforementioned legend also claims that Cohn offered a reward to anyone who could explain the plot to him). The film is really a dream of Welles's driving preoccupations on- and offscreen at the time: the elusiveness of identity, the mystique of things lost, and most of all the director's faltering marriage to Hayworth. In the tradition of male filmmakers who indirectly tell the story of their love affairs with leading ladies, Welles tells his own, photographing Hayworth as a deconstructed star, an obvious cinematic creation, thus reflecting, perhaps, a never-satisfied yearning that leads us back to the mystery of Citizen Kane. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

La Dame de Shanghai (The Lady from Shanghai) est un thriller américain d'Orson Welles sorti en 1947.Michael O'Hara fait la connaissance de la ravissante Elsa Bannister, qu'il sauve peu après d'une agression. Mariée à un riche avocat âgé peu scrupuleux, boiteux et de retour de Shangaï, Elsa fait embaucher Michael sur le yacht de son mari. O'Hara tombe sous le charme d'Elsa sous le regard indifférent de son mari quand, à l'occasion d'une escale, George Grisby, l'avocat associé de Bannister, lui fait une singulière proposition : tuer sans risque un homme contre une grosse somme d'argent avec l'argument qu'on ne peut pas être poursuivi tant que le corps n'est pas retrouvé par la police ! A court d'argent, Michael O'Hara hésite puis...

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This starts off veryyy slowly. Welles' narration in a strong irish accent kicks in as soon as the credits drop and is at first pretty painful. Luckily, it doesn't take long to accept it. The last half hour of the movie is great, as are bits of the first hour. Stick with it, I almost gave up on it, as it does pay off at the end. A weak 4 out of 5 stars, but definitely worth a look. I bought mine cheap and used so I'm not complaining. The camera-work, especially at the end, makes the movie. Even though the story is pretty typical Hollywood fare, Welles' direction is anything but.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. July 27 2003
By profile
Rita Hayworth is ravishingly beautiful, and Orson Welles is looking nice as well. Other people complain about the story being convoluted, and how they didn't really 'get it'. This is because they, or perhaps you, are extremely stupid. Any fan of Orson Welles needs this, it's his most underrated film. Just listen to Grisby talk about armageddon, it's effing insane.
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Columbia Pictures was a strange concoction. In many ways the most american of all studios with its two reelers and B movies and also its cover girl star Rita Hayworth. The big star on the lot and a personal favourite of the movie mogul, a studio which he built and he assembled a large production team which built very marketable products over time..especially in Rita and they did not have many large stars on the lot. They had the Three stooges, and they used their large stars to sell so many of their marketing products, this was largely the business smarts of its head Harry Cohn, thats how he built his studio, and the down to earth common values of so much of these two reelers. Rits needed good profitable films and they were always on the search for material so when Orson called about a minor film the studio decided to go all aout and make a big expensive production for his star Rita..his wife and on the verge of divorce it was the couple's last chance to put their marriage back together largely at Rita's insistence. Welles agreed and the film. The film came out at 2 and a half hours. All we have is the 85 minute version, delayed two years for release and the couple split after the marriage. Welles one success in america THe STranger had just come out so they were hopeful with this film..it basically tells a complex tale about a cruise in the Panama and caribbean and then an assortment of minor characters, and here as Bogdonavich the analyst of the film notes they are put together with Dickensian skills. There are various murderous and low lifes and they act in a way which you will not see in films..they murder but in a frenzied way which seems rather unique like something we have never seen before..the charm of this film. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, pretty good commentary Feb. 23 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love Orson Welles' films. I like hearing Peter Bogdanovich talk about them, because he's such an inside authority in the industry, but in this one he never once refers to any scene that we're looking at. He goes on forever about his experience meeting and chatting with and questioning Mr. Welles, which is informative but not what I want from a commentary. My favorite DVD commentary that I have, is Christopher Frayling, a film historian and theoritician, ananlyzing, in depth, every scene and moment in Leone's "For a Few Dollars More". More information than I could take in, in one viewing. That's not Bogdanovich's style. Still it's better than some director doing a 'commentary' on his own film and kissing everyone's (%$&) in hopes of getting a future job. Those are my least favorites.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Welles' best but still very good Aug. 27 2003
This film is memorable for a couple of extraordinary scenes as well as Welles working with his wife, Rita Hayworth. Did this guy have a fortunate young life or what!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted Oct. 14 2003
Things are not what they seem is a dead on description of this film!
You're never really sure what is going on, which is the point of course! Set-up? Could be, but will the viewer ever really know?
Welles' gives the film-loving world another cinematic gem, with plenty of twists and turns, and bits of comic genius to keep the viewer enthralled!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very strange, but thoroughly engrossing June 27 2003
You might get a little impatient with this film, but it is worth seeing, and worth seeing again. Like the somewhat more coherent "Touch of Evil," Welles directs this film as if it were a nightmare. Everything about it is hyper-real and somewhat sinister. Why does Welles' sailor character have an Irish accent? Why is Rita Hayworth so strangely dissatisfied? Why did they meet in the park--was it a setup? Why is Everett Sloan's character handicapped, and for a handicapped guy, why does he get around so much? What weird game is his partner playing, and why does Orson Welles fall for it? Why does he say "taaarget practice" so many times? Why is there gunplay at the Crazy House? The answer to each question is: "Dunno." This is film noir, I guess, but the intrigue is not that of a who-dunnit, but why-did-that-happen. But, hey, it's very entertaining!
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5.0 out of 5 stars EVEN BUTCHERED, WELLE'S GENIUS SHINES THROUGH! March 9 2003
By Nix Pix
Orson Welles was a man ahead of his time. Today he may very well have been placed on the pedestal reserved for the likes of David Lynch or David Cronenberg. Unfortunately, during his tenure, Welles generally ticked off the ruling class and as a result, all of his masterpieces suffered at the hands of lesser men, determined to ruin Welle's screen legacies by chopping them up. Such is the case with "The Lady from Shanghai", a convoluted thriller about a guy who meets a woman who may want to have her husband killed or may not and sets up another guy to frame Welles for....oh, hell! Trust me, it's a real mind twister and just like "The Big Sleep" the ending makes no sense. Columbia executives took Welles' masterpiece apart after he had already departed for greener pastures and what remains is a 98 min. movie that really makes no sense. Having said that, the film left a lasting impression on me and a favorable one.
Welles genius lays in his camera work, his ability to create mood and an unsettling atmosphere that can rival any film noir of his day or the present. Rita Hayworth, who by this time was ending her marriage to Welles, is the lady in question, her hair cut short and dyed blonde - both of which infuriated Columbia studio boss, Harry Cohen who put Hayworth on suspension shortly thereafter.
Columbia Home Video has done a remarkably fine job on the transfer of this movie. Contrast level is superb. Clarity is remarkable, even to the most minute detail in costume and set design. The moody film noir atmosphere is well represented. The audio, though mono, is also exceptionally well represented. No extras, save a brief little featurette and some stills. This is not a jam packed DVD but one that will definitely impress nevertheless. BOTTOM LINE: As vintage "Welles" its a classic bar none (except for Citizen Kane)!
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