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)!