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The Lady from Shanghai


Price: CDN$ 45.93
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4 new from CDN$ 39.96 3 used from CDN$ 21.99

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The Lady from Shanghai + Last Tango In Paris
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders, Ted de Corsia
  • Directors: Orson Welles
  • Writers: Orson Welles, Charles Lederer, Fletcher Markle, Sherwood King, William Castle
  • Producers: Orson Welles, Harry Cohn
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : General Audience (G)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Oct. 3 2000
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W229
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,145 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roger Zeus on Aug. 8 2003
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
Orson Welles is remembered more for Citizen Kane than this film , but I don't know why. This movie isn't just film noir , it is
black cinema. Screenplay by Welles , directed by Welles , and featuring Welles . He has control of everything , and as you watch it
you realize that every scene , every camera angle , is for a reason. The film revolts the viewer as it unfolds , it is sort of like a train wreck ; a terrible thing , but you can't help but watch. The characters are repugnant , obviously on purpose. The camera shots ,
particularly on faces , are too tight , too close , and this too , is in my opinion , designed to revolt the viewer. The characters
all seem to hate each other , and if it weren't for the fact that they are trapped together on a yacht , or by marriage , or by
bussiness associations , you would expect them to flee each other. To further irritate the viewer ( me at least ) Welles assumes a phony Irish brogue accent that seems out of place , and not necessary to the story. The convoluted plot involves murder , but who is doing what to whom is a multilevel mystery. Without describing it , the finale is nothing less than superb.
So far my description may not motivate you to want to see it , but it is so well done in its' weird direction , that it is a must see.
Welles had control of Citizen Kane too , but this is seven years later , and he is more accomplished at his craft , and it is fascinating
in its' offbeat way. Forget Mars , forget Kane , see this. In Glorious Black & White.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
I had seen this film a couple of times and never really warmed up to it, but I thought I'd give the DVD a try. After 3 viewings I think I finally got it. Sure, a lot of it is implausible and weird--but if you can willingly suspend your disbelief you are in for a rich noir ride. The writing is superb, the locations are exotic and evocative, and this baby is dark and cynical to its core! Rita Hayworth proves herself an excellent actress--to balance all of the flesh Welles so lovingly displays of his soon ex-to-be. Why Welles had to saddle himself with the accent is truly beyond me, and I felt it didn't work that well--although it didn't ruin the picture. All the supporting players are evil and sweaty, especially Everett Sloan as the crippled cuckold. I think that crippling is the central metaphor in the film, but more so emotional crippling. All of these people are just twisted and broken inside, and they can't even begin to understand love, loyalty, and compassion. Visually this is portrayed by the funhouse mirror scene, an obvious reference to their narcissism and inability to connect to others as they really are. Well, enough psychobabble. The DVD has some nice extras and we learn a lot about the history and making of the film. Bogdanovitch does a commentary that is rich in many ways, but has two central problems: it is not linked to what is happening on the screen, and it becomes very repetitive at a certain point. This is a gripe I have with a lot of commentary tracks--someone turns on a mic and the subject blabs on without really talking directly about the great stuff happening RIGHT NOW in the movie. The best tracks are very focused on the film, and they integrate all of their information into it. For some great tracks, I recommend Ebert's Citizen Kane, Camille Paglia on Basic Instinct, and the track for the Criterion Notorious. Anyway, Lady from Shanghai is a seminal noir that is visually and thematically satisfying. Give my love to the sunrise!
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