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The Lady from Shanghai


Price: CDN$ 49.31
Only 1 left in stock.
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Frequently Bought Together

The Lady from Shanghai + Touch of Evil (Restored to Orson Welles' Vision) + The Magnificent Ambersons
Price For All Three: CDN$ 92.01

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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: #38,038 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
The most tragic aspect of Orson Welles' career is the accepted wisdom that he only made three good films. In fact he made 13 films in a 40 year career (a tragically small number in itself) and ten of them were arguably masterpieces. That's a track record that bears comparison with anyone.
The Lady from Shanghai is a classic example of a misunderstood Welles masterpiece. The studio didn't understand the plot and the film got buried; in addition it was put forward that Welles intended revenge on his ex-wife Rita Hayworth by casting her as the bad girl (in fact Welles only interest was in making a great film and Hayworth's astonishing performance merely consecrates his success).
Welles fully understood the attractions, both of film noir themes (jealousy, greed, paranoia) and the mandatory visuals that go with the genre. The great cinematographer Stanley Cortez once said of Welles that he understood lighting better than anyone in the Cinema. Many scenes stand out as examples of Welles' brilliant visual invention - the lovers meeting at the aquarium and the final "hall of mirrors" shootout are just two outstanding set pieces amongst a miasma of unsettling camera angles, close-ups and deep, overbearing shadows. Welles' unique talent was in reinventing himself with every film, so whilst there are familiar Wellesian hallmarks in Shanghai (overlapping dialogue, deep focus etc) it is still a work of stunning visual originality, albeit shot in 16mm.
What the french call "mise en scene" (literally "composition") was everything to Welles, so the plot (an innocent man is drawn into a web of intrigue by a woman) was less important, save to the extent that it enabled Welles to delve into the emotional dynamics of the characters.
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