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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Orson Welles film, meaning still worth a look
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...
Published on Aug. 8 2003 by Roger Zeus

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Another butchered masterpiece
As with "The Magnificent Ambersons" some six years previous, director Welles ran into some difficulties with the studio regarding the original cut of the movie, which they said was too long. In those days there were frequently double or triple bills with two or three movies shown, and theater owners were hesitant to show movies that were longer than an hour...
Published on March 9 2000 by Ian Lohr


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Orson Welles film, meaning still worth a look, Aug. 8 2003
By 
Roger Zeus (Richmond, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., July 27 2003
This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (DVD)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, July 3 2014
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I very fine and strange movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Like the TRial a complex story beyond the surface, May 1 2013
By 
Anthony Marinelli "marilread" (toronto on canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (DVD)
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. Welles the innocent man is hunted and goes to trial and is eventually released but is alone at films endinnocent or just stupid he ends up alone..again a complex tale like the later film the Trial. As a Hayworth film it does not satisfy since she is not the central focus of the film, and Welles to Cohn's chagrin takes away the sex appeal and physical allure she has in other films and changes her physical appearance since he wants us to concentrate on what he wants to tell..heighten the visuals towards the backgrounds and scenes and they are expertly shot..and the dialogue is well written also..but Rita is not the Rita of old..and if you listen to the commentary by Bogdanovich and an interview afterwards you will understand so much about Welles and this film..was Rita in real life supposedly abused trying to reconnect with Welles and for what reason..and the relationship as written, are they reflections on their personal life and eventual split. Rita's career fizzled after this and her mogul mentor tried hard to build her up like Zanuck did betty grable, but ultimately failed in both instances due to the limits of the stars. Bogdonovish talks of the old system, which he likes in certain ways, an dif someone on top liked you, you had great opportunities if you bothered to take their advice or suggestions..Rita and Betty both walked away..in ways they were doted on..and when they removed themselves from the presence of their benefactors their career and lives came crashing down..this film was heavily edited and reshot and should be viewed with the similar Trial..but test audiences gave the thumbs down on the script and Welles perhaps the personal demise of his
marriage interfered never bothered to or wasnt allowed any say in the editing..he was off to Europe for the Third
Man and ten years in Europe
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, pretty good commentary, Feb. 23 2013
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This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (DVD)
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
By 
D. Weisbord (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (DVD)
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
By 
Damian P. Gadal (Santa Barbara, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (DVD)
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
This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (DVD)
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 (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for those sharks!, July 19 2002
By 
Harvey M. Canter (tarzana, ca United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lady from Shanghai (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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The Lady from Shanghai
The Lady from Shanghai by Orson Welles (DVD - 2000)
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