Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: drinkanddestroy on May 23, 2012, 10:42:58 AM

Title: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 23, 2012, 10:42:58 AM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040525/

The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

cast and plot synopsis courtesy of imdb

   Rita Hayworth    ...   Elsa Bannister
    Orson Welles    ...   Michael O'Hara
    Everett Sloane    ...   Arthur Bannister
    Glenn Anders    ...   George Grisby
    Ted de Corsia    ...   Sidney Broome (as Ted De Corsia)
    Erskine Sanford    ...   Judge
    Gus Schilling    ...   Goldie
    Carl Frank    ...   District Attorney Galloway
    Louis Merrill    ...   Jake
    Evelyn Ellis    ...   Bessie
    Harry Shannon    ...   Cab Driver

PLOT SYNOPSIS: Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

---------------------------------


I give this a 5.5/10

What an overrated piece of trash this is. Orson Welles has as bad an Irish accent as you'll ever hear. The characters are absolutely ridiculous. (The courtroom scenes contain not an iota of reality; there are so many blatant violations of the rules of criminal procedure, but I won't get into it cuz non-lawyers won't worry about that). That Grisby guy is insanely annoying.

Rita Hayworth is so beautiful, it almost hurts to look. Any other woman, and I wouldn't rate this movie half as high as I did. But no matter how hot, no woman is worth sitting through 87 minutes of trash.

Apparently, Welles's original cut of this movie was an hour longer. I guess we'll never know if that would have made things better or more excruciating.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: cigar joe on May 23, 2012, 02:40:44 PM
Its got Sloane as a memorable character and the House of Mirrors sequence which is good, but Welles does suck as an Irishman, if he would have just played it normal as it is he sounds as if he's looking for his "Lucky Charms" (referencing a TV commercial about an overly sweet breakfast cereal where a leprechaun is looking for his "lucky charms").

And speaking of over the top Irish accents I never liked Barry Fitzgerald all that much because of his over the top brogue in Naked City, Going My Way, Union Station, etc etc.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 23, 2012, 03:57:45 PM
Its got Sloane as a memorable character and the House of Mirrors sequence which is good, but Welles does suck as an Irishman, if he would have just played it normal as it is he sounds as if he's looking for his "Lucky Charms" (referencing a TV commercial about an overly sweet breakfast cereal where a leprechaun is looking for his "lucky charms").

And speaking of over the top Irish accents I never liked Barry Fitzgerald all that much because of his over the top brogue in Naked City, Going My Way, Union Station, etc etc.

True, the Sloane character is pretty memorable, perilously straddling the line between the hilarious and the ridiculous. I mean, I understand the crazy rich cripple with the trophy wife, but couldn't they have made him some guy who got rich through an inheritance? I mean, there is no way in hell that he is the top criminal lawyer in America; that man is positively insane! Yes, I get that lawyers are assholes, and the biggest asshole = the best lawyer. But there is no way that that absolute lunatic is the top lawyer in America. I understand that in order for the story to work he had to be A) wealthy; and B) a lawyer, so perhaps they could have instead made him a mediocre lawyer, but very rich cuz of an inheritance. That way, you have the wealth aspect, and you have the lawyer aspect; but making him the top lawyer is absolutely not believable in any way, shape or form, even considering the "language of cinema" and the normal suspension of disbelief required for the cinema, etc. No siree Bob. (That would be the equivalent of having the Orson Welles character be, rather than a two-bit sailor, the First Officer of the Titanic  ;)) From the special features with Peter Bogdanovich, I know that Welles had a very negative view of the legal system. (Note an interesting shot: when the judge is playing chess, there is an overhead shot of the pieces being moved on the chess board, and then a direct cut to an overhead shot of the courtroom, juxtaposing the two). I get that (and I don't disagree with Welles on that idea either). But the idea of the Sloane character -- who sounds as if he is one step away from being in a mental hospital -- being the top lawyer in America, is absolutely ridiculous  ::)
This is entirely a criticism of the screenplay (credited to Welles), and not at all a criticism of Sloane's performance. I think Sloane delivers a fabulous performance of his character as written; and it is indeed a very memorable character, thanks to Sloane's amazing performance.

Yes, the house of mirrors scene is very good as well. So we basically have 4 good things in this movie: A) Hayworth's Face; B) Sloane's performance; C) the house of mirrors scene. (Plus I am thankful any time a movie from that era that uses some real locations). That's all. That's your 5.5/10. What's your rating, cj?

And I don't see why Welles's character had to be Irish at all. Maybe he is Irish in the book that the screenplay is based on, but so what? The Irish bit doesn't comes up in the story, other than simply mentioning that he is Irish. Do they think that making him Irish will make him sound more vulgar or something? I mean, come on. A bad accent automatically destroys a performance; you simply can't pay attention to anything else. And especially when it is someone famous whose accent you know from other movies, it is even harder to believe. With any famous actor, it is often difficult to believe that he is a particular character. But when the accent is bad, there is no chance. My rule as a director or casting agent would be to never, ever use someone famous in a role with a significant accent unless the accent is absolutely PERFECT. As a viewer, the moment a famous person comes on the screen and I say, "no fucking way.... that accent is ridiculous!", the entire performance, if not the entire movie, is an instant failure. (Al Pacino is one well-known actor who has pulled off all sorts of different accents totally convincingly -- with the one exception of Carlito's Way -- but there are few people in the history of Hollywood with the greatness of Al Pacino.


And what's your problem with Barry Fitzgerald's accent? He was Irish; what do you mean by over the top brogue? Do you think he wasn't using his real accent in those movies?  Off the top of my head, I can recall seeing him in And Then There Were None, Union Station, and The Quiet Man (in which he was particularly great); I don't recall him using different accents...
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: cigar joe on May 23, 2012, 05:51:53 PM
I just find that Irish accent grating, I've never heard anyone, in real life, in NYC talk like that. I'm sure there are some, though. So its no particular reason other than that, its like the Boston accents in The Departed, I couldn't take listening to that in that film at all.

As far as rating The Lady From Shanghai, I'd give it a 5/10, I don't care for the way Rita looks either.  :P
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: stanton on May 24, 2012, 12:42:33 AM
I love this film. 10/10
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: noodles_leone on May 24, 2012, 01:23:21 AM
I love this film. 10/10

You stubborn.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: cigar joe on May 24, 2012, 03:06:44 AM
I love this film. 10/10

For me its like a train wreck, if it's on I'll watch it, its sort of trance inducing, some sequences are downright creepy, others (like the opening carriage ride meet of Welles and Hayworth) silly especially with that Irish brogue accent.  :)
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 24, 2012, 04:33:15 AM
I watch it for certain scenes, never the whole way through. 4/10.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 24, 2012, 04:43:53 AM
True, the Sloane character is pretty memorable, perilously straddling the line between the hilarious and the ridiculous. I mean, I understand the crazy rich cripple with the trophy wife, but couldn't they have made him some guy who got rich through an inheritance? I mean, there is no way in hell that he is the top criminal lawyer in America; that man is positively insane! Yes, I get that lawyers are assholes, and the biggest asshole = the best lawyer. But there is no way that that absolute lunatic is the top lawyer in America. I understand that in order for the story to work he had to be A) wealthy; and B) a lawyer, so perhaps they could have instead made him a mediocre lawyer, but very rich cuz of an inheritance. That way, you have the wealth aspect, and you have the lawyer aspect; but making him the top lawyer is absolutely not believable in any way, shape or form, even considering the "language of cinema" and the normal suspension of disbelief required for the cinema, etc. No siree Bob. (That would be the equivalent of having the Orson Welles character be, rather than a two-bit sailor, the First Officer of the Titanic  ;))  Sloane delivers a fabulous performance of his character as written; and it is indeed a very memorable character, thanks to Sloane's amazing performance.
Not quite sure what you're driving at. Are you saying that Sloane's character, as written, isn't credible as the best trial lawyer in America?
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 24, 2012, 08:59:28 AM
Not quite sure what you're driving at. Are you saying that Sloane's character, as written, isn't credible as the best trial lawyer in America?

correct.

I am saying that he is memorable as a lunatic, but never for a moment could I buy the idea that this guy was the best trial lawyer in America. He is one step away from a nut house!  I wouldn't believe he was the best anything in America.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 24, 2012, 09:01:47 AM
I just find that Irish accent grating, I've never heard anyone, in real life, in NYC talk like that. I'm sure there are some, though. So its no particular reason other than that, its like the Boston accents in The Departed, I couldn't take listening to that in that film at all.

As far as rating The Lady From Shanghai, I'd give it a 5/10, I don't care for the way Rita looks either.  :P

Well if someone uses his real accent, I can't complain about that.

As for Rita, I think this is the first time I ever saw her, I know she cut her hair for this movie, and I know you hate short hair. But just look at that face, man!  ;)
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: stanton on May 25, 2012, 01:22:42 AM
You stubborn.

sure
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: titoli on August 28, 2012, 07:12:36 AM
I saw this repeatedly through the years, but this is the first time with the original audio. Well, as usual Welles profits from dubbing not only because of his brogue but because of his thin voice which doesn't suit his big phisical presence: too big, actually, especially that big face: same problem I have with Biff Elliott playing Mike Hammer.   Rita Hayworth is at her best look here, Sloane is almost perfect, though his character isn't, Glenn Anders gives an Oscar worthy performance: he gives you the creeps. So where's the problem? The plot: until Anders comes up with his moronic scheme the movie is perfect, from then on is difficult to follow, at least form me. It has those great sequences (the aquarium, the amusement park) and Welles always hits the right angle and the right light. It's a pleasure to watch but not to follow. I wonder if there is not a chance to restore that hour which was cut. 7\10
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 09, 2014, 06:19:39 AM
Jan 27 Blu-ray release from TCM. I don't really like the film but I'll probably have to buy the disc for the Eddie Muller commentary.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: Novecento on January 11, 2014, 09:29:33 AM
Awesome - have been waiting for this.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 23, 2014, 06:25:57 PM
The news is bad: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/reviews/lady_from_shanghai.htm
Quote
ADDITION: TCM - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - January 2014':   I truly wish I was more enthused about this release. While I wouldn't complain vehemently about one specific item on my list of underwhelming attributes of this package - the totality of the group makes me... well, disappointed. Firstly, (and I know these are not big deals - alone) the package is a standard Keep case (as in DVD-standard sized.) It mentioned nothing about being  Blu-ray on the cover. The BD disc says "1" as in region one instead of region 'A" (which I will verify in the next hour.) The transfer is single-layered (this is Welles for gosh sakes!) with a lowish bitrate. It is rendered in VC-1 (?) as opposed to the superior, IMO, AVC encode. It does not have lossless sound (?) or any optional subtitles. At present, the TCM Shop advertises the extras to include an Eddie Muller (perhaps my favorite commentarist - certainly for Noir) commentary. It's not there (I'm sure they will update this on their site) - it is the same Bogdanovich one from the 2000 DVD. Now, being fair - the 1080P image quality is certainly improved over SD. It shows some nice grain, superior detail, and, notably, more information in the frame. Could it have looked better with dual-layering and a higher, max'ed out, bitrate? I suspect it would have exported more prevalent grain and layered contrast. That would be my guess. I don't suppose we will ever know, now.

  The audio seems similar to the DVD and Heinz Roemheld's score does not get the lossless treatment - which I consider a fairly big error. I will indulge more fully in the 1/2 hour podcast - which I sampled and it seemed to have value. Osborne's intro is less than 2-minutes and the rest are text/image screens. I will also look at the DVD and see if there is something more substantial (in terms of supplements there). So, this is simply an initial warning. There is some sloppiness here in the authoring/transfer. It is far from ideal but it is superior in terms of the visual expression as compared to the older SD, but I think TCM missed a fine opportunity to take the high road with this release.   
I don't see any reason to upgrade from my DVD. No Muller, no sale.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: Novecento on January 23, 2014, 07:21:03 PM
His comment about the packaging is odd. If you go the website, it clearly says Blu-ray on the spine:

http://shop.tcm.com/detail.php?p=505914&SESSID=3bd434a4979b136437729d3a00f4a517

Perhaps the sampler they sent him had different packaging?
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: cigar joe on January 24, 2014, 04:41:55 AM
From Eddie Muller himself on the Back Alley Forums

"I want to clarify that I did NOT do an audio commentary for LADY FROM SHANGHAI. I did a 20-minute on-camera interview. I have no idea how much of it TCM will use. Nobody seems to be doing audio commentaries anymore."
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: Moorman on February 23, 2017, 03:20:20 PM
This movie was a hit and miss. Let me start off by saying i'm TOTALLY new to film noir. I decided since i'm new to westerns also , i might as well tackle the film noir genre as well.  Here is my short review:

1. Cinematography. I saw this on PBS. Even on television, i can tell this is a gorgeous film. I can't wait to get the Blu Ray version of this.

2. Script. Hit and miss.  The good was everything up into they got back from the yacht trip to Mexico. As soon as they hit the San Francisco Bay area, the script went downhill FAST.  Everything was rushed.  The setup. The court scene. The escape from the courthouse.  Everything was rushed and not fleshed out at all.  The dialogue seemed rushed also. I'm new to film noir. Is fast, quick dialogue a film noir staple? By the time i could hone in on what was being said, they would be off to something else.

3 Acting.  Pretty good. I had no problem with any of the acting in this movie. I'm new to Orson Welles, so any Irish accent he supposedly had, didn't bother me. Rita Hayworth.  STUNNING. I'm new to ALL this, lol...

4. Musical Score. I was soo consumed with trying to keep up with the dialogue, that i didn't pay any attention to it.

Overall. I can see why the movie is hyped. I can also see why some people say its over rated. I read in this thread that a hour of this movie had been cut. I don't know what version i saw on PBS, but i believe its the highly edited version.  All in all, i still like the movie and will purchase this for my Blu Ray collection.  The cinematography, the wardrobe, the set pieces, the filming locations,
 everything was on point in that regard.

I rate it a 7 out of 10...
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 23, 2017, 05:58:45 PM
Terrible movie IMO

 If you want to see good noirs, there are many dozens you could see that are  better than this one  :)
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: stanton on March 27, 2017, 01:49:58 PM
Found this, extra for Drink, in the www:

"The Lady from Shanghai. Just as brilliant as Kane, and to me definitely more enjoyable. In a more conventional genre piece, Welles still pulls out all the stops, and stylistically and atmospherically, as well as narratively, he creates an intoxicating and wonderfully baroque piece of cinema."

It's ... it's ... it's ... so incredibly true, yes

Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 27, 2017, 06:43:05 PM
Just about the only thing good about this movie is that Rita Hayworth looks beautiful. Some people may prefer the red hair, but, especially in black-and-white film, I prefer her as a blonde. But she looks great in any hair color. Yes, that's what I should have done: watched this movie on mute!
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: XhcnoirX on March 28, 2017, 02:41:53 AM
Found this, extra for Drink, in the www:

"The Lady from Shanghai. Just as brilliant as Kane, and to me definitely more enjoyable. In a more conventional genre piece, Welles still pulls out all the stops, and stylistically and atmospherically, as well as narratively, he creates an intoxicating and wonderfully baroque piece of cinema."

It's ... it's ... it's ... so incredibly true, yes

Agreed. It's definitely baroque, but in this case, it works. And Hayworth looks sensational with her platinum blonde cropped hair.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: cigar joe on March 28, 2017, 03:01:53 AM
Agreed. It's definitely baroque, but in this case, it works. And Hayworth looks sensational with her platinum blonde cropped hair.

I'd have lost the platinum blonde hair and the phoney Irish brogue.
Title: Re: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Post by: XhcnoirX on March 28, 2017, 03:34:24 AM
I'd have lost the platinum blonde hair and the phoney Irish brogue.

Rita without hair? That's some bold thinking right there!  ;)