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ORSON WELLES DIRECTS AND STARS IN 'THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI'

Title: The Lady From Shanghai Year: 1947 Rating: ***1/2

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI is famous for the ending, but there are some worthy middle parts of this unique Noir that Welles cast ex-wife Rita Hayworth in, cutting off her luscious GILDA hair and ticking off producers right off the bat...

Not that it matters... Hayworth's performance isn't that "wicked" and yet she is fitfully vulnerable: particularly in a corny horse-and-carriage that Welles opposed, introducing both his contentedly poor Irish seaman, Mike "Black Irish" O'Hara to Hayworth's rich, sullen Elsa, wife of a crippled, snaky and hugely infamous lawyer played by Everette Sloane...

Sadly, he's as lackluster as she is — but on the other hand, Ted de Corsia as Sloane's secret gumshoe fulfills the "hard-boiled" edge while Glenn Anders shines in this "road movie" at sea...

Welles the initially reluctant hired/rented captain of Sloane's yacht, taking his "party" around South America/Cape Horn back up to San Fransisco as the best scenes take place in-between, at a Spanish seaport where Anders, as Sloane's law partner, George (far more spontaneous, crooked, and sometimes downright outrageous) starts messing with the good captain's head (and the audience's too) in what's mostly a breezy action/adventure yarn that (as Welles has bemoaned) wields a far too melodramatic score, making every scene concerning boy and girl seem like a soap operatic engagement instead of a seductive entanglement — all leading to that famous finale, which makes up for Anders no longer being around since he was basically all the fun before the fun house.

Orson Welles and Glenn Anders in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Orson Welles and Glenn Anders in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Everette Sloane in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Ted de Corsia and Rita Hayworth in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Glenn Anders in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Rita Hayworth in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Orson Welles in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Everette Sloane, Gus Schilling and Louis Merrill in The Lady from Shanghai
Rita Hayworth and an eel in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Rita Hayworth and sharks in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Glenn Anders in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Rita Hayworth in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Orson Welles in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Orson Welles in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
The most borrowed homage-driven scene ever done with mirrors from The Lady FROM Shanghai
Glenn Anders and Orson Welles in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI

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