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The Lady from Shanghai


The Lady from Shanghai



Noirish to Meet You

A pugilistic Irish chancer comes to the rescue of a damsel in distress, then gets drawn into working a boat for her infamous lawyer husband.

Cut to the Chase

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Apparently cut to ribbons by the studios, there's still plenty of silky anarchy here, even if it is all tied up in a hurried bow.

Eccentric characters sweat in the broth of their own intrigues as they sail around exotic locations, taking the odd picnic amongst ravenous crocodiles. Events can't stay deceptively idyllic forever though, and with our protagonist already having professed himself a murderer, it's not long before others come calling on his baser nature.

This early noir has plenty of invention pulsing under the skin of its evil lawyers, hired detectives, and femme fatales. Always check for the extra set of serrated teeth behind their grimaces and smiles (even if the twist feels, if not telegraphed, somewhat phoned in). It would have been grand to see the elongated tension that Welles clearly had in mind.

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