Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
flawed but should be seen
on 6 December 2005
Coming straight from a viewing of The Third Man, one of my all time favourites, and a great performance from Welles, The Lady From Shanghai was a bit of a dissappointment. Welles's acting is the foremost problem. It's as if he was unsure of what to make of the character, where to place him so to speak. Welles who would usually steal the whole scene with the tiniest gesture, here struggles to get involved in his character and give it any sort of real life and consistence.
The other problem is the flow of the movie. Apparently an hour was cut, much to Welles's dismay, and it certainly left the movie very disjointed at places.
Why should you give it a view, then? Well, for one thing the three other principal characters all have something to offer. Rita Hayworth is quite extraordinary, just as mysterious as those famous Hitchcock-blondes (she had to cut and bleach her famous red hair for this one). And her final scene with the scream, "I don't want to die" - that's chilling!
Everett Sloane and Glenn Anders are great too in their parts, both of them playing really bizarre, half comic, half nasty characters.
And then of course there is the famous scene, the showdown, in the fun park and the hall of mirrors, severely cut according to Peter Bogdanovich, but still marvelous stuff.
The Lady From Shanghai is far from being a masterpiece like Citizen Kane but still there is much to be enjoyed.