Best Movies by Farr
The Lady from Shanghai Poster
Released Runtime Category
1948 87 Film Noir, Mystery/Thrillers
Director Language
Orson Welles English
Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders

The Lady from Shanghai

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What's it About

When he's offered a job working on a Mexico-bound yacht by Arthur Bannister (Sloane), a wealthy, handicapped lawyer whose wife he rescued from muggers, itinerant Irishman Michael O'Hara (Welles) accepts. Resisting the advances of gorgeous Elsa (Hayworth), the woman he saved, O'Hara finds himself sailing in even hotter water when he agrees to help Bannister's friend George Grisby (Anders) stage his own murder.

Why we love it

This murky, intriguing noir puzzler from Welles features excellent performances, stark atmospherics, and a typically Wellesian visual flair culminating in the famous Hall of Mirrors sequence. Dark-humored and fatalistic, the film owes much of its tension to Welles's off-camera conflicts with Hayworth, his real-life wife at the time. Part of the fun is seeing a master wrestle with the mysteries of his own life, and this "Lady" has plenty to spare.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"