Sign in to follow this  
speedracer5

The Lady From Shanghai & Other Orson Welles' Classics

35 posts in this topic

Speedracer, another Orson Welles performance you might enjoy is as Mr. Rochester in the 1944 version of Jane Eyre. TCM does show this one, if you haven't seen this version it is wonderful. Joan Fontaine as Jane, Elizabeth Taylor as a very young child, Agnes Morrehead, etc. great cast, beautiful film.

Thank you lavender.  I've been wanting to see this film.  It's on the Netflix Instant Queue.  I should try and watch it before it disappears.  I like Welles in his non acting/producing/and directing films.  My favorite of his "regular" films would be his pairing with Claudette Colbert in "Tomorrow is Forever."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I like about this film.

 

Ocassionally in real life, I meet a group of bizarre characters and they are usually very spooky.

I like the quirkiness of this film too.  Everyone is so crazy.  Even Hayworth who seems relatively normal throughout most of the film is a kook too.  The Grisby character is so creepy.  I love Welles' random humorous bits he throws into the film.  Like Bannister cross examining himself on the witness stand was funny. 

 

The funhouse mirror scene of course is the highlight of the film.

 

The only thing I don't like about the film is Welles' hokey Irish accent.  I wish he had just used his normal voice.  Even though his Michael O'Hara character is supposed to be Irish, I don't think not having an Irish accent would hurt the film any.  Errol Flynn plays a variety of nationalities in all his films, always speaking with his natural Australian accent and it didn't hurt his films at all.

 

Everytime I watch this film, I always figure out more and more of the plot.  The plot is complicated and confusing, but not in a bad way.  I've found this to be the case with many of Welles' films.  However, not being able to follow the plot completely for whatever reason doesn't take away my enjoyment of watching the film.  It more makes me intrigued to watch the film again rather than annoy me and make me not want to see it again.  This only seems to be the case with Welles' films.  I don't know what it is about his films, but they're always interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I'm a fan of The Lady from Shanghai it took me multiple viewings to really apprentice the film.   I'm not sure that a 'director's cut', especially one that would have made the film longer,  would have improved it.    In fact maybe tighter editing and \ or less focus on the bizarreness of the supporting character,  would have made the plot easier to understand.     

Apparently the original cut of The Lady From Shanghai was 155 minutes long versus the final cut of 87 mins.  While I'd be interested in a few scenes to clarify some plot points... I don't know if I'd want this film to grow from 1 hr 27 mins to 2 hours 35 mins.  That's quite a difference in runtime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cool comments by Edelstein on Spotlight airing of The Stranger ( a fav Welles film) on cut scenes of the initial escape & explanation of the clock obsession.

Would LOVE to see those sometime!

:)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cool comments by Edelstein on Spotlight airing of The Stranger ( a fav Welles film) on cut scenes of the initial escape & explanation of the clock obsession.

Would LOVE to see those sometime!

:)

I don't think we needed to see a long-winded opening sequence with Meineke leaving Nazi country, or even seeing the backstory of Kindler. It is rather unnecessary and I think producer Sam Spiegel was right to cut it. 

 

Plus, if you keep all that in, then you delay the introduction of the town and Loretta Young. The town is where most of the main action occurs, and Loretta was likely a reason people went to see the film in the first place. 

 

As for the clock stuff-- I think we get the idea Kindler/Rankin has a bizarre obsession with time-- and later Wlson (Robinson's character) tells Mary (played by Young) that the man he is tracking is an expert on clocks. So it comes later in the film and is explained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit, I haven't yet seen The Lady From Shanghai. However, I've been on the IMDB message board for this film, and the people on there had some really horrible things to say about it. There were complaints about Welles' Irish accent, the editing, music, a general feeling of disjointedness, and basically Welles' direction

overall. However I'm not going to let it dissuade me from watching it when a chance presents itself. So overall it's nice to hear GOOD things about it here.

 

I also really love Tomorrow is Forever! It's such a great movie! it was such a departure for welles; not at all the kind of movie we're used to seeing him in. The role was so different for him, but he played the part beautifully. Claudette Colbert and Natalie Wood are both great in it as well.

 

I'm on a huge Orson Welles kick right now. He was, and still is, so fascinating. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit, I haven't yet seen The Lady From Shanghai. However, I've been on the IMDB message board for this film, and the people on there had some really horrible things to say about it. There were complaints about Welles' Irish accent, the editing, music, a general feeling of disjointedness, and basically Welles' direction

overall. However I'm not going to let it dissuade me from watching it when a chance presents itself. So overall it's nice to hear GOOD things about it here.

 

I also really love Tomorrow is Forever! It's such a great movie! it was such a departure for welles; not at all the kind of movie we're used to seeing him in. The role was so different for him, but he played the part beautifully. Claudette Colbert and Natalie Wood are both great in it as well.

 

I'm on a huge Orson Welles kick right now. He was, and still is, so fascinating. :-)

Don't let those fools over at the imdb board dissuade you from watching The Lady From Shanghai.  This was a great movie.  It's one of those films where you (or at least I do) need to watch it multiple times to catch all the details.  Each viewing brings something new.  Rita Hayworth did a great job as the femme fatale.  This film was really ahead of its time.  The climax of course is the famous shootout in the house of mirrors at the end of the film.  Viewing this film at least once is worth it just to see this scene.  I believe it's airing next month as part of "The Summer of Darkness" series. 

 

My only complaint about the film is Welles' Irish accent.  It doesn't sound natural and it seems to come and go throughout the film--after awhile though, you start ignoring his accent.  It doesn't take away from the story at all.

 

Sometimes I think people that complain about things (like the director's direction for example) are just trying to come up with criticisms that they think makes them sound like really high brow movie buffs, but in reality, I bet they couldn't verbally tell you what it was they didn't like.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't let those fools over at the imdb board dissuade you from watching The Lady From Shanghai.  This was a great movie.  It's one of those films where you (or at least I do) need to watch it multiple times to catch all the details.  Each viewing brings something new.  Rita Hayworth did a great job as the femme fatale.  This film was really ahead of its time.  The climax of course is the famous shootout in the house of mirrors at the end of the film.  Viewing this film at least once is worth it just to see this scene.  I believe it's airing next month as part of "The Summer of Darkness" series. 

 

My only complaint about the film is Welles' Irish accent.  It doesn't sound natural and it seems to come and go throughout the film--after awhile though, you start ignoring his accent.  It doesn't take away from the story at all.

 

Sometimes I think people that complain about things (like the director's direction for example) are just trying to come up with criticisms that they think makes them sound like really high brow movie buffs, but in reality, I bet they couldn't verbally tell you what it was they didn't like.

 

To me the actual points Hepburngirl mentions from the IMDB comments "Welles' Irish accent, the editing, music, a general feeling of disjointedness, and basically Welles' direction"   are close to being spot-on.

 

Hey,  to me TLFS is a very good film and certainly an interesting one (and therefore a must see from that POV).   But there are flaws and those comments cover these flaws.     

 

Wouldn't you define the movie as one that takes a while to get?    So maybe those comments were from people that only viewed the film once and kind of 'gave up' on it too soon.     I know it wasn't until I saw the film a second time that I really 'got it'. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't let those fools over at the imdb board dissuade you from watching The Lady From Shanghai. This was a great movie. It's one of those films where you (or at least I do) need to watch it multiple times to catch all the details. Each viewing brings something new. Rita Hayworth did a great job as the femme fatale. This film was really ahead of its time. The climax of course is the famous shootout in the house of mirrors at the end of the film. Viewing this film at least once is worth it just to see this scene. I believe it's airing next month as part of "The Summer of Darkness" series.

 

My only complaint about the film is Welles' Irish accent. It doesn't sound natural and it seems to come and go throughout the film--after awhile though, you start ignoring his accent. It doesn't take away from the story at all.

 

Sometimes I think people that complain about things (like the director's direction for example) are just trying to come up with criticisms that they think makes them sound like really high brow movie buffs, but in reality, I bet they couldn't verbally tell you what it was they didn't like.

I will most definitely be seeing it for Summer of Darkness. I usually don't let others dissuade me from seeing a film--I like to judge for myself. :-) I'm also interested in seeing how Welles' and Hayworth's chemistry is, seeing as how they were married at the time.

 

No matter how good or bad the film is, though, Welles' films always have their interesting points that makes them worth watching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/19/2015 at 3:06 PM, Notan said:

 

Dang! Guess I put my foot in it! All this time I've thought it was a Welles film, and clearly haven't paid attention. Thanks for the correction.

 

But now I'm starting to wonder if I would like it as much if it were a Welles film (which is moot, of course, but I do find that I like it significantly more than the other films I mentioned).

Many, including me, initially thought that Wells directed The Third Man.  The expressionist camera work is reminiscent of The Trial.   Carol Reed was a great director in his own right. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us