The Lady from Shanghai (1947) – Film-Noir

Starring Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, the film is narrated by an Irish sailor (Welles) who meets a beautiful but unhappily married woman (Hayworth). Michael is given a job on the yacht of the wealthy lawyer Arthur Bannister and he is near the alluring Elsa once again. While he is aboard the yacht, Bannister’s partner Grisby asks Michael to fake a murder so Grisby can disappear and claim the insurance money. Michael is suppose to confess to the crime but Grisby will be long gone and there will be no evidence. However, things go awry when Grisby kills another man and then he himself ends up dead. This leaves an innocent Michael facing the gas chamber. Only after he makes a desperate escape from court does he learn who was behind the murder of Grisby and also actually in league with him. In a surreal climax ending in the hall of mirrors, Elsa, Michael, and Bannister all face each other. However, only one survives. Despite a slow beginning the exciting second half of this film is a credit to the directing of Welles.

4/5 Stars

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