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It’s been called everything from an outright disaster to ‘the weirdest great movie ever made’. Like The Magnificent Ambersons before it, Welles’ glittering thriller was subject to swingeing studio cuts (up to an hour was sliced from the finished picture). But what remains of The Lady from Shanghai is remarkable enough. Made as the director was in the process of breaking up with his star, the breathtaking Rita Hayworth, this is less a film noir and more a divorce case writ large, steeped in irony, self-loathing, love, hate, fascination, recrimination, mistrust and sexual longing. It’s the story of an Irish roustabout –played with wandering accent and waistline by Welles– and his relationship with a troubled society beauty after he takes a job on her yacht. The plot is a magnificent mess of switchbacks and revelations, climaxing with one of cinema’s most outrageously inventive sequences: a shootout in a funfair hall of mirrors. The result may not have the crystalline perfection of Citizen Kane, but that’s a flaw it shares with every other film in history. TH
D, G, P: Orson Welles
F: Charles Lawton Jr.
E: Viola Lawrence
DA: Sturges Carne, Stephen Goosson
S: Lodge Cunningham
M: Heinz Roemheld
CP: Columbia Pictures
Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders, Ted de Corsia
T +44 141 332 2175 E firstname.lastname@example.org
W parkcircus.com TW @parkcircusfilms
Director, producer, screewriter and actor born in Kenosha, US, in 1915. At 16, he started his acting career at Dublin’s Gate Theatre, and made his debut as a film director in 1941 with his masterpiece Citizen Kane. He directed the film versions of Macbeth (1945) and Othello (1952) and also developed an important career as an actor. He died in...