The title sets out to mislead you. This ’47 noir by Orson Welles starring the man himself isn’t set in Shanghai. It’s referenced a coupla times but it really doesn’t have too much to do with the city. Or does it? I get the title at the end, fool that I am. At least I got the title.

It’s also set in Zoo York at the start, moves to the West Indies and then Mexico, the Panama canal and through to Frisco. A fella chances across a beautiful dame in central park see. Somethin’s not quite right. She’s just too beautiful. I mean she’s Rita Hayworth after all. He’s Orson Welles. What’s not right is she’s married. To a rich lawyer. He’s just a broke sailor.

Yet, the rich lawyer pops out and invites the broke sailor to work for him, on his yacht. The broke sailor only takes the job at the end, despite his gut tellin’ him not to. So they sail from New York ta Frisco and along the way, he falls even more for the broad. He also gets a strange proposition, one that gets fleshed out when they reach Frisco. Blinded by his lust, the sailor gets himself into a tangle, only to end up all the worse for it.

Near the end, you keep hearing ships horns, pretty much exactly like at the start of Bjork’s Wanderlust. There’s a nice, expected twist at the end, which seems to echo more than just a certainty of the betrayal theme throughout the film but perhaps something more personal. Love the scene near the end which is filmed in a magic mirror maze inside an abandoned amusement park. Never trust a dame yo.

Advertisements