The Lady from Shanghai (rewatch)
Posted by martinteller on February 10, 2014
Third time watching this, and it just gets weirder every time. One of the most eccentric noirs there is. O’Hara is pulled from one off-kilter environment to another, getting further and further over his head, as his self-deprecating voiceover admits. In the final act, he goes from one of the craziest courtroom scenes I’ve ever witnessed to a Chinese opera to the film’s dizzying funhouse finale. It’s a movie where the plot seems to get more confusing the more times you see it. Along the way are magnificent speeches, an assortment of some of the oddest oddballs you’ll ever see, and heaps of mesmerizing noir stylization.
It’s funny because I feel like if I let myself, I could ramble on and on about this movie with random bits. Like how the aquarium is the same one used in The Lineup and I have to admit Welles uses it a lot better. I could probably get a couple of paragraphs just dissecting what’s “bad” and what’s “good” about the movie, and trying to figure out the difference. But somehow I don’t feel like poking at it. Maybe I’m just too anxious to try to get another movie watched this evening… or maybe it’s just better left alone, an enigmatic piece of flawed but fascinating eccentricity. Rating: Very Good (84)