Showing posts with the label The Lady From Shanghai

The Lady From Shanghai

This 1947 action thriller was directed by Welles, starring him and Rita Hayworth , with whom he was at the time of shooting, going through a divorce . The story is one of people being thrown oddly together and navigating bizarre twists. Michael O’Hara (Welles) saves the life of the gorgeous Elsa Bannister (Hayworth) and her husband, Arthur (Everett Sloane) endeavors to reward him with a job on his yacht. Enter George Grisby, Michael’s partner, who wants to stage his own murder to commit life insurance fraud, and offers Michael five grand to confess. What ensues is a many-layered tale of deceit and manipulation, the plot thickening repeatedly. Lady was adapted from William Castle’s novel If I Die Before I Wake, with many changes from Welles. It was financed by Harry Cohn, co-founder, president, and production manager of Columbia Pictures. Welles biographer Barbara Leaming charges that Cohn was notoriously lecherous, using a letter opener to arrange a peek under the skirts o

Orson Welles Film Noir

Film noir is usually thought of as a style marked by a thematic focus on gritty crime, with crooked detectives and colorful criminals, and black and white compositions with harsh shadows and streetlights falling across the characters at sharp angles. Welles’ film noir moments came in a few of his projects, particularly those early and midway through his career. One familiar with Citizen Kane can see that the classic does embody some of the stylistic traits noted above, and because of this, it can be said to have influenced the genre. Lady From Shanghai would mark Welles’ directorial foray into elements of noir. One noir trait it embodies is the fall guy and femme fatale paradigm, with Michael O’Hara (Welles) as the former and Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth) as the latter. The film also has an air of hopelessness, of the main characters stepping into webs from which they won’t be able to escape, that is a trait of the noir. However, what links Welles most to film noir here