December 1947: The Lady From Shanghai

*gasp* Orson Welles!

And Orson is dubbed into a comedy Irish dialect!? WTF?! His lips don’t match up to the audio all the time, at least, so I’m assuming it’s not Welles himself doing the awful impression…

This is such a weird movie! I love it! It makes no sense! I assume that Welles’ diet consisted of nothing but diet pills and coke around this time.

I’m not sure this is a good movie, but it’s absolutely brilliant.

Well. That was so weird that I have to google it.

Here’s Wikipedia:

Cohn strongly disliked Welles’s rough cut, particularly what he considered to be a confusing plot and lack of close-ups (Welles had deliberately avoided these, as a stylistic device), and was not in sympathy with Welles’s Brechtian use of irony and black comedy, especially in a farcical courtroom scene. He also objected to the appearance of the film—Welles had aimed for documentary-style authenticity by shooting one of the first major Hollywood pictures almost entirely on location (in Acapulco, Pie de la Cuesta, Sausalito and San Francisco) using long takes, and Cohn preferred the more tightly-controlled look of footage lit and shot in a studio. Release was delayed due to Cohn ordering extensive editing and reshoots.

Well, that explains it! All those weird, excessive close-ups: It’s like Welles went “YOU WANT CLOSE-UPS!? I”LL FUCKING GIVE YOU FUCKING CLOSE-FUCKING-UPS!”

Welles removed himself from the directorial credits of this movie, and we can only imagine what Welles’ original version looked like: “As with many of Welles’s films over which he did not have control over the final cut, the missing footage has not been found and is presumed to have been destroyed.”

The version we have now is absolutely bonkers, and is compulsive watching.

The Lady From Shanghai. Orson Welles. 1947.

Hey! I should have taken the balcony furniture inside, I guess…

Popular movies in December 1947 according to IMDB:

20077.9Good News
200887.7The Lady from Shanghai
106877.6The Bishop’s Wife
41527.4Brighton Rock
25477.3Road to Rio
21807.1A Double Life
9426.9High Wall
13186.9Captain from Castile
3956.8The Voice of the Turtle

This blog post is part of the Decade series.

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