The Lady From Shanghai | Chicago Reader

The Lady From Shanghai

The weirdest great movie ever made (1948), which is somehow always summed up for me by the image of Glenn Anders cackling "Target practice! Target practice!" with unbalanced, malignant glee. Orson Welles directs and stars as an innocent Irish sailor who's drafted into a bizarre plot involving crippled criminal lawyer Everett Sloane and his icily seductive wife Rita Hayworth. Hayworth tells Welles he "knows nothing about wickedness" and proceeds to teach him, though he's an imperfect student. The film moves between Candide-like farce and a deeply disturbing apprehension of a world in grotesque, irreversible decay—it's the only true film noir comedy. The script, adapted from a novel by Sherwood King, is credited solely to Welles, but it's the work of many hands, including Welles, William Castle, Charles Lederer, and Fletcher Markle.



  • Orson Welles


  • Rita Hayworth
  • Orson Welles
  • Everett Sloane
  • Glenn Anders
  • Ted de Corsia
  • Erskine Sanford
  • Gus Schilling
  • Carl Frank
  • Louis Merrill
  • Evelyn Ellis
  • Harry Shannon
  • Wong Chung


  • Orson Welles


  • William Castle
  • Orson Welles
  • Richard Wilson

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