Sternberg's last Hollywood masterpiece, a delirious melodrama of decadence and sexual guilt that uses its Oriental motifs as a cypher for all that is unknown or unknowable. The battle is waged between a Western hypocrite (Huston) and an Eastern pleasure queen (Munson); the erotic skirmishes occur between the self-willed but helpless heroine (Tierney) and the apathetic object of her passion (Mature, amazing, 'Doctor of nothing, poet of Shanghai... and Gomorrah'); the chief arena is a casino built like a circle of hell, where nothing is left to 'chance'. Subversive cinema at its most sublime.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Josef von Sternberg|
|Screenwriter:||Geza Herczeg, Jules Furthman, Josef von Sternberg, Karl Vollmoeller|