The Shanghai Gesture

Film, Comedy

Time Out says

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.

By: TR


Release details

106 mins

Cast and crew

Josef von Sternberg
Geza Herczeg, Jules Furthman, Josef von Sternberg, Karl Vollmoeller
Maria Ouspenskaya
Phyllis Brooks
Mike Mazurki
Gene Tierney
Walter Huston
Eric Blore
Victor Mature
Ona Munson
Albert Basserman
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