×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Shanghai Gesture

Thirty-one film treatments on [John Colton's play] Shanghai Gesture were submitted without success to the Hays Office. Producer Arnold Pressburger finally slipped through a treatment for a go-ahead signal - to at least bring the original title and the Oriental background of the polyglot Asiatic metropolis to the screen.

With:
Gene Tierney Victor Mature Ona Munson Walter Huston Phyllis Brooks Albert Basserman

Thirty-one film treatments on [John Colton’s play] Shanghai Gesture were submitted without success to the Hays Office. Producer Arnold Pressburger finally slipped through a treatment for a go-ahead signal – to at least bring the original title and the Oriental background of the polyglot Asiatic metropolis to the screen.

Stripped of the sensational elements of Gesture at the time it was produced on the stage, the resultant film version is a rather dull and hazy drama of the Orient.

Mother Gin Sling (Ona Munson) is the operating brains of a gambling casino, case-hardened through her struggles up the ladder. When property in the district is bought up by Walter Huston, English financier, and the Mother is told to fold, she goes out to get the goods on her enemy in typical Oriental fashion. Result is Gin Sling’s manipulation of Huston’s daughter (Gene Tierney) onto a downward path; Gin Sling’s accusation of his desertion years before; and his rebuttal that the girl she has ruined is actually her daughter.

Victor Mature, as the matter-of-fact Arab despoiler of Tierney’s honor, provides a standout performance. Huston’s abilities are lost in the jumble, while Munson cannot penetrate the mask-like makeup arranged for her characterization.

1942: Nominations: Best B&W Art Direction, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

The Shanghai Gesture

Production: Arnold. Director Josef von Sternberg; Producer [Arnold Pressburger]; Screenplay [Karl Vollmoeller], Geza Herczeg, Jules Furthman, Josef von Sternberg; Camera Paul Ivano; Editor Sam Winston; Music Richard Hageman; Art Director Boris Leven

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: Gene Tierney Victor Mature Ona Munson Walter Huston Phyllis Brooks Albert Basserman

More Film

  • China Film Group's Jiang Ping

    Shanghai: China Studio Chiefs Debate Winter Chills and U.S. Rivalry

    The Shanghai International Film Festival pulled off the impressive feat of assembling leading executives from seven of China’s top film studios. Their discussion focused on the problems that have recently beset the production sector and the industry’s relationship with Hollywood. “The film industry achieved great things in 2018, but it was also the year that [...]

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping claps while

    Propaganda Films to Dominate Chinese Theaters in Anniversary Year

    A presentation at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday shed light on the welter of propaganda films that will compete with Hollywood blockbusters for the attention of Chinese cinema goers in the second half of this year. This year is laden with political significance for China’s ruling Communist Party. It is 100 years since [...]

  • Leung Chiu-wai

    Tony Leung to Star in Shanghai Film Group's 'Fox Hunt' Police Action Film

    Hong Kong’s Tony Leung Chiu-wai and mainland China’s Duan Yihong will head the cast of the Shanghai Film Group’s upcoming “Fox Hunt.” The film is based on real live events and depicts the activities of Operation Fox Hunt, a worldwide anti-corruption initiative managed by China’s Ministry of Public Security. The operation seeks to find and [...]

  • Wings Over Everest

    Terence Chang's 'Wings Over Everest' Set to Swell China's Rescue Film Genre

    “Wings over Everest,” a new action adventure film from veteran producer Terence Chang and “Wolf Warrior 2” producer Lu Jianmin, is poised to join the burgeoning Chinese sub-genre of rescue movies.   The Chinese- and English-language film stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu (“Project Gutenberg”; “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”), Japanese actor Koji Yakusho (“Babel”; “Memoirs of a [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    China Film Marketing Firms Must Adapt To Internet Age, Says Huayi's Jerry Ye

    Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO and media group VP Jerry Ye made no mention Sunday of the abrupt cancellation of the premiere for his firm’s highly anticipated war epic “The Eight Hundred,” which was set to be the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s opening film the night before. Instead, he looked to the future at a panel [...]

  • The Meg

    Chinese Script Development Requires A Different Touch, Top Producers Say

    Leading film producers highlighted the challenges of developing good scripts in China and abroad at a panel during the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. Wanda Media GM Jiang Wei (aka Wayne Jiang) recommended that producers remain aware of the real differences between the scriptwriting process for Chinese productions versus international and co-productions. The fundamental [...]

  • Lou Ye's "Spring Fever"

    Shanghai: Previously-Banned Producer Nai An Now Hails Chinese Film Funding

    At a panel on indie film production at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival, Chinese and foreign producers discussed the shifting funding landscape for their projects over the years. Nai An, the longtime collaborator of controversial sixth generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, kicked off the talk with a look back at her producing career, which has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content