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::1932 - Shanghai Express / Schanghai Express



USA 1932
Paramount
black & white

Synopsis:
In 1931, as the Chinese Civil War rages, Captain Donald Harvey, a physician known as "Doc," meets his long-lost love, Magdalen, now known as Shanghai Lily, as they board the Shanghai Express in the Peking railroad station. Lily is a notorious "coaster," a woman who, while not a professional prostitute, lives by her feminine wits along the China coast. While the train is stopped, the passengers are searched by soldiers of the Chinese Army, and a spy is arrested. Fellow passenger Henry Chang surreptitiously sends a telegram to rebel troops commanding them to hijack the train at midnight. Traveling once again, Lily and Donald rekindle their love, but Donald is repelled by the life Lily has been leading. When the train is accosted by the rebels and Chang interrogates the first-class passengers, they realize that he is commander-in-chief of the rebel army. Donald informs Chang of the urgency of his trip to Shanghai, where he is expected to perform brain surgery on the governor-general. Chang holds Donald hostage, and only agrees to release him if the British Legation returns his spy to him the next morning. Chang propositions Lily, but she says she has reformed. When Chang forces himself on her, Donald breaks in and knocks him down. That evening, Chang rapes Hui Fei, also a coaster, and keeps her imprisoned for the night. Chang's spy is returned to him, but he continues to hold Donald, threatening to blind him until Lily offers to accompany Chang back to his palace in exchange for leaving Donald unharmed. Hui Fei stabs Chang to death as retribution, and the train and its passengers finally complete their journey to Shanghai. Dr. Carmichael, doctor of divinity, commends Lily for her sacrifice and tries to convince Donald of her honor, but Donald refuses to believe him. When Donald sees Lily buying a watch for him to replace the one he had lost, however, he begs her forgiveness and they embrace in the crowded station.

Cast:
MARLENE DIETRICH (Shanghai Lily)
CLIVE BROOK (Captain Donald Harvey)
ANNA MAY WONG (Hui Fei)
WARNER OLAND (Henry Chang)
EUGENE PALLETTE (Sam Salt)
LAWRENCE GRANT (Mr. Carmichael)
LOUISE CLOSSER HALE (Mrs. Haggerty)
GUSTAV VON SEYFFERTITZ (Eric Baum)
EMILE CHAUTARD (Major Lenard)
CLAUDE KING (Albright)
NESHEDA MINORU (Chinese Spy)
sowie WILLIE FUNG

Crew:
JOSEF VON STERNBERG (Director)
JULES FURTHMAN (Screenplay)
LEE GARMES (Camera)
WARREN LYNCH, ROY CLARK (2. Camera)
WARNER CRUIZE, MILTON BRIDENBREKER (Camera Assistant)
HANS DREIER (Set Direction)
W. FRANKE HARLING (Music)
TRAVIS BANTON (Costumes)
HARRY D. MILLS (Sound)
TOM GUBBINS (Technical Advisor)
JUNIUS ESTEP (Still Photographer)
based on a story by HARRY HERVEY

Length:
84 Minutes

Production:
August to End of November 1931

Premiere:
12 February 1932, Rialto Theatre, New York