The Lady from Shanghai: A Discussion with Peter Bogdanovich (2000)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Highly entertaining 20-minute feature has director Peter Bogdanovich sitting down to discuss Orson Welles' cult classic THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI. Bogdanovich was a close personal friend with Welles so he's certainly one of the top people to discuss the legends work. The director shares all sorts of stories dealing with the history of the film including how it wasn't even on Welles' radar until his play of 'Around the World in 80 Days' ran out of money so he wired Harry Cohn and offered up this film for $50,000. The production was full of problems including Welles not wanting his then wife Rita Hayworth to be in the film and then her sickness pushed the film back for a month. Bogdanovich also goes through all of the main actors and how they got their parts. Finally, the director talks about the various post-production problems including a couple disastrous previews where the studio finally took an hour out of the film and not following Welles' instructions. The director admits that we'll never know how great (or bad) the original version was but he talks about what he feels does work here. Best of all is that he can share a few stories that Welles told him about the movie and it's quite clear that he wasn't too thrilled with the end result. Fans of Welles will certainly want to watch this film and the stories are great and Bogdanovich also gives you a few new thoughts about some of the material.
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