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Ghost Canyon

'The Lady From Shanghai' [Blu-ray]
(Marlon Brando, Mary Murphy, Robert Keith, Lee Marvin, Jay C. Flippen, et al / Blu ray / NR / (1947) 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Baffling murders, fascinating plot twists and remarkable camera work all contribute to this spellbinding, time-honored film noir written, directed by and starring Orson Welles. Hired to work on a yacht belonging to the disabled husband of femme fatale Rita Hayworth, Welles plays an innocent man drawn into a dangerous web of intrigue and murder.

Blu ray Verdict: As with a typical film noir, 'The Lady from Shanghai' (1947) is a mysterious and alluring film, complete with a cynical, crime-ridden lead character, a beautiful femme fatale, and a complex and dramatic plot. It's a bit less glamorous than other film noirs; the exception being the lovely Rita Hayworth, of course. It's a little dingier, a little more rough around the edges. But that isn't a drawback. And it certainly stays entertaining for an hour and a half.

The lighting isn't all that remarkable, but the camera-work is interesting to examine. Orson Welles, the director and star, throws a bit of artistry in when it comes to angles and such throughout. And, of course, the iconic climax has its fair share of exciting cinematography.

The main little itch I had through the entire film was Welles's fake Irish accent. He performed the facial expressions and the body language well enough, but that accent just didn't hit the mark. It left just a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, being that he is the main character, who also narrates throughout.

Overall, worth watching, even if just to take a look at Welles's work and further expand your idea of a film noir. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1:37.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.