The Shanghai Drama

  • 1938
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Spy

Though originally made in 1938, THE SHANGHAI DRAMA did not make its way to the US until after the war was over. The politically ambiguous Pabst was working in France at the time, having temporarily left Germany because of the Nazi takeover. He later returned to Germany and made two Nazi propaganda pictures. Yarn concerns White Russian refugees in Shanghai,...read more

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Though originally made in 1938, THE SHANGHAI DRAMA did not make its way to the US until after the war was over. The politically ambiguous Pabst was working in France at the time, having temporarily left Germany because of the Nazi takeover. He later returned to Germany and made two Nazi

propaganda pictures. Yarn concerns White Russian refugees in Shanghai, prior to the Sino-Japanese War, working for the Japanese effort against the Chinese. One of them, Mardayne, a cabaret singer, wants out, mainly for the sake of her daughter's safety. She never makes it to freedom, but her

daughter is saved through the help of a journalist. Fellow German Schufftan, who immigrated to the US in 1940, photographed this drama for Pabst. (Schufftan would later receive an Academy Award for his photography in THE HUSTLER.) Through his highly stylized lighting, the cinematographer created a

unique atmosphere appropriate to the Chinese setting. Pabst directed in a subtle manner, concentrating on characters instead of action, and filling the background with numerous interesting faces. (In French; English subtitles.)

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Though originally made in 1938, THE SHANGHAI DRAMA did not make its way to the US until after the war was over. The politically ambiguous Pabst was working in France at the time, having temporarily left Germany because of the Nazi takeover. He later return… (more)

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