Shanghai Gesture received Two Academy Awards
The Shanghai Gesture is Hollywood film made by United Artists in 1941, and starring many big movie names of that period, Victor Mature and Gene Tierney among others. It was based on a Broadway play of the same name by John Colton. The Shanghai Gesture received Academy awards for Best Art Direction and Best Original Music Score.
This Is a Dark and Dramatic Story
It is a complicated drama, set mostly in a casino. A gigolo, Omar (Victor Mature) tries to find a job in the casino owned by his boss, the Dragon Lady, for an American showgirl down on her luck. In the casino, Omar attracts the attention of a beautiful you woman (Gene Tierney) just arrived from her European finishing school. Her name is Poppy, and she is in Shanghai for some excitement.
Meanwhile, in Shanghai Gesture, Gin Sling (the Dragon Lady) is given five weeks to move her establishment to the less favourable Chinese sector. She orders her henchmen to find out everything they can about the man, Charteris, who has bought the area of Shanghai containing her casino. Poppy falls in love with Omar and becomes addicted to gambling with mobile pokes and alcohol, with Gin Sling’s assistance. Gin Sling has her just where she wants her.
Unexpected but Unhappy Ending
During a Chinese New Year dinner party, Gin Sling realises that in the distant past, she was married to Charteris, who abandoned her, leaving her destitute and alone. She wandered from place to place until coming to Shanghai and managing to open this casino. To get her revenge, she brings in Poppy, who flaunts her attraction to Omar and ridicules her father. Charteris offers to write a cheque the next day for Gin Sling, to repay her for the funds he took from her years ago. He also reveals that Poppy is actually Gin Sling’s daughter too. When Gin Sling reveals to Poppy that she is her own mother, Poppy continues to insult her. Gin Sling shoots her dead.
The Dragon Lady in the movie Shanghai Gesture admits that this is something she cannot bribe her way out of. The ironic last line of the movie is said by a muscular bouncer “you like Chinese New Year?”, as Charteris realises what has happened.
One of the Most Unforgettable Interiors
Shanghai Gesture seems to be a descent into the underworld, and the casino seems to be carved out of the depths of the earth. The casino in Shanghai Gesture is an unforgettable interior design, with circular balconies and enormous chandeliers. The blackjack tables and the roulette wheels are in the centre of a deep pit, bringing to mind Dante’s Inferno.
The roulette wheel will always be the symbol of the casino, and this game is one of the favourites and most often played in any casino. It is a game based entirely on luck, and can be played in several versions. All of them have the same basic rules, but some differ in the number of zeros on the wheel.
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