"Like the sharks, mad with their own blood, chewin' away at their own selves."
So says Michael O'Hara (Orson Welles) to Rosalie Bannister (Rita Hayworth) at the end of the superb 1947 motion picture, The Lady From Shanghai.
Based on the book If I Die Before I Wake by Sherwood King, this film noir directed by Welles is incredible from start to finish. There is a reason why it was chosen in 2018 for the U.S. National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
The noir classic contains all the characteristics of this unique cinematic and literary genre: nihilism, double-crosses, a beautiful blonde, greed, and murder. The Lady From Shanghai certainly joins the class of other epic noirs, such as Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, This Gun for Hire, and Out of the Past.
But while John Huston and Billy Wilder were two of the greatest filmmakers of all time, they did not share the same creativity with the camera as Welles. This is evident by the classic mirror maze scene in the end featuring Welles, Hayworth, and Everett Sloane.
This movie is sublime because the acting talents of Hayworth are finally on display. Not to mention she is pleasing to the eye, with her transition from the redheaded seductress to the stunning blonde femme fatale. She had routinely been cast as a sympathetic and heavenly love interest, whether it was in the great Gilda or The Lady in Question. This film allowed her to spotlight her the...