Shanghai Express (1932)

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Shanghai Express is a 1932 American Pre-Code film directed by Josef von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong, and Warner Oland. It was written by Jules Furthman, based on a 1931 story by Harry Hervey. Shanghai Express was the fourth of seven films von Sternberg and Dietrich made together.

Shanghai Express was released during the midst of the Great Depression. The film was a huge hit with the public, grossing $3.7 million in its initial screenings in the United States alone, becoming the biggest financial success of the Dietrich-von Sternberg collaborations, and was the highest-grossing movie of 1932, surpassing the all-star Grand Hotel.

Shanghai Express is memorable for its stylistic black-and-white chiaroscuro cinematography. Even though Lee Garmes was awarded the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, according to Dietrich, it was von Sternberg who was responsible for most of it.