Shanghai Surprise is a 1986 adventure comedy film directed by Jim Goddard and starring then-newlyweds Sean Penn and Madonna. The screenplay was adapted by John Kohn and Robert Bentley from Tony Kenrick's 1978 novel Faraday's Flowers.
Produced by George Harrison's HandMade Films and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Harrison himself appeared as a night club singer, and recorded several songs for the soundtrack, including "Breath Away from Heaven", which was re-recorded and released on his 1987 album Cloud Nine along with "Someplace Else", also used in the film. The soundtrack was never officially released, and was only briefly available as a promotional single featuring the title track, coupled with "Zig Zag". Both of these songs have since been released as "additional tracks" on the 2004 Cloud Nine re-release. Another track, "The Hottest Gong in Town", was included on the EP Songs by George Harrison Volume 2.
Shanghai Surprise was a critical and commercial failure. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in October, 1986, "The movie opened so poorly in its first wave of playdates (late August in the Northeast and Midwest) that MGM has made severe cuts in its marketing budget. One MGM exec was quoted in the trades as saying this was necessary because 'the interest in the film has been non-existent.'"