The Ship From Shanghai (1930)

66 mins | Melodrama | 31 January 1930

Director:

Charles Brabin

Cinematographer:

Ira Morgan

Editor:

Grant Whytock

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of the film was The Ordeal . In the Shanghai nightclub sequence, a small orchestra plays "Singin' in the Rain," during which the band members sing the lyrics in Chinese. The main part of the story is set on a yacht, with much of the action taking place on the boat's deck. According to contemporary news items, M-G-M publicized the film as the first talking picture to be shot on the open ... More Less

The working title of the film was The Ordeal . In the Shanghai nightclub sequence, a small orchestra plays "Singin' in the Rain," during which the band members sing the lyrics in Chinese. The main part of the story is set on a yacht, with much of the action taking place on the boat's deck. According to contemporary news items, M-G-M publicized the film as the first talking picture to be shot on the open sea. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
18 Jul 1929
p. 8.
Film Daily
27 Apr 1930.
---
Hollywood Filmograph
11 Aug 1929
p. 20.
New York Times
26 Apr 1930
p. 11.
Variety
30 Apr 1930
p. 38.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
Dramatized for the scr
Titles
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
SOUND
Rec eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Ordeal by Dale Collins (New York, 1924).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Singin' in the Rain," music by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Ordeal
Release Date:
31 January 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 January 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1030
Physical Properties:
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Western Electric System
Duration(in mins):
66
Length(in feet):
6,225
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In Shanghai, American playboy Howard Vazey becomes reacquainted with Dorothy Daley, an English girl he has not seen in years. At the suggestion of yacht owners Viola and Paul Thorpe, Howard, Dorothy and their friend, Lady Daley, decide to cross the Pacific to the United States. Unknown to them, Ted, the ship's steward, hates the wealthy people he is forced to serve on the yacht and is determined to take his hatred out on them. With his ally, Pete the cook, Ted starts to turn the crew against the passengers. After a devastating storm disables the ship and supplies become low, Ted convinces the crew to mutiny and assumes the position of captain. Because of his harsh treatment, and with water and food running dangerously low, the passengers hatch a plan to escape in the ship's only long boat, but their plan is overheard. That night, when they sneak on deck, they discover that the crew, except for Ted and Pete, have used the boat for their own escape. Howard tries to fight the sadistic Ted but is badly injured. Later, the increasingly delusional Ted, who desires Dorothy, tries to induce her to come to his cabin. That night, Lady Daley suggests that, because their situation is hopeless, they have no choice but to secretly open the seacocks and sink the ship. Paul agrees, but Dorothy begs them to wait one more day. She then sneaks down to Ted's cabin where he has prepared an elegant dinner for her. When he professes his feelings and wants her to respond, Dorothy lashes out at him, screaming that he is insane. Ted then runs on deck and ... +


In Shanghai, American playboy Howard Vazey becomes reacquainted with Dorothy Daley, an English girl he has not seen in years. At the suggestion of yacht owners Viola and Paul Thorpe, Howard, Dorothy and their friend, Lady Daley, decide to cross the Pacific to the United States. Unknown to them, Ted, the ship's steward, hates the wealthy people he is forced to serve on the yacht and is determined to take his hatred out on them. With his ally, Pete the cook, Ted starts to turn the crew against the passengers. After a devastating storm disables the ship and supplies become low, Ted convinces the crew to mutiny and assumes the position of captain. Because of his harsh treatment, and with water and food running dangerously low, the passengers hatch a plan to escape in the ship's only long boat, but their plan is overheard. That night, when they sneak on deck, they discover that the crew, except for Ted and Pete, have used the boat for their own escape. Howard tries to fight the sadistic Ted but is badly injured. Later, the increasingly delusional Ted, who desires Dorothy, tries to induce her to come to his cabin. That night, Lady Daley suggests that, because their situation is hopeless, they have no choice but to secretly open the seacocks and sink the ship. Paul agrees, but Dorothy begs them to wait one more day. She then sneaks down to Ted's cabin where he has prepared an elegant dinner for her. When he professes his feelings and wants her to respond, Dorothy lashes out at him, screaming that he is insane. Ted then runs on deck and throws himself overboard and is devoured by sharks. Days later, while Ted, Paul and Pete manually work the ship's pump, they see a distant passenger ship and are able to alert it by sending up their last flare. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.