It took decades to get there, but co-writer/director Orson Welles' 1947 The Lady From Shanghai has gradually attained the status of a film noir classic. Like another lost masterpiece from Welles, The Magnificent Ambersons, roughly an hour of the film was cut — and destroyed — by the controlling studio, apparently to teach the defiant and visionary Welles a hard lesson in Hollywood economics and playing by the rules. The surviving film is wildly imaginative and technically innovative, but one can only dream of the artistic triumph that might have been.
The Lady From Shanghai stars Welles and Rita Hayworth (the couple divorced shortly after the film's release) and was based on Sherwood King's novel If I Die Before I Wake. The New Orleans Film Society will present a screening of the film tonight, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Peter and Paul Church, 2317 Burgundy Street. Admission is free and open to the public. More info here.