A Russian emigrant sings in a Shanghai nightclub under the assumed name of Kay Murphy. All she dreams of is a peaceful life with her daughter Vera. But this is only a pipe dream as she has ... See full summary »
This is a very complicated story and the viewer -not familiar with the situation in China at the time- may sometimes feel lost.The first thirty minutes reveal an average script,which is going all over the place: a chanteuse who sings a little song every five minutes,her daughter in a fitting boarding-school (Gabrielle Dorziat as the headmistress,a three-minute part),a people hero,Tchang, a French journalist,an organization ,the "black dragon" ,this is really a Shanghai mixture.
In fact,this is as far-fetched as "Fraulein Doctor " aka "Salonique Nid d'Espions" which Pabst made two years before .What saves this film is the cast (Louis Jouvet,Raymond Rouleau) Some of Henri Jeanson's lines ("compared to our passports,the true ones look false!" "why didn't you do that fifteen years ago?" (kill me) )are up to scratch;Pabst 's directing is sometimes excellent: the free-for-all in the night club ;the bloody passport bullets went through;and most of all,the death of Kay in the jubilant crowd.