Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shanghai Surprise

Shanghai Surprise is a 1986 British adventure comedy film starring then-newlyweds Madonna and Sean Penn, produced by George Harrison's HandMade Films and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Harrison appeared as a night club singer, and also recorded several songs for the film's soundtrack including the song "Breath Away From Heaven," which was re-recorded and released on his album Cloud Nine along with the song "Someplace Else," another track used in the film. The soundtrack for Shanghai Surprise was never released as a record or CD, and was only briefly available as a promotional single featuring the title song "Shanghai Surprise" and "Zig Zag." Both of these songs have since been released as "additional tracks" on the 2004 release of the Cloud Nine CD. Another track, "The Hottest Gong in Town," was included on Songs by George Harrison Volume 2.

The screenplay was adapted by John Kohn and Robert Bentley from Tony Kenrick's 1978 novel Faraday's Flowers. The book was reprinted (under the film's title and with a film-centric cover) as a piece of tie-in merchandise for the film.

The movie was panned by critics and failed at the box office. It was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards, "winning" one of them, Worst Actress for Madonna.


* Sean Penn as Glendon Wasey
* Madonna as Gloria Tatlock
* Paul Freeman as Walter Faraday
* Richard Griffiths as Willie Tuttle
* Philip Sayer as Justin Kronk
* Clyde Kusatsu as Joe Go
* George Harrison as Night Club Singer

Awards and nominations

* Golden Raspberry Awards

Won: Worst Actress - Madonna
Nominated: Worst Picture
Nominated: Worst Director - Jim Goddard
Nominated: Worst Screenplay - John Kohn and Robert Bentley
Nominated: Worst Original Song - "Shanghai Surprise"
Nominated: Worst Actor - Sean Penn


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