Shanghai Surprise [DVD] [1986]

This comedy-adventure -- best remembered as Madonna and Sean Penn's only starring vehicle together -- gets a bare-bones release on DVD. Shanghai Surprise has been given a full-frame transfer at the aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo. No multiple-language options or bonus material has been included.
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Special Features

  • Full-screen version
  • 2.0 Dolby Stereo Surround
  • English closed captioning
  • Scene selection
  • Closed Captioned


Shanghai Surprise
Madonna and Sean Penn, who were husband and wife at the time, starred in this notorious box-office bomb that one critic termed "Flop Suey." The film takes place in 1937, during the Japanese occupation of China. Drug runner Walter Faraday (Paul Freeman) is trying to leave the country with a large stash of opium but he is chased by armed guards and killed. A year passes and missionary Gloria Tatlock (Madonna) hires sleazy American con man Glendon Wasey (Sean Penn) to help her find the missing opium. She wants to use the drugs to relieve the suffering of wounded Chinese soldiers -- as she puts it, "Guns cause pain. Opium eases pain." Glendon reluctantly agrees. But unfortunately for the two do-gooders, there are other, more notorious seekers of the opium shipment as well. George Harrison, one of the film's producers, wrote the songs and appears in a cameo role as a nightclub singer. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Sean Penn
    Sean Penn - Glendon Wasey
  • Madonna
    Madonna - Gloria Tatlock
  • Paul Freeman
    Paul Freeman - Walter Faraday/Father Burns
  • Richard Griffiths
    Richard Griffiths - Willie Tuttle
  • Image coming soon
    Philip Sayer - Justin Kronk

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