Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth: “The Lady from Shanghai” – 6/1948 – Mirror Scene
One of the greatest visual effects in cinematic history is in this final sequence of the film – the famous Crazy House/Hall of Mirrors scene. As Michael awakens after being taken there by Elsa’s accomplices, he explains the full murder plan – in voice-over, as he hallucinates:
“I was right. She was the killer. She killed Grisby. Now she was going to kill me. Her servant Li and his friends smuggled me out into the darkness and hid me where I’d be safe from the cops, not safe from her. One of the Chinese worked in an amusement park. It was closed for the season. An empty amusement park makes a good hide-out and she wanted me hidden. Well, I came to in the Crazy House and for a while there, I thought it was me that was crazy. After what I’d been through, anything crazy at all seemed natural. But now I was sane on one subject – her. I knew about her. She planned to kill Bannister, she and Grisby. Grisby was to do it for a share of Bannister’s money. That’s what Grisby thought, but of course, she meant to kill Grisby too after he’d served his purpose. Poor howling idiot, he never even did that. He went and shot Broome, and that was not part of the plan. Broome might have got to the police before he died. And if the cops traced it to Grisby, and the cops made Grisby talk, he’d spill everything and she’d be finished. So she had to shut up Grisby but quick. And I was the fall guy”.