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May 19, 2021

Photos of George Harrison and Madonna at a Press Conference For ‘Shanghai Surprise’ in 1986

Shanghai Surprise is a 1986 British-American adventure comedy film directed by Jim Goddard and starring then-newlyweds Sean Penn and Madonna. It was produced by George Harrison’s HandMade Films and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Harrison himself 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 1987 album Cloud Nine along with the song “Someplace Else”, also 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” coupled with “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 the EP 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. It became a critical and commercial failure, and it was also subsequently condemned as one of the worst films ever made.

These photos captured portraits of George Harrison and Madonna at a press Conference for their film Shanghai Surprise at the Kensington Roof Gardens in London on March 6, 1986.

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