Shanghai Express is a 1932 American film directed by Josef von Sternberg. The pre-Code picture stars Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong, and Warner Oland. It was written by Jules Furthman, based on a 1931 story by Harry Hervey. It was the fourth of seven films von Sternberg and Dietrich made together. Hervey's story was, in turn, loosely based on the May 6, 1923, incident in which a Shandong warlord captured the Shanghai to Beijing express train, taking 25 westerners and 300 Chinese hostage. All of the hostages captured in the Lincheng Outrage were successfully ransomed. The film is memorable for its stylistic black-and-white chiaroscuro cinematography. Even though Lee Garmes was awarded the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, according to Dietrich, it was Sternberg who was responsible for most of it. Shanghai Express was released during the Great Depression. Van Sternberg’s movie was an escape from the harsh reality outside the theater.