Šanghaj je v 1930-ih eksotični talilni lonec, v katerem slepi britanski diplomat razvije odnos z mlado rusko pribežnico, ki dela kot plesalka v baru, da lahko podpira družino njenega preminulega moža.
Shanghai. 1936. Crossroads of the world and into this city of political intrigue comes Sofia, a Russian Countess who, with the remains of her family, has been left stateless by the Revolution. Forced by her reduced circumstances to support herself and her family as a bar-girl and taxi dancer, Sofia forms a relationship with Jackson, a blind former diplomat who opens an elegant bar; The White Countess. Their curious relationship matures but they are caught up in the fall of the city to the Japanese invaders.