The Road to Singapore


Drama / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Charles Lane Photo
Charles Lane as Desk Clerk at Club
William Powell Photo
William Powell as Hugh Dawltry
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
630.5 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 8 min
P/S 2 / 19
1.14 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 8 min
P/S 0 / 30

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by marcslope6 / 10

Early polished Powell

Not-especially-interesting romantic melodrama, from a play, of a triangle in the tropics. But it's one of the earliest demonstrations of William Powell in full William Powelldom. As a rich, unscrupulous playboy living a hedonistic existence in Khota (why Khota is never made clear),he's all polished consonants, dapper clothes, and upper-class charm. You can see why Doris Kenyon, unhappily married to dull, work-obsessed doctor Louis Calhern, would respond to his flirtations. And you can see why her younger sister, Marian Marsh, would be similarly captivated. It's a bit clichéd and more than a bit casually racist (when displeased with a servant, kick him),but it's lifted up by a) some spiffy early-talkie camera-work--love the long take panning from Calhern's to Powell's bungalow!--and b) engagingly pre-Code morality, where the callow hedonist isn't entirely punished for his devil-may-care attitude. It's swift, and the ending may surprise you a little.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid9 / 10

Great acting, great special effects, great film!

William Powell's first film under his Warner Brothers contract does not find him quite as assured as he appears in Jewel Robbery (his third). He is also hampered by an odd twist in the script which makes a great to-do in the opening scenes of the Powell character being kicked out of the British-to-the-bootstraps club and his home being seized for non-payment of back taxes. However, when Powell actually appears on the scene, he moves into his house as if he had every right to do so and repeatedly enters the club with absolutely no challenges at all – not even from the character played by Louis Calhern who hates Powell and would have taken a vicious delight in having him kicked out! We are forced to assume that Powell had managed to find the money for his back taxes, which is fair enough, but how on earth did he persuade the board of the super-stuffy club to re-admit him to membership – especially against the vicious opposition of the Calhern character, Dr. March? The fact that the club's board obviously defied Dr. March not only makes March's later threats rather pointless, but solidifies Powell-Dawltry's eagerness to pick a fight with a character whose threats are merely a waste of breath. Given this situation, all the sting is taken out of the plot which then proceeds to a logical climax in which March's challenge is aptly depicted as just so much hot air. Mind you, Alfred E. Green directs this foregone conclusion of a plot at such a rapid pace and in such an often innovative style that few members of the audiences will even ponder these questions. It's often said that some of the directors that we tend to regard as competent journeymen but nothing else, were able to adjust to sound far more rapidly than their now-far-more-famous colleagues. Certainly, The Road to Singapore can be cited as a proof of that contention. Doris Kenyon, whom nobody remembers today, gives a brilliant performance as Calhern's neglected wife. In fact, she easily steals the acting honors. In a trite, clichéd role, she delivers such a sincere and effective performance that she makes her character seem not only fresh but interesting and involving. Marian Marsh is also a delightful presence and we really enjoyed the scene in which Powell puts her flirtations to the test. Calhern makes a suitably glum if vengeful doctor. We love his woeful line: "The patient died!" While the film is obviously based on a stage play – it even closes on a Third Act curtain – I enjoyed the way it is opened out, particularly the shot which everyone cites, namely the remarkable track from Kenyon's house to Powell's. Available on an excellent Warner Archive DVD.

Reviewed by Jim Tritten7 / 10

Not one of the Hope/Crosby "Road" pictures

The Road to Singapore is based upon a play and is therefore limited in its settings. That setting is the British colonial Far East (Khota - on the shipping line between Colombo and Singapore) and involve the Gymkhana Club and its members. Hugh Dawltry has been expelled from the club. He is a cad, a bounder, an unmitigated reprobate who steals other men's wives. But he falls for Phillipa on the steamer and they soon find themselves involved ashore. Phillippa is a former nurse who has come to the colony to join a doctor as his wife. The main plot involves whether she will cast off her cold husband and succumb to the heat wave of the tropics and the assault by Hugh. Complications exist in the form of the doctor's younger sister who is coming of age and of interest in men (pre-Code). The best shot in the entire movie is when the two star crossed lovers are each looking out windows across the divide between their homes -- it alone is worth the price of admission. Two characters waling through with inane arguments (Reggie and Simpson) don't come close to Caldicott and Charters. A somewhat satisfying ending - recommended.

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