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After the war, Matt Gordon returns to Singapore to retrieve a fortune in smuggled pearls. Arrived, he reminisces in flashback about his prewar fiancée, alluring Linda, and her disappearance during the Japanese attack. But now Linda resurfaces...with amnesia and married to rich planter Van Leyden. Meanwhile, sinister fence Mauribus schemes to get Matt's pearls.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The premise and first third of Singapore are really interesting, but once the mystery is exposed, the last two thirds of the movie are far from entertaining. Fred MacMurray travels to Singapore, and while he's pleasant to his fellow American tourists Porter Hall and Spring Byington, it's clear to see he's unsettled about something. He goes to a particular table at a particular nightclub at a particular hotel, sits, and gives the audience a voice-over monologue about how he misses Linda, the woman he was going to marry five years prior. Cue a romantic flashback: Fred was smuggling pearls into Singapore when he met and fell in love with Ava Gardner. They were going to be wed, but they were separated during a Japanese air raid and she was killed. End of flashback. Now, as Fred sits at their table, he hears their song playing, and lost in his sad thoughts, he actually sees Ava Gardner on the dance floor!
Intriguing, right? Well, I'm sure you can think of at least three explanations as to why he suddenly sees his dead lover after five years. I did, but unfortunately, the film took a fourth, far less interesting direction. After that, the most enjoyable part of the film is the patter between Fred MacMurray and Richard Haydn. Richard plays a deputy in the police department, so he's trying to catch Fred's criminal activities, but they're also longtime pals so there's a bit of leniency in his method. Think of Kevin Kline and Jean Reno's relationship in 'French Kiss'.
Unfortunately, with not much of a love story, even less of a mystery, and not too much suspense about Fred's pearl smuggling business, there's not really a good reason to watch the movie. Unless you're an Ava Gardner fan, which I, unapologetically, am not.
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