6.4/10
386
17 user 4 critic

The Spiral Road (1962)

In 1936, a Dutch physician who treats leprosy patients in the jungles of Indonesia has a dangerous run-in with a local witch-doctor who uses black magic to kill his enemies.

Director:

Robert Mulligan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rock Hudson ... Dr. Anton Drager
Burl Ives ... Dr. Brits Jansen
Gena Rowlands ... Els
Geoffrey Keen ... Willem Wattereus
Neva Patterson ... Louise Kramer
Will Kuluva ... Dr. Sordjano
Philip Abbott ... Frolick
Larry Gates ... Dr. Kramer
Karl Swenson ... Insp. Bevers
Edgar Stehli Edgar Stehli ... The Sultan
Judy Dan Judy Dan ... Laja
Robert F. Simon ... Dr. Martens
Ibrahim Pendek Ibrahim Pendek ... Stegomyia (as Ibrahim Bin Hassan)
Reggie Nalder ... Burubi
Leon Lontoc ... Dr. Hatta
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Storyline

An arrogant young doctor helps an eccentric older doctor care for natives in the Dutch West Indies circa 1936. Challenged by love, leprosy and black magic, he undergoes a series of ordeals on a spiritual journey through the jungles of Java. Written by Gary R. Peterson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Shattering Adventure That Boldly Explores the Jungles of the Heart!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1962 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Am schwarzen Fluß See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Spiral Road contains the origin for the opening of Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969). Rock Hudson wanders aimlessly through the jungle confused to his identity, while his beard grows long and his clothes wind up in tatters. Finally he comes to a clearing where there is a pool. He sees his reflection and exclaims, "It's..." But instead of an offstage voice saying Monty Python's Flying Circus, he just says, "It's... me!". See more »

Quotes

Dr. Brits Jansen: I take it you don't believe in God.
Dr. Anton Drager: Frankly, no.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Rock Hudson's Home Movies (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

A chilling view of Western colonial arrogance, The Spiral Road is a compelling and often beautiful film adaptation of de Hartog's masterpiece.
13 January 2006 | by alvarez-albertSee all my reviews

I saw The Spiral Road as a teen-aged boy in 1963. It was the most impactful movie of that period in my life, creating an emotional impression in me that lingers to this day. Indeed, I cannot hear Beethoven's Fifth Symphony without vividly recalling the scratchy recording playing in that remote colonial outpost as the two linked protagonists each struggled with their personal demons.

The plot of The Spiral Road takes the viewer on a journey not unlike that described in Heart of Darkness; thematic elements contained in the plot become metaphors for larger lessons to be learned regarding colonialism, missionary fervor, the hegemony of Western medicine, and the absolutism of good versus evil as understood by Calvinist colonists.

The superb cast easily sustains the epic scope and grandeur of the film while the intelligent and artful script relates a story that is at once compelling and horrifying.

Hollywood moguls; please get a clue. The Spiral Road belongs in the DVD libraries of discerning film viewers the world over!


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