The Road to Singapore


1h 9m 1931
The Road to Singapore

Brief Synopsis

A woman's life falls to pieces when she's caught cheating on her husband.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Other Man
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 10, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Heat Wave by Roland Pertwee (Cardiff, England, 7 Oct 1929) and the novel of the same name by Denise Robins (New York, 1930).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Returning by boat to the British community in tropical Khota, where he has become notorious for breaking up a marriage, Hugh Dawltrey meets and pursues attractive Philippa. Because she is engaged to Dr. George March, Philippa avoids Hugh by remaining in her stateroom, but once the boat docks, he tricks her into accepting a ride with him. Instead of delivering her to March's bungalow, Hugh brings her to his, but once again she manages to avoid his advances. Marriage to George proves so dull, however, that she invites Hugh to a birthday party for George's sister Rene, choosing to ignore the scandalized response of the rest of the community. Rene is excited by the stories about Hugh and waits for him in his bungalow the next day. Because he has no interest in her, Hugh scares her off, thereby protecting her reputation. George is taking no chances, however, and worried about Rene's interest in Hugh, insists that she accompany him on a trip to Colombo with one of his patients. Believing that George is out of town, Philippa agrees to have dinner with Hugh. To the sound of native drums they admit their love for one another. In the meantime, George's patient dies, and he and Rene return to the house to find Philippa gone. Rene discovers Hugh's note and is forced to show it to George, who heads for Hugh's house with a gun in his pocket. When George arrives, Hugh tries to keep Philippa's presence secret, but she faces her husband and tells him how unhappy she has been in the marriage. Philippa then announces her departure on the next boat to Singapore. George tries to shoot Hugh when he leaves to follow Philippa but, in the end, cannot take the other man's life.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Other Man
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 10, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Heat Wave by Roland Pertwee (Cardiff, England, 7 Oct 1929) and the novel of the same name by Denise Robins (New York, 1930).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Articles

The Road to Singapore (1931)


1931 was a year of personal and professional change for William Powell. After years of estrangement from his first wife, he got a divorce and married fellow Paramount contract player Carole Lombard; and he left Paramount and signed a new contract with Warner Bros.

Powell had been at Paramount since 1924, and his stage-trained voice assured a successful transition to talking pictures. But he had been typecast as villains early in his film career, and even after he became a leading man, his characters were at best suave sophisticates, or at worst philanderers or con men, like the one he played in Man of the World (1931), his first film with Lombard. Powell was looking for a change, and his legendary agent Myron Selznick got him a contract at Warner Bros. that made him one of the highest-paid contract players in Hollywood, at a rumored six thousand dollars a week. By comparison, the salary of Marie Dressler, then one of MGM's top stars, was only five thousand.

What Powell didn't get at first was a different character to play. 1931's The Road to Singapore (no relation to the 1940 Bing Crosby-Bob Hope film of the same name) was his first film at Warners. In this steamy tale of lust and infidelity in the tropics, Powell plays a British expat with a scandalous past who romances a married woman. In his New York Times review titled "A Gallant Cad," Mordaunt Hall noted that "Mr. Powell is a bit more melodramatic than he is suave," but added, "As Mr. Powell's first starring vehicle for Warner Brothers, The Road to Singapore leaves him an opportunity to shine." The Los Angeles Evening Herald critic was disappointed that the film offered nothing new from Powell: "Although Powell has trod over this same ground innumerable times before he still makes the character interesting. But I believe his followers would welcome something new from him."

In his second Warners film, High Pressure (1932), Powell finally offered something new. Powell biographer Roger Bryant calls it "A landmark--the first time Powell starred in a comedy, and his first outright comedy of the sound era." Unfortunately, few of Powell's Warner Bros. films gave him much of a chance to show his comedy skills. With the exception the romantic melodrama One Way Passage (1932), his films at the studio were unremarkable. By 1934, he had moved on to MGM, where he remained for nearly two decades, and where he finally found his niche as an impeccable leading man in sophisticated comedies.

Like his association with Warners, Powell's marriage to Carole Lombard did not last, perhaps because of the couple's 16-year age difference, and their different temperaments--she was outgoing, he was private and shy. But they remained close friends, and later co-starred in one of the great screwball comedies, My Man Godfrey (1936), which showed that their onscreen chemistry, at least, was intact.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Screenplay: J. Grubb Alexander, based on the novel Heat Wave by Denise Robins and the play adaptation by Roland Pertwee
Cinematography: Robert Kurrle
Editing: William Holmes
Art Direction: Anton Grot
Cast: William Powell (Hugh Dawltry), Doris Kenyon (Philippa Crosby March), Marian Marsh (Rene March), Louis Calhern (Dr. George March), Alison Skipworth (Mrs. Wey-Smith), Lumsden Hare (Mr. Wey-Smith).
BW-69m.

by Margarita Landazuri
The Road To Singapore (1931)

The Road to Singapore (1931)

1931 was a year of personal and professional change for William Powell. After years of estrangement from his first wife, he got a divorce and married fellow Paramount contract player Carole Lombard; and he left Paramount and signed a new contract with Warner Bros. Powell had been at Paramount since 1924, and his stage-trained voice assured a successful transition to talking pictures. But he had been typecast as villains early in his film career, and even after he became a leading man, his characters were at best suave sophisticates, or at worst philanderers or con men, like the one he played in Man of the World (1931), his first film with Lombard. Powell was looking for a change, and his legendary agent Myron Selznick got him a contract at Warner Bros. that made him one of the highest-paid contract players in Hollywood, at a rumored six thousand dollars a week. By comparison, the salary of Marie Dressler, then one of MGM's top stars, was only five thousand. What Powell didn't get at first was a different character to play. 1931's The Road to Singapore (no relation to the 1940 Bing Crosby-Bob Hope film of the same name) was his first film at Warners. In this steamy tale of lust and infidelity in the tropics, Powell plays a British expat with a scandalous past who romances a married woman. In his New York Times review titled "A Gallant Cad," Mordaunt Hall noted that "Mr. Powell is a bit more melodramatic than he is suave," but added, "As Mr. Powell's first starring vehicle for Warner Brothers, The Road to Singapore leaves him an opportunity to shine." The Los Angeles Evening Herald critic was disappointed that the film offered nothing new from Powell: "Although Powell has trod over this same ground innumerable times before he still makes the character interesting. But I believe his followers would welcome something new from him." In his second Warners film, High Pressure (1932), Powell finally offered something new. Powell biographer Roger Bryant calls it "A landmark--the first time Powell starred in a comedy, and his first outright comedy of the sound era." Unfortunately, few of Powell's Warner Bros. films gave him much of a chance to show his comedy skills. With the exception the romantic melodrama One Way Passage (1932), his films at the studio were unremarkable. By 1934, he had moved on to MGM, where he remained for nearly two decades, and where he finally found his niche as an impeccable leading man in sophisticated comedies. Like his association with Warners, Powell's marriage to Carole Lombard did not last, perhaps because of the couple's 16-year age difference, and their different temperaments--she was outgoing, he was private and shy. But they remained close friends, and later co-starred in one of the great screwball comedies, My Man Godfrey (1936), which showed that their onscreen chemistry, at least, was intact. Director: Alfred E. Green Screenplay: J. Grubb Alexander, based on the novel Heat Wave by Denise Robins and the play adaptation by Roland Pertwee Cinematography: Robert Kurrle Editing: William Holmes Art Direction: Anton Grot Cast: William Powell (Hugh Dawltry), Doris Kenyon (Philippa Crosby March), Marian Marsh (Rene March), Louis Calhern (Dr. George March), Alison Skipworth (Mrs. Wey-Smith), Lumsden Hare (Mr. Wey-Smith). BW-69m. by Margarita Landazuri

Road to Singapore (1931)


A woman's life falls to pieces when she's caught cheating on her husband.

Producer:
Director: Alfred E. Green
Screenplay: J. Grubb Alexander, based on the novel Heat Wave by Denise Robins and the play adaptation by Roland Pertwee
Cinematography: Robert Kurrle
Editing: William Holmes
Art Direction: Anton Grot
Cast: William Powell (Hugh Dawltry), Doris Kenyon (Philippa Crosby March), Marian Marsh (Rene March), Louis Calhern (Dr. George March), Alison Skipworth (Mrs. Wey-Smith), Lumsden Hare (Mr. Wey-Smith).
BW-69m.

Road to Singapore (1931)

A woman's life falls to pieces when she's caught cheating on her husband. Producer: Director: Alfred E. Green Screenplay: J. Grubb Alexander, based on the novel Heat Wave by Denise Robins and the play adaptation by Roland Pertwee Cinematography: Robert Kurrle Editing: William Holmes Art Direction: Anton Grot Cast: William Powell (Hugh Dawltry), Doris Kenyon (Philippa Crosby March), Marian Marsh (Rene March), Louis Calhern (Dr. George March), Alison Skipworth (Mrs. Wey-Smith), Lumsden Hare (Mr. Wey-Smith). BW-69m.

Quotes

Trivia

The play on which the novel and this movie was based opened in Cardiff, UK on 7 October 1929.

Notes

New York Times notes that this was William Powell's first starring role for Warner Bros. He made a total of nine films at the studio. The film's pre-release title was The Other Man.