Singapore (1947) by John Brahm

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“There is no longer a literate audience for the masculine picture-making that Hawks and Wellman exploited, as there was in the 1930’s. In those exciting movie years, a smart audience waited around each week for the next Hawks, Preston Sturges, or Ford film – shoe-stringers that were far to the side of the expensive Hollywood film. That underground audience, with its expert voice in Otis Ferguson and its ability to choose between percetive trash and the Thalberg pepsin-flavored sloshing with Tracy and Gable, has now oozed away. It seems ridiculous, but the Fergusonite went into fast decline during the mid-1940’s when the movie market was flooded with fake underground films – plushy thrillers with neo-Chandler scripts and a romatic style that seemed to pour the gore, histrionics, decor out of a giant catsup bottle. The nadir of these films: an item called Singapore with Fred MacMurray and Ava Gardner.” – Manny Farber, Negative Space.

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