The Spiral Road

the spiral road

THE SPIRAL ROAD is a bloated bore of a drama, earnest as all hell, way too long at 145 minutes and predictable every step of the way.

Rock Hudson as an atheist doctor who finds religion and becomes a missionary in the jungles of Java, circa 1936.  If that doesn’t get a grin going, then maybe you’ll swallow the rest of the flick.

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As the arrogant young physician combats bureaucratic bungling, prejudice, marital woes, leprosy and starvation he is chastened, bullied and educated by Burl Ives,his loud, hairy, hippo-sized supervisor. Throw in witch doctors, alcohol and Rock going nuts in the jungle.61cIlWECi-L._SX342_

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Decent music scoring from Jerry Goldsmith is the best thing in the 1962 saga, directed by Robert Mulligan, otherwise the road spirals in circles for two and a half talkative hours before lurching to a dead end. Hudson detested it, critics laughed, crowds did not appear in the hoped-for droves; it came in at 40th place for the year, grossing $6,600,000.

Filmed mostly in Surinam. With Gena Rowlands, Geoffrey Keen, Philip Abbott, Larry Gates, Will Kuluva, Karl Swenson, Robert F. Simon, Parley Baer and Neva Patterson.

 

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