The Spiral Road - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spiral Road Reviews

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½ December 1, 2014
another tale of doctors in the wilds of africa
April 12, 2013
A slow film carried by the historical context and backdrop . Never one of Rock Hudson's best.
August 17, 2012
a young, colonial era "gregory house md" type of doctor set to work under a prominent doctor stationed on pre-indonesia dutch east indies. details on colonial period of indonesia are well-presented here: its people, bahasa, and some tiny hints on local culture as well. it started out great and insightful, but becoming preachy at the near-end of the film. the music is somewhat awesome, with jerry goldsmith as the score composer mixing elements of both javanese and balinese gamelan.
½ January 1, 2012
Corny colonialist melodrama about finding God among the natives. Has some nice visuals but goes on too long.
October 30, 2011
I love this film. It has two very interesting characters with good development and well-written dialogue, played by great actors. The climax is very intense and exciting, but the film suffers from basic lack of resolution, preventing it from being great. But what I like about this film is that it's courageous. The message is clear: there is no such thing as a self-sufficient man; cut off from man and God, man becomes an animal. But life is not portrayed as simplistic here. The atheist protagonist's father was a hypocritical preacher who beat his son regularly. A Christian missionary claiming that God will protect her contracts leprosy from those whom she is trying to help. The film does not pretend that life is black and white, but it does hold to objective truth. For that, the great actors (and a very disturbing view into psychological warfare), I will watch this film many more times I'm sure.
October 30, 2011
I love this film. It has two very interesting characters with good development and well-written dialogue, played by great actors. The climax is very intense and exciting, but the film suffers from basic lack of resolution, preventing it from being great. But what I like about this film is that it's courageous. The message is clear: there is no such thing as a self-sufficient man; cut off from man and God, man becomes an animal. But life is not portrayed as simplistic here. The atheist protagonist's father was a hypocritical preacher who beat his son regularly. A Christian missionary claiming that God will protect her contracts leprosy from those whom she is trying to help. The film does not pretend that life is black and white, but it does hold to objective truth. For that, the great actors (and a very disturbing view into psychological warfare), I will watch this film many more times I'm sure.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
November 13, 2010
Sprawling, well made if a bit heavy handed drama is helped by good location work and sturdy performances from Rock Hudson and Burl Ives. Gena Rowlands in one of her early roles does what she can with the thin character handed to her but the focus is really on Hudson and his journey of self awareness.
½ September 24, 2008
I purchased the DVD of this movie because descriptions suggested that a Javanese dukun plays a major role in it. In fact, it is a colonial drama about a Dutch atheist doctor who goes to the Indies to make his pile and winds up finding religion. There are many colonial cliches represented here and a very cavalier treatment of Toba Batak traditional culture. The one colonial Malay word that is cited often (totok) is used incorretly as well to refer to newcomer. I could go on... The Jerry Goldsmith score, which references Balinese gamelan, still holds some interest.
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