“From every corner, memories came back to me.”
Matt Gordon (Fred MacMurray) returns to Singapore after WWII. He was stationed there with the Navy 5 years previously and fell in love with Linda Grahame (Ava Gardner). Fate (and the Japanese Army) got in the way of Gordon making Linda his wife and also thwarted his efforts to smuggle $250,000 worth of pearls out of Singapore back to America. Returning to Singapore for the hidden pearls is a painful experience for Gordon, and soon he finds himself in the hotel bar at his favourite table reminiscing about Linda before her death in an air raid.
But fate has decided to be kind to Gordon by giving him a second chance. Linda, it seems, did not die during an air raid. She suffers from amnesia, and is now happily married. Should Gordon smuggle an unwilling Linda out of Singapore along with his illegal pearls, or should he leave Linda with her new, stable and wealthy husband?
A worldly-wise police office, and some sleazy crooks, all add up to make an entertaining film that possesses the feel of Casablanca–without the darkness. Singapore is more optimistic, less world-weary and cynical than Casablanca, and, ultimately, while it’s not as great a film, it’s still well-worth watching.