The Spiral Road (1962) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spiral Road (1962)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Since it was released in the same year as his masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), it is ironic that this drama was probably the least liked of director Robert Mulligan's films. A stiff adaptation of a novel by Dutch author Jan DeHartog, the film stars Rock Hudson as Dr. Anton Drager, an opportunistic atheist who travels with his wife Els (Gena Rowlands) to the jungles of Java in 1936. Drager is to become the new right-hand man of famed Dr. Brits Jansen (Burl Ives), a legendary humanist who works with lepers and is rumored to have done groundbreaking work that Drager believes could make him famous and wealthy. Trouble with a native witch doctor practicing black magic leads to a crisis of conscience for Drager, however, forcing him to reevaluate his self-centered philosophy. A former divinity student at New York's Fordham University, Mulligan may have been intrigued by the material's spiritual bent, but his direction is uninspired, and The Spiral Road (1962) was not considered a success.


Rock Hudson
as Dr. Anton Drager
Burl Ives
as Dr. Brits Jansen
Neva Patterson
as Louise Kramer
Will Kuluva
as Dr. Sordjano
Larry Gates
as Dr. Kramer
Karl Swenson
as Inspector Bevers
Edgar Stehli
as The Sultan
Robert Simon
as Dr. Martens
Robert F. Simon
as Dr. Martens
Leon Lontol
as Dr. Hatta
David Lewis
as Maj. Vlormans
Parley Baer
as Mr. Boosmans
Fredd Wayne
as Van Bloor
Barbara Morrison
as Mrs. Boosmans
Martin Brandt
as Dr. Sander
Lang Yun
as Barmaid/Hotel Girl
Paul Keast
as Minister
David Frankham
as Drager's Replacement
Anna Shin
as Hotel Girl
David Sharpe
as Planter
Tom Steele
as Planter
View All

Critic Reviews for The Spiral Road

All Critics (2)

The movie remains pale by a script that advances without any interest that could make us empathize with the characters. [Full Review in Spanish]

September 9, 2019 | Full Review…

Weird but wildly inventive tale of doctors in the jungle, with good visuals.

January 4, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Spiral Road

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.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

The Spiral Road Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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