#ENTERTAINMENT
Reel-ing The Singapore Culture

Singapore’s movie culture has a rich history with these titles that were proudly made here.

By Kelvin Low      11 February 2020

Photo Credit: Shaw Organisation.

Mogok (On Strike)

1957
Starring: Ahmad Mahmud, Saadiah, S. Kadarisman, Daeng Idris

Set in 1950s Singapore in a climate of highly active left-wing trade unions and strikes, Mogok is a story about disgruntled workers at an Eveready battery factory and the devious ploy of the factory manager and his colluders to take over the factory from the benevolent but incapacitated factory owner.


Photo Credit: filemklasikmalaysia.blogspot.com

Sumpah pontianak (The Curse Of Pontianak)

1958
Starring: Maria Menado, Mustapha Maarof, Salmah Ahmad

This is the third film of the series which started with Pontianak and Dendam Pontianak (Revenge of the Pontianak). These Pontianak-themed horror movies that capitalised on the local population’s fear for this most treacherous of vampires even until today. The ‘Pontianak’ in the third installment, though, is a benevolent one who rescues her daughter and kampong dwellers from the threats of other devilish creatures.


Photo Credit: Shaw Malay Film Productions

Seniman Bujang Lapok (The Three Worn Out Actor Bachelors)

1961
Starring: P. Ramlee, S. Shamsuddin, Aziz Sattar, Saloma, Zaiton

This is a satirical take on the Malay-language film industry and the Malay community in the 50s and 60s. The plot revolves around the main trio attempting to become actors and break into the film business, and hence features a fictionalised look at the behind-the-scenes process of Malay film-making during that time.


Photo Credit: Wong Han Min

Two Sides Of The Bridge

1976
Starring: Chan Pong Koon, Tay Lee Meng

Film-makers Lim Meng Chew and Tan Chang Meng’s 1976 film is believed to be one of the first local Mandarin films produced for the audience here. It chronicles the relationship of a young couple who face the pressures of living in a rapidly transforming Singapore.


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