Joel Shore (Ramon Novarro) is the youngest son in a family full of sailors. While his older brother Mark (Ernest Torrence) is off on a trip, Joel has been in his hometown with Priscilla (Joan Crawford), who he has been in love with for a long time. Priscilla is also in love with Joel, but when Mark returns, he falls in love with Priscilla and publicly announces his plans to marry her, which is news to Priscilla.
The day after announcing their betrothal, Mark and his crew head out on a voyage to Singapore. For the first time, Joel comes along for the trip. Before they leave, Priscilla declares her love for Joel and refuses to kiss Mark goodbye. Mark is heartbroken and spends the trip distraught and drinking himself into oblivion. When they arrive in Singapore, Mark continues to wallow in his drunken stupor and his crew, led by Finch (Jim Mason), decide to overthrow Mark. They put Joel in irons and head back home, leaving Mark behind.
When the crew arrives at home again, they tell everyone Mark was killed in a fight in Singapore and that Joel was a coward who deserted Mark during the fight. After being freed, Joel sees Priscilla and tells her the truth about what really happened in Singapore. He sets out to sail back to Singapore to find Mark and brings Priscilla along for the trip. Joel succeeds in finding Mark and after being found, finds out the truth about what Finch has done. There is a huge fight which Mark dies in, but not before asking Joel to take care of Priscilla.
I can file Across to Singapore under “Oh, the things I will sit through for the sake of Joan Crawford.” As bad as movies like Trog were, at least Trog was bad enough to be fun. Across to Singapore was just plain boring. It has absolutely nothing interesting going for it. I didn’t care much for the story, there were no memorable performances, it was just dull and forgettable. Across to Singapore is so forgettable that I hope that by writing about it, I will at least remember that I watched it. I don’t want to mistakenly waste another 85 minutes re-watching it because I forgot that I had seen it already.