Singapore Film Locations Archive

Masharakat Pinchang / Imperfect Society (1958)

Original film title in Malay: Masharakat Pinchang
Literal English translation of film title: Imperfect Society

Directed by Phani Majumdar
Written by B. H. Chua (Chua Boon Hean) (story)
Language: Malay
Starring: Tony Castillo, Rosnani, Neng Yatimah, Junainah
Produced by Malay Film Productions (Shaw Bros.)

Film Locations:
Collyer Quay
Shophouse coffeeshop
Run Run Shaw’s seafront villa (440A, Upper East Coast Road)
Street market
Offshore kelong

 

As a movie advertisement posted on newspaper Berita Harian (12 May 1958) described, Masharakat Pinchang is in summary a “cherita orang-orang gagah dan ‘Gangster-Gangster’ Singapura” (a story of heroes and Singapore ‘Gangsters’). It was indeed another social-realist drama film directed by Phani Majumdar that was set in then-contemporary Singapore. Based on Chua Boon Hean’s script (presumably his fourth for Shaw Brothers’ Malay films in less than two years), the movie reflected on the prevalence of child delinquency and gangsterism due to social neglect in the partially autonomous city-state of Singapore. It also put a spotlight on the growing chasm in the society between the rich and the poor – pointed out in the film as a cause of social ills. The film starred child actor Tony Castillo (of Anak-ku Sazali fame); he had a dual role in the film, as a destitute orphan adopted by a kind joget dancer, and as a wealthy family’s son who is kidnapped.

 

_01-Masharakat-Pinchang-Collyer-Quay

 

_02-Masharakat-Pinchang-Kopitiam _03-Masharakat-Pinchang-mean-streets

 

_04-Masharakat-Pinchang-Shaw-villa-East-Coast_05-Masharakat-Pinchang-Shaw-villa-East-Coast-1_06-Masharakat-Pinchang-Shaw-villa-East-Coast

 

_06C-Shaw-Villa-Upper-East-Coast-Rd-2014 _06D-Shaw-Villa-Upper-East-Coast-Rd-2014 _06E-Shaw-Villa-Upper-East-Coast-Rd-2014 _06F-Shaw-Villa-Upper-East-Coast-Rd-2014

 

_07-Masharakat-Pinchang-Kelong-Offshore

 

 

Further Reading:
1. ‘Mengupaskan keadaan2 masharakat’. Berita Harian. 10 January 1958, p. 7.
2. ‘Kesah kumpulan sulit yg. hebat’. Berita Harian. 24 January 1958, p. 7.
3. ‘Tembelang masharakat di-tunjokkan terang2an’. Berita Harian. 21 March 1958, p. 7.

Film Images:
© 1958 Malay Film Productions
© 2003 Music Valley

Photographs (Now):
© 2014 Toh Hun Ping

 

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