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Strange Cargo (1940)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  1 March 1940 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,344 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 19 critic

Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.

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Writers:

(screen play), (based on the book "Not Too Narrow... Not Too Deep" by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Strange Cargo (1940)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Ian Hunter ...
...
...
Hessler
...
Moll
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Flaubert
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Telez
...
Dufond
Frederick Worlock ...
Grideau (as Frederic Worlock)
Bernard Nedell ...
Marfeu
Victor Varconi ...
Fisherman
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Storyline

Verne wants nothing more than to escape from a penal colony located off the northern coast of South America. He tries to involve Julie, a saloon girl, in his plans but she turns him in to the authorities. On Verne's next try, he piggybacks on the escape of six other convicts and runs into Julie again in the process. One of the convicts is a spiritual figure who seems to know what will happen before anyone else. The group attempts to travel through the jungle, board a boat, and make it to the mainland. Written by JeanneArmintrout@juno.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Not Too Deep  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,252,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford intended to portray her character without any make-up but Crawford later told 'Silver Screen' magazine that she cheated and used Vaseline on her eyelids, eyebrows, and lips to retain moisture. In one scene while using the top of an old tomato can as a mirror Crawford applied brilliantine to her hair. See more »

Goofs

At one point we see Verne (Clark Gable) escape by jumping out a window into the water. A short while later, on land, he pulls a bible out from inside his shirt to check a map printed inside. As he flips through the pages of the bible, there is no sign whatsoever that this book got wet. This bible - which he carried unprotected - should have shown obvious signs of water immersion (damp edges, soggy paper, etc.) but it appears to be perfectly dry. See more »

Quotes

André Verne: Whenever you want sanctuary, babe, here's where you'll find it.
[tapping thumb to chest]
André Verne: Right here, in the ol' temple.
Julie: Don't tap your heart, you'll break your finger. And if you're sanctuary, I'll take whatever else is lying around.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Strange and Beautiful Movie
21 July 1999 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

A beautiful movie with a mostly A-list cast, far superior to the source novel. "Strange Cargo" has almost non-stop action, yet the central allegory is never lost in action, nor is the storyline swamped by allegory. In less capable hands it might've been a maudlin movie, but instead is a finely crafted parable where a mysterious Christ-like figure (Hunter), introduced while taking Clark Gable's place in a prisoner head-count, accompanies and guides a mixed-nut boatload of escapees from Devil's Island. He's never an intrusive or moralizing figure, nor does he employ clever wordplay or ecstatic preachments, but assists each of the escapees as each individually confronts the internal corruption that led them to Devil's Island -- and the film's makers have the courage to show some of the men dealing with that confrontation, and some turning away from it, without giving judgment to the rightness or wrongness of either choice. This movie proves the potential for making a truly solid, entertaining and non-mawkish movie on orthodox Christian themes without the foolish baggage of robes and sandals (or insipid and sermony scripts). The movie's only disappointment is that Peter Lorre is not one of the escapees but a loathsome bounty hunter who has too few scenes. His character doesn't appear in the book, but deepens the parable. Overall, "Strange Cargo" is a movie that can be enjoyed for the plot alone, but which courageously adds layers, like those of an onion, that can be savored by the discerning. It's astounding this movie hasn't become a "cult" favorite, but perhaps its tendency to prompt introspection isn't much appreciated these days.


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