IMDb > Strange Cargo (1940)
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Strange Cargo (1940) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   1,315 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Lawrence Hazard (screen play)
Richard Sale (based on the book "Not Too Narrow... Not Too Deep" by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Strange Cargo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 March 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
User Reviews:
Religious Allegory Perhaps? See more (38 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Crawford ... Julie

Clark Gable ... Verne
Ian Hunter ... Cambreau

Peter Lorre ... M'sieu Pig

Paul Lukas ... Hessler

Albert Dekker ... Moll
J. Edward Bromberg ... Flaubert
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Telez

John Arledge ... Dufond
Frederick Worlock ... Grideau (as Frederic Worlock)
Bernard Nedell ... Marfeu
Victor Varconi ... Fisherman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Adair ... Guard (uncredited)
Richard Alexander ... Guard (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews ... Constable (uncredited)

Betty Compson ... Suzanne (uncredited)
Gene Coogan ... Convict (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Guard (uncredited)
Richard Cramer ... Guard (uncredited)
Art Dupuis ... Orderly (uncredited)
William Edmunds ... Watchman (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... Guard (uncredited)

Paul Fix ... Benet (uncredited)
Eddie Foster ... Convict (uncredited)
Christian J. Frank ... Guard (uncredited)
Charles Judels ... Renard (uncredited)
Frank Lackteen ... Convict (uncredited)
Mitchell Lewis ... Guard (uncredited)
Francis McDonald ... Moussenq - Convict (uncredited)
Art Miles ... First Subordinate (uncredited)
Jack Mulhall ... Dunning (uncredited)
Bob O'Connor ... Second Subordinate (uncredited)
James Pierce ... Guard (uncredited)
Dewey Robinson ... Georges - a Guard (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... Convict (uncredited)

Ray Teal ... Guard (uncredited)
Hal Wynants ... Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Borzage 
 
Writing credits
Lawrence Hazard (screen play)

Richard Sale (based on the book "Not Too Narrow... Not Too Deep" by)

Anita Loos  adaptation (uncredited)
Lesser Samuels  contributor to dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Joseph L. Mankiewicz .... producer
Frank Borzage .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Franz Waxman 
 
Cinematography by
Robert H. Planck (director of photography) (as Robert Planck)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Kern (film editor) (as Robert J. Kern)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... make-up creator
 
Production Management
Keith Weeks .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lew Borzage .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Daniel B. Cathcart .... associate art director
Henry Noerdlinger .... construction supervisor: Guiana (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Music Department
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:113 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #5982) | USA:PG (TV rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Received a condemned rating from the Legion of Decency for "irreverent use of Scripture" and "lustful complications." Even after the studio made the changes demanded, distribution was sharply cut by cities refusing to book it.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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26 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Religious Allegory Perhaps?, 27 February 2005

I confess that I too do not entirely understand all of the message of Strange Cargo - and am not sure that whether or not that is an intentional device used to help each viewer decide meaning for himself/herself(OK, it's a stretch!). The story is simple: French prisoners in French Guyana are tired of the old prison life and routine and eventually make a break for the surrounding jungle amidst virtually no chances of success. We have a rather eclectic group: Clark Gable as arrogant as he comes as the head "Cheese" so to speak, Albert Dekker as Moll who is Gable's only real threat for supremacy, Paul Lukas as a spouse-killing German, Joan Crawford as a wise-cracking woman fallen on hard times(never quite sure whether or not it is established that she is/was a prostitute), and Ian Hunter in a strange role as some kind of super Christian and Samaritan. Aiding the cast is Peter Lorre as "Pig" who is after Crawford with a vengeful lust. The story is straightforward, but what is not is its intent. Each of these prisoners are troubled men with troubled consciences. Hunter's character is almost(or is indeed) a Christ-like figure out to ease each individual's pain and torment. Some men embrace his message prior to death, some live on with the promise of happiness, and one ignores it completely and resumes doing what he had that had gotten him into prison. I guess for me the thematically rich substrate is saying something about the importance of choice and the ease in which each of us can be forgiven if only we want to be forgiven. Director Frank Borzage does a decent job with this symbolic material. Some things might just be too ambiguous. But Borzage keeps the pacing going. Probably the most irritating thing for me was Gable's performance. His character is too pushy, too cocky, too crude to be charming, affable, or interesting at all. I didn't care what happened to him and routinely rooted against him. Joan Crawford fares much better giving a pretty nice performance with some dimension - though not much. Dekker and Lukas are very good; Lorre is good with a throwaway role. For me, Ian Hunetr gives the best, most interesting, and most likable performance as the mouthpiece of Heaven so to speak. His subtle acting really diminishes the possible heavy-handedness inherent in a role like this. Hunter plays his part in a first-rate fashion. Though certainly not one of the greatest films ever made, I found Strange Cargo a very interesting movie with a very interesting message.

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