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In Africa early in World War II, a British rubber plantation executive reminisces about his arrival in the Congo in 1910. He tells the story of a love-hate triangle involving Harry Witzel, an in-country station superintendent who'd seen it all, Langford, a new manager sent from England for a four-year stint, and Tondelayo, a siren of great beauty who desires silk and baubles. Witzel is gruff and seasoned, certain that Langford won't be able to cut it. Langford responds with determination and anger, attracted to Tondelayo because of her beauty, her wiles, and to get at Witzel. Manipulation, jealousy, revenge, and responsibility play out as alliances within the triangle shift. Written by
Almost every film buff would watch this and immediately write WHITE CARGO (1942) off the map due to the 'anti camp' syndrome. Although this movie is definitely campy, it is still a work of art. Take it to the camping ground and watch it at night by the fire. There is a certain magic to this movie that is sure to make the atmosphere of s'mores and grilled hot dogs all the more enjoyable.
HEDY LAMARR's caked-on brown makeup reminded me of Jennifer Jones' 'Pearl Chavez' in the (at times) campy classic DUEL IN THE SUN(which is a personal favorite of mine) made four years later in 1946. LAMARR has an over the top accent that is hardly believable. However, she pulled it off! Believe me, White Cargo is worth it just to see Hedy sweat on her dark skin wearing a one-piece bikini top throughout this movie! Walter Pigeon is a flame of fire all the way to the end. Very obscure part for Walter to be playing with such intensity.
The story takes absurd and wild twists and turns and is nothing if not purely fun entertainment. It doesn't have a long runtime, only about 80 minutes or so. It's not a large commitment of time. If you are a fan of camp, don't miss this classic.
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