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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
The play opened on Broadway, New York City, New York, USA on 5 November 1923 and had 257 performances. See more »
The doctor hands a small bottle to Tondelayo and describes it only as "new medicine." However, when giving a dose to her husband she calls it "quinine" - a medical term she would unlikely know with her limited command of English. See more »
Mr. Harry Witzel:
[Speaking to the Reverend, who refuses to believe that Tondelayo is a bad person]
Tondelayo played you for a sap. Translated your good words into bush dialect that all might hear. And then behind your back taught your converts to lie, and cheat, and steal. She's too high and mighty for the natives, and too smart for the white man.
And fond of trinkets. Thanks, Witzel. Thanks for the tip.
Mr. Harry Witzel:
Don't mention it.
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Hilarious, campy film starring an incredibly sexy Hedy Lamarr...a film that's so bad it's good!
Sex, sex, and more sexthat's all this movie implies. There's no message, nothing of substance, and certainly nothing intelligent about it at all. It's all a piece of jungle rotbut worth seeing only for the presence of Hedy Lamarr. But you'll have to be patient--the first half-hour only consists of the male characters shouting at each other about the jungle heat and how miserable they are, since the film is based on a trashy play of the same name. But when Hedy first appears, you can actually feel the heat.
I guess much of the blame goes to the only-average MGM director Richard Thorpe, who made everyone look ridiculous in this film. The acting is laughably over-the-top and the lines are awfuleven worse than the dialog you find in the worst movie melodramas and comic books. Who wouldn't laugh at this movie? It's embarrassingly stupid and astonishingly badbut so fun you can't take your eyes off it. The only credible elements are the atmospheric lighting style and black-and-white cinematography. All the cast members, who have performed in far better films than this, are wasted here. I don't think I've seen a film this bad since BATMAN & ROBIN (1997).
But, as I said before, it's all worth seeing for the presence of Hedy Lamarr as Tondelayo, the seductive native girl with a feline demeanor. She speaks in a ridiculous Tarzan-style speech pattern and performs bizarre facial expressions and gestures--but that doesn't matter. No doubt Hedy was considered the most beautiful woman in the world at that time. As with Gene Tierney's Eve in SON OF FURY (1942), she looks like a chocolate bar that you could eat up and find wholesomely deliciousin fact, her tan body make-up consisted only of cocoa butter, of all things. Despite her campy acting style, she's irresistibly sexy in thisespecially when wearing a scantly-clad sarong and bikini top. Also, as with SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949), her presence in this film was so impressive that I had plenty of great dreams involving Hedy that night long after the film was overbut I'll go no further on that. But I will say that Hedy's presence is unforgettable here, even though this is a forgettable film.
This film must've caused quite a stir in 1942and Hedy's presence must've fueled the libidos of many horny males and Allied servicemen fighting overseas at the time. She sure fueled mine, though.
Worth watching only for sexy presence of Hedy Lamarr if you have nothing better to doas well as hearing such goofy lines as, "Quinine GOOD for fever!"
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