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White Cargo (1942)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama | 12 December 1942 (USA)
The story takes place at a British plantation in Africa where Tandelayo entices all the Brits, especially Harry Witzel.



(novel), (play) | 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Harry Witzel
The Doctor
Mr. Langford
Skipper of the Congo Queen
The Reverend Dr. Roberts
Wilbur Ashley
Ted - First Mate of the Congo Queen
Leigh Whipper ...
Jim Fish
Oscar Polk ...
Darby Jones ...
Darby - The Doctor's Houseboy
Mr. Worthing


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Adventure | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mestiça  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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: [Referring to Rev. Dr. Roberts] 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.
Mr. Langford: And fond of trinkets. Thanks, Witzel. Thanks for the tip.
Mr. Harry Witzel: Don't mention it.
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Featured in That's Entertainment, Part II (1976) See more »


Rooty-Toot, She Plays the Flute
Composer unknown
Sung a cappella by Clyde Cook and Reginald Owen
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User Reviews

Showcases The Legendary Beauty of Hedy Lamarr!
11 December 2002 | by (Lone Pine, CA) – See all my reviews

This film certainly was not one of the best films of 1942. However, I do believe it succeeds as purely escapist entertainment. Yes, the plot was silly, the script was poor, and the performances were mostly indifferent; but Hedy's entrance, with the line 'My name is Tondelayo', became a vintage moment in film history. She was a beguiling and breathtakingly beauty, and she seemed to enjoy this role. Hedy made this a major box-office hit in 1942, and became a pin-up favorite of many WW2 vets. This was a showcase for Hedy's beauty, as previously noted the cinematography was very good. Note, the use of shadows against Hedy's face, to accentuate every incredible feature. The one thing that annoyed me, was the insufferably long and boring 30 minutes or more, before Hedy made her entrance

All criticisms aside though, a film like this needs to be viewed, within the context of escapist film entertainment, circa 1942. The studios were cranking out many more films than they do today. The world was within the grips of the worst war in history, and nearly half of the country's population was going to the movies, at least once a week! There were great films being released, but most films were released just to entertain audiences, who would then have an excuse to buy popcorn and perhaps a soda. So this campy movie was made, with Hedy Lamarr as the incredibly beautiful and seductive Tondelayo, and made millions for MGM. Thus, 'White Cargo' with legendary beauty Hedy Lamarr rates a 7/10, for providing some fairly mindless, but visually compelling entertainment.

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