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White Cargo (1942)

Passed  -  Adventure | Drama  -  12 December 1942 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 449 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 4 critic

The story takes place at a British plantation in Africa where Tandelayo entices all the Brits, especially Harry Witzel.

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(novel), (play), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Tondelayo
...
Harry Witzel
...
The Doctor
...
Mr. Langford
...
Skipper of the Congo Queen
Henry O'Neill ...
The Reverend Dr. Roberts
Bramwell Fletcher ...
Wilbur Ashley
Clyde Cook ...
Ted - First Mate of the Congo Queen
Leigh Whipper ...
Jim Fish
Oscar Polk ...
Umeela
Darby Jones ...
Darby - The Doctor's Houseboy
Richard Ainley ...
Mr. Worthing
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mestiça  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of the miscegenation aspects of the play (Tondelayo was a black woman), it was on the Production Code Administraiton's "condemned" list of sources not to be considered. A big outcry was heard when the British film, based on the same sources, was released in New York in March, 1930, because it was deemed to violate the spirit of the Hays decree. MGM hired playwright Leon Gordon to adapt his play for the screen; he changed Tondelayo's parentage to half Egyptian and half Arab, and it was eventually given an approved certificate. Still, the movie was placed on the Legion of Decency's condemned list, and the film was banned in Singapore and Trinidad because of its racial implications. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Tondelayo: [entering for the first time, seductively] I am Tondelayo.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in What's New Pussycat (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played on a concertina by Clyde Cook
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masterpiece of Camp !
28 August 2006 | by (Indiana, USA) – See all my reviews

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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