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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
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 »
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 »
Awyla make me sick! Always it is too hot! All time we do nothing. Awyla just sit and sit and not give hang about anything!
What am I supposed to do? Sing and dance? Be a clown?
I married to you five months, and you not beat me once.
Don't be ridiculous!
Awyla, please beat me. Then maybe you feel much better. Soon we make up. Much love. Many bangles.
Look, in a few weeks the "Queen" will be in. I've ordered you a lot of silks, and a parasol, and goodness knows what. Maybe they'll amuse you for a...
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I was reading another members review on this movie and just was wondering what this member expected when he came across it. It was a simple jungle movie ( without the animals ). In fact the only animal that i found in this movie was that feline femme fatale Hedy Lamarr. The woman was dropped dead gorgeous, and true the lines weren't what you would expect as in a Shakespeare play, but it was campy. I defied any actress of that day, yes, that goes for Davis and Hepburn would of made it any better with those lines. Personally, they didn't have what Hedy had, the physical attributes that was required. I suggest that if your looking for great acting then go to Broadway. As i watched this movie, I couldn't help but see a parallel to that movie Jaws. Remember, you don't get to see the shark until the movie is almost over. In this one, they were setting up Hedy as Tondelayo, for she didn't appear until a half hour or so into it and boy, when she appeared, I actually felt the heat of that Jungle. Watch it and enjoy it for what it is, nothing more, nothing less, but you'll not forget Tondelayo.
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