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Mamie Van Doren
Congotanga, West Africa, has no extradition laws; the government is controlled by foreign gangsters, headed by Carl Rittner. The latest plane from Europe carries lovely Louise Whitman, fleeing a French murder charge, and Mannering, who pays resident hit man O'Connell to kill her. Through a chain of circumstances Louise, O'Connell, and heroic surveyor David Carr end up alone in the jungle on Carr's mission to determine the true border of Congotanga... in which Rittner is keenly interested. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Since I refuse to dislike a movie featuring Virginia Mayo and Peter Lorre, I admit to be biased in judging "Congo crossing". Virginia Mayo at her sexiest takes the movie on her beautiful shoulders. She is perfect in the role of the gorgeous adventuress wrapped into a number of stunning dresses (not particularly suited to Africa, to be honest). Maybe a trite character, but so dear to us old-flicks-buffs. Peter Lorre, unwashed, sweat and shabby as ever, hangs about with his unclean uniform, covered by medals in the style of a South-American dictator. Needless to say, he makes a treat of his whole screen-time. The sleazy and physically scary Michael Pate is a great villain. George Nader is a nice handsome guy, unfortunately lacking of charisma. But that's not much important: Virginia has enough charisma for both.
The story has some resemblance with "Casablanca". Only, here the refugees are replaced by crooks hidden in an imaginary little African state with no extradition laws. I don't know whether the movie was actually filmed in Africa. In any case, the locations are beautiful, the photography is accurate and the atmosphere is evocative. There are several old-style but well-made action scenes.
In "Congo Crossing" there are also some flaws, typical of this kind of movies. A common one for that epoch: the villain is prisoner of the hero, and the hero never sleeps, until exhaustion, for fear to be attacked. Why doesn't he simply tie the bad guy overnight?
Besides the intrinsic credit of Virginia's and Lorre's presence, "Congo crossing" is a pleasant, relaxing movie, especially suited to lovers of classic cinema.
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