While the Nazis regime subjugates European Nations, in Belgian Congo the doctor Rachel Cade tries to cure those troubled people. The colonel Derode falls in love with her but a young American injured pilot upsets his plans.
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In 1939, earnest missionary nurse Rachel Cade travels to the Belgian Congo but she no sooner arrives than Dr. Bikel, who runs the local hospital where she is to work, dies of heart failure. She also soon learns that the hospital has been a failure and has yet to treat a single patient. Slowly, Rachel gains the trust of the villagers, not only providing medical care but preaching the gospel. The local government official, middle-aged Col. Henri Derode, doesn't quite hit it off with Rachel at first but soon begins to develop deep affections for her. The sexually repressed Rachel however has fallen madly in love with the dashing Capt. Paul Winton, a American serving in the RAF, who is shot down and is also a medical doctor. Her moralizing comes back to haunt her when she learns after his departure that she is pregnant. Written by
Although The Sins Of Rachel Cade does present a realistic view of Africa which Hollywood was now doing after The African Queen and King Solomon's Mines the story never gets above the level of a Harlequin novel set in Africa. This story could have just as easily played out in the good old USA.
Which is where Angie Dickinson in the title role hails from, Kansas in fact, about as far from the Belgian Congo as you can get. She's been sent to aid Dr. Douglas Spencer who no sooner than when she arrives goes and dies on her. That leaves the inexperienced Angie to run the mission until God knows when.
District Commissioner Peter Finch tries to be of help, but he's in a tenuous position. It's never really brought out, but as his country has been overrun by the Nazis, his authority as a Belgian is severely limited. Belgium it is well known did not have a sterling record, in fact it had the worst colonial record of any European power. But Nazi racial doctrines did have a limited appeal to the natives there, so Finch is safe for the moment.
He's liking Angie, but when American doctor from Boston who is volunteering for the Royal Air Force played by Roger Moore drops from the skies, she's his. And her moral authority is put to the test when she has Moore's baby in violation of the beliefs she's been preaching to the natives.
The Sins Of Rachel Cade found a wealth of opportunity for prominent black actors like Woody Strode, Juano Hernandez, Errol John, and Rafer Johnson to play various tribal figures. Dickinson's interaction with them is far more interesting than the hackneyed romance she has.
I wish the film had been more about the politics and less about the romance in another girl done wrong film no matter how exotic the location.
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