Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.
A user wrote that "strange cargo" was ahead of its time.It's so obvious that even now,it remains demanding ,deep,and absorbing.When you see where the adventures movie has gone,the likes of Indiana and co,you wonder that some works like that have been produced. "Strange cargo" anticipates the cinema future.In several respects it's John Huston before John Huston,but with more faith in the human nature. I would go as far as saying the first part is some kind of Bunuel's "la mort en ce jardin"(1956),but a Christian(!) Bunuel.The users who saw the Spanish director 's underrated film will be struck by the analogies between the two works .Gable's and Crawford' characters resemble George Marchal's and Simone Signoret's in "la mort en ce jardin".Or rather the other way about.
The main difference is the indomitable faith in God that Cambreau displays in the whole movie.His face radiates like a Christ,and Ian Hunter outshines the two stars Gable and Crawford.His performance ,subdued and sober,but always mesmerizing ,fascinates.There are unforgettable scenes:the beach ,where he opens the gates of eden for some kind of thief ;the cask of fresh water;his strange predictions;Clark Gable screaming "I'm God!" after throwing him into the water.The movie often verges on fantastic,but a spiritual and sustained fantastic,not drivel such as "IJ and the last crusade".
"Strange cargo" was followed by "mortal storm" ,which iseven more superior to it.Here ,Borzage anticipates on Minnelli "the four horsemen of the Apocalypse" 1961) and Visconti (la caditi degli dei 1969).His love for the human race is still beaming:in a world gone mad where nazi hate oozes everywhere,there will be several Cambreau to heal the wounds :Mr.and Mrs Roth,Martin,Freya and the old Mrs Breitner.
Do not miss his earlier works ,pacifist ones of course :"three comrades " and "no greater glory".Should they give a Nobel price of cinema,Frank Borzage would have been a strong contender in his lifetime.
- Oct 14, 2002