6.0/10
571
34 user 6 critic

White Cargo (1942)

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

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

Ida Vera Simonton (novel), Leon Gordon (play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Hedy Lamarr ... Tondelayo
Walter Pidgeon ... Harry Witzel
Frank Morgan ... The Doctor
Richard Carlson ... Mr. Langford
Reginald Owen ... 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 Leigh Whipper ... Jim Fish
Oscar Polk ... Umeela
Darby Jones ... Darby - The Doctor's Houseboy
Richard Ainley ... Mr. Worthing
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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

Taglines:

"I am TONDELAYO!"

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Mestiça See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened on Broadway, New York City, New York, USA on 5 November 1923 and had 257 performances. See more »

Goofs

The movie is takes place at a West African British colony along the Congo River. However, the Congo is in Central Africa where there are no British Colonies along the river. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Harry Witzel: She shows her nose around here, she'll get a whip across her back.
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars: The Lion Reigns Supreme (1992) 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

Tondelayo does not make an appearance in this review.
2 December 2003 | by sadie_thompsonSee all my reviews

She is easy to look at, isn't she. All tan skin, she's got that sarong (probably stolen from Dorothy Lamour), all that gorgeous black hair, but talent is lacking. Hedy Lamarr eschews acting completely in this delightful tale of sex in the jungle. It isn't about anything else--not man versus nature, not oppression of minorities--just plain sex.

Harry, as played by the statue-like Walter Pidgeon, has been in the jungle so long he's starting to act a bit kooky. He gets infuriated when people discuss the heat, certain words send him into a King Kong-like fit. I get the feeling we're supposed to think this is because there are several men there, but no women. Is this what happens? Gracious me--I better rearrange my priorities. Anyway, one of his helpers goes off his rocker and has to be replaced. The replacement, Langford, refuses to listen to Harry, who really does know what he's talking about, only to turn into a lazy lay-about.

At this point, a new character is introduced. She's a half-breed (not like Cher, but a half-breed nevertheless) named Tondelayo. The line "I am Tondelayo" did become something of a catch phrase--I can recall seeing Lucille Ball taunting some comedian, possibly Jerry Lewis, with it. Tondelayo is a gorgeous woman, but she likes a good time. Heck, she likes lots of good times in a row. Langford is smitten, and he can't understand why Harry insists that Tondelayo be avoided. Langford assumes Harry's jealous, which only makes him more thrilled. In order to keep Tondelayo near him, Langford marries her. She goes around telling everyone she's "Mrs. Langfut"--Hedy's accent prevents her from saying "Langford," apparently. Right around here is a scene that tops Tondelayo's entrance. She's going through all the trinkets that Langford has to give her to keep her interested, when she comes across a mirror. She looks at herself in it (naturally), and then remarks solemnly, "Him make big face this side, him make little face THIS side." Oh, I just died laughing. Tondelayo's odd speech patterns are the highlight of this movie--she sounds completely idiotic.

This being a 40s film, everyone has to get what's coming to them, in various showy ways. All in all, this is a delightful film with no statement to make, no mountains to move. It's just there to enjoy.


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