Opening

64% The Maze Runner Sep 19
60% A Walk Among the Tombstones Sep 19
43% This Is Where I Leave You Sep 19
83% Tracks Sep 19
93% The Guest Sep 17

Top Box Office

11% No Good Deed $24.3M
71% Dolphin Tale 2 $15.9M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $8.1M
19% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4.9M
20% Let's Be Cops $4.4M
88% The Drop $4.1M
37% If I Stay $3.9M
36% The November Man $2.8M
34% The Giver $2.6M
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

68% The Equalizer Sep 26
71% The Boxtrolls Sep 26
86% The Two Faces of January Sep 26
—— Two Night Stand Sep 26
91% Jimi: All Is by My Side Sep 26

New Episodes Tonight

100% Garfunkel and Oates: Season 1
—— Haven: Season 5
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
56% Married: Season 1
39% Rush: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
79% You're the Worst: Season 1

Discuss Last Night's Shows

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
83% Extant: Season 1
—— Franklin & Bash: Season 4
—— The League: Season 6
56% Legends: Season 1
24% The Mysteries of Laura: Season 1
59% Red Band Society: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

87% Boardwalk Empire: Season 5
86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
90% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
79% You're the Worst: Season 1

Strange Cargo Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Bill D 2007
Bill D 2007

Super Reviewer

January 28, 2012
Clark Gable's next picture after "Gone With the Wind" was "Strange Cargo," where he teamed back up with Joan Crawford. Instead of light romantic comedy, this time the legendary duo brings us complex, rather brainy drama. I would even describe this film as literary.

It has its flaws, but "Strange Cargo" is an interesting and enriching work of art with an unusual spiritual undercurrent. Set in the South American jungle, it tells the story of an inmate in a remote penal colony (Gable) and a tough broad from the gutter with no family (Crawford) struggling to get by working in cheap nightclubs (probably including prostitution).

Gable and several other inmates break out of the prison, and we follow them on their grueling trek. For reasons I won't explain, Crawford's character ends up going with them. Along the way, they all learn a lot about each other and the demons they're fighting.

There are so many characters that it gets a bit dizzying, and the script sometimes is a bit overly brainy. But there's a lot here to appreciate, and I'm saddened that "Strange Cargo" has been so completely forgotten.

In my continued exploration of the films of Joan Crawford, I'm realizing something more deeply than ever. The vast majority of good films have been forgotten. American culture has a bizarre tendency to forget about its movies. You'd think that good films would leave more of a trace in the culture. So much good work that no one knows about.

One tidbit: the director of "Strange Cargo," Frank Borzage (a man I've never heard of before this), won a Best Director award at the very first Oscar ceremony in 1929. The film was called "Seventh Heaven," starring Janet Gaynor. She also won an Oscar that night. Another forgotten movie from a forgotten director, starring a forgotten actress.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
It may seem a strange movie at first, but it's actually a very suspenseful drama, with a very interesting ending, and plus it's got a great starring cast with Crawford, Gable, and Lorre.
dietmountaindew
dietmountaindew

Super Reviewer

May 23, 2008
"strange cargo" is the last movie of the gable/crawford duo which is highly popular in the 30s until their romance got hindered by mgm louis b. mayer and their seperate marriages. (gable to carole lombard; crawford to franchot tone) practically crawford's off-and-on lifelong affair with gable is the only thing described with a positive light in the speclal feature of crawford's dvd collection despite mostly the interviewees are mocking her animalistic shrewdness with misogynism all the time.

gable plays verne, a dubious inmate who is desperate to escape his colonial jail in southern america or obtain a bit of solace of female touch, so he spots on the saloon girl julie(crawford) by sneaking into her dressing room and forcing her to conform into his bossom. tough julie reports him to jail instead, then he frames her as accomplice to get even. a stuck gender guerilla of animosity turning into affection. then on the way of her retreat to mainland america, she stumbles into him again, so they end up in the same lifeboat with other five inmates drifting to america on sea. it has albert dekker as the malicious survivor and ian hunter as the christ figure, the spiritual guide who inspires gable's conscience. peter lorre as the disdained sap who has a crush on crawford, but belittled as pig all the time while the hunky gable pushes crawford around by trashing her good wills of saving him with distrusts.

it is literarily clark gable's star vehicle, and the peak of the whole movie would be his temporal betrayal to the woman who sells herself to trade for his freedom then he's on verge of drowning his best friend to obliterate the evidence of his existence. eventually the story is turned around when he decides to go for the righteous: rescue the friend he almost drowns to death and returns to crawford and stop her from marrying pig. it might be a one-man show to demonstrate the wayward overpower of gable's chauvinistic machismo while crawford de-glamourizes herself without even a smear of lipstick as his petite love prey.

as the special feature suggests, crawford considers gable the man of her life, and she even volunteers to take carole lombard's unfinished movie "they all kissed the bride" then donoates her earn to the red cross charity to ease off gable's grief like a faithful friend and devoted lover. maybe a woman could only be appreciated when she surrenders to man, only glorified when she's under rosy color of romance, ridiculed ruthlessly while she stands aloof to fight for herself. it is apparent, considering the treatment of crawford's posthumous documentary.
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

March 9, 2008
An intruigingly different idea presented within the confines of 40's melodrama. Very gritty for an MGM production with excellent performances.
Rostron2
Rostron2

Super Reviewer

July 18, 2010
Two of Hollywood's powerhouses of that era teamed up to make what appears to be a pretty conventional prison break film, where Gable's lead character is very much an anti-hero. It's a bit over the top, even for the era it was made, but enjoyable to watch how the actors of that era worked together. I'd venture to say the scenes seem almost modern in construction, as opposed to the very stage-like methods used up until this time. Interesting supporting cast. Worth looking into it if you enjoy classic films.
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

October 9, 2008
Strange Cargo makes for good story.
January 19, 2012
Frank Borzage's "Strange Cargo" has to be one of the most strikingly religious films to ever pass through the studio system. The character of Cambreau (played beautifully by Ian Hunter) is something very different from the easy wish-fulfillment angels of Henry Travers in "It's a Wonderful Life" or Cary Grant in "The Bishop's Wife"; rather than fall back on that sort of feel-good ecumenicism, "Strange Cargo" opts for hard theology. Here is a Christ figure who doesn't fix the characters' problems--instead he asks them to come unto him by turning inward to find their own solutions, and to find the gods within themselves. We are our own saviors, and, more importantly, we are each others' saviors--we know God because we know the Good in our fellow man. It's the sort of heady, real redemption that most Hollywood pictures wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, and here it's wrapped up in a tremendously entertaining romance with Joan Crawford and escaped convict Clark Gable, complete with fisticuffs, a greasy Peter Lorre, and adventure on the high sea. It's a grand, glorious concoction, the sort of strange art film that occasionally finds its way through the cogs of mainstream American filmmaking, and it's a rich, rewarding, exciting, and beautiful piece of work.
rickrudge
May 18, 2010
Strange Cargo (1940)

This is the quintessential Clark Gable movie. He plays André Verne, a rough and tough Devil's Island inmate. He sees saloon girl, Julie (Joan Crawford) while working on the docks and the sparks fly. He has to have her, even grabbing her well-exposed leg. André escapes to her room just to be with her. But, Julie has no choice, and must turn him in.

This is the quintessential Joan Crawford movie too, with her typical tough-talking, Sadie Thompson character. I know that she's supposed to be without make-up, but she still comes off pretty glamorous despite roughing it in the jungle swamps and lost at sea.

Both people are lost souls who are trying to escape their lot in life, but are not given too many alternative chances, or choices in life. Julie is fleeing the amorous advances of M'sieu Pig (Peter Lorre) by moving in with a miner in the jungle, and André is escaping with some other hardened convicts led by the most dangerous Moll (Albert Dekker) who would stab you in the back as help you (even though he has a soft spot for Dufond (John Arledge). There's also Hessler (Paul Lukas) who marries and murders rich women.

A stranger walks into the prison, Chambreau (Ian Hunter) and tags along with the convicts. He's somehow let into the escape and has a weird effect on many of the men, including André.

Naturally, as in most Clark Gable movies, the love of a good woman was what turned him around. But, in this particular case, there's the mysterious Chambreau who has challenged André's conscience to redeem himself and do the right thing.
KevinRobbins
October 18, 2013
It takes something in you to kill me that you haven't got.

Vern is a convict in South America. He tries to escape only to run into an American girl named Julie that turns him in. He falls for her and tries to escape again. His second escape attempt finds her as well, so she decides to join him in his quest to return to America. Julie has a hidden motive for joining Vern but what could it be? Will Vern make it back to America or will Julie's selfish plan thwart his attempt to regain freedom?

"We must talk again, messier. You have a brain. That makes two of us."

Frank Borzage, director of 7th Heaven, A Farewell to Arms, Stage Door Canteen, The Mortal Storm, China Doll, Bad Girl, Man's Castle, and Stranded, delivers Strange Cargo. The storyline for this picture has excellent characters but is a bit boring at times. This is a definite huge step down from movies like Life Boat and Life of Pie with similar plots. The acting is amazing and the cast includes Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Ian Hunter, and Peter Lorre.

"All I want is to get out of here and you happen to be going my way."

I DVR'd this picture off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) because it starred the talented Joan Crawford. I will say this movie had great characters and a well written script; however, the movie definitely felt dry at times and fairly boring in spots. Overall, this is an above average movie that is just okay.

"There's nothing worth stealing around here but freedom."

Grade: B-
September 1, 2013
"Strange Cargo" has all of the trappings of an exotic 1930s adventure film: a fog machine, sound effects in the jungle that don't make sense, quicksand, long-grown facial hair, ripped clothes, accents that range from not trying at all to over-the-top, and even a shark attack.  While the film isn't as light in the head as the Tarzan films that starred Johnny Weissmuller, "Strange Cargo" isn't that great either, either because there isn't enough action or because it's too long.  Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, in their eighth and last pairing together, barely manage to save the film from utter failure.
This time around, Gable plays André Verne, a prisoner that is completely desperate to get out of his water-locked jail. So when one of his fellow prisoners (Albert Dekker) devises a sure-to-be-flawless scheme to break out, Verne takes the risk, along with seven other jailbirds. They plan to take a sailboat as soon as they get to shore, and ride into the mainland.
Verne brings along his new girlfriend Julie (Crawford), a woman who arrived on the island as a lounge singer but quickly was fired after her relationship with him was discovered. As the plan is put into action, the prisoners end up having a hard time, as the trip begins with a long journey through the jungle, with little food and water.
When they actually to get to their boat, things begin messily, and completely cynically. But everything begins to change when one of the fellow passengers begins to resemble a saint-like figure.
The film's biggest problem is with its fascination with religion, and while moments certainly cram it down our throats, most of the time it leaves us more confused than anything.  "Strange Cargo" tries to convince us that the wise Cambreau (Ian Hunter) is God or at least God-like, and that the characters find redemption through him.  But as a supposed adventure film, this side-plot basically ruins everything.  As dramatic as it sounds, it's not an exaggeration.
Everything starts out excellently: Crawford and Gable automatically sizzle the film with their slick chemistry, the dialogue is quick-witted, and the steamy setting is enticing.  But once the main set of characters land on the boat to escape, everything goes downhill.  The plot almost ceases to move -- most films in the similar category would at least have the police hot on their tale or even a hurricane -- but "Strange Cargo" instead focuses on its characters, all of whom are too unlikable (except for Crawford and Gable, although Gable pushes it) to truly create interest.  Once the religious angle is introduced, the eye-rolls begin.  It's surprising how fast something can go completely wrong.
And it's sad. Crawford and Gable are fantastic together on screen. She, so glamorous and refined, is easily sexy, while he is grizzled, smart-alecky, and tough as nails. They make for a great contrast, and it's not hard to imagine them as a romantic couple. While there are moments in "Strange Cargo" where this quality is shown off, there isn't nearly enough.
It's a shame that Crawford and Gable had to go out like this, because they've done so much better.  Had it looked anything like 1935's "China Seas," which saw Jean Harlow as the female lead, it would have been a rollicking adventure, and a complete grand finale.  Too bad it didn't turn out that way.
May 25, 2012
Director Frank Borzage and writer Lawrence Hazard's dialogue bring to life the story of most improbable of all miracles: redemption. The Christ figure played by Ian Hunter is so believable that you will find yourself watching all most against your will.
Bill D 2007
Bill D 2007

Super Reviewer

January 28, 2012
Clark Gable's next picture after "Gone With the Wind" was "Strange Cargo," where he teamed back up with Joan Crawford. Instead of light romantic comedy, this time the legendary duo brings us complex, rather brainy drama. I would even describe this film as literary.

It has its flaws, but "Strange Cargo" is an interesting and enriching work of art with an unusual spiritual undercurrent. Set in the South American jungle, it tells the story of an inmate in a remote penal colony (Gable) and a tough broad from the gutter with no family (Crawford) struggling to get by working in cheap nightclubs (probably including prostitution).

Gable and several other inmates break out of the prison, and we follow them on their grueling trek. For reasons I won't explain, Crawford's character ends up going with them. Along the way, they all learn a lot about each other and the demons they're fighting.

There are so many characters that it gets a bit dizzying, and the script sometimes is a bit overly brainy. But there's a lot here to appreciate, and I'm saddened that "Strange Cargo" has been so completely forgotten.

In my continued exploration of the films of Joan Crawford, I'm realizing something more deeply than ever. The vast majority of good films have been forgotten. American culture has a bizarre tendency to forget about its movies. You'd think that good films would leave more of a trace in the culture. So much good work that no one knows about.

One tidbit: the director of "Strange Cargo," Frank Borzage (a man I've never heard of before this), won a Best Director award at the very first Oscar ceremony in 1929. The film was called "Seventh Heaven," starring Janet Gaynor. She also won an Oscar that night. Another forgotten movie from a forgotten director, starring a forgotten actress.
January 6, 2011
Very strange but fascinating.
Rostron2
Rostron2

Super Reviewer

July 18, 2010
Two of Hollywood's powerhouses of that era teamed up to make what appears to be a pretty conventional prison break film, where Gable's lead character is very much an anti-hero. It's a bit over the top, even for the era it was made, but enjoyable to watch how the actors of that era worked together. I'd venture to say the scenes seem almost modern in construction, as opposed to the very stage-like methods used up until this time. Interesting supporting cast. Worth looking into it if you enjoy classic films.
Steven O.
September 20, 2009
Great movie it's a classic!
Page 1 of 2
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile