White Cargo (1942)

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The once-notorious theatrical chestnut White Cargo was toned down for public consumption in this 1942 MGM-ized adaptation (the property had been previously filmed in England in 1929). More sullen than sexy, Hedy Lamarr stars as Tondelayo, the libidinous African native girl who nearly drives rubber-plantation manager Langford (Richard Carlson) to ruin and madness. Though warned by local English magistrate Witzel (Walter Pidgeon) not to "mammy-palaver" with the natives, Langford falls hopelessly in love with Tondelayo, marrying her in defiance of convention and anti-miscegenation laws. Alas, the restless Tondelayo soons tires of married life, just as Langford wearies of his bride's near-manic possessiveness. She tries to come on to Witzel, who'll have none of it, then plots to rid herself of her husband by systematically poisoning him during a bout of fever. A studio-imposed prologue and epilogue set in the 1940s was inserted to assure the audiences from the outset that Langford would eventually wise up and divest himself of the troublesome Tondelayo. Though corny and campy in the extreme, White Cargo is one of the films for which Hedy Lamarr is best remembered.
Rating: NR
Genre: Classics , Drama
Directed By: Richard Thorpe
Written By: Leon Gordon
In Theaters: wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
MGM

Cast

Hedy Lamarr
as Tondelayo
Walter Pidgeon
as Harry Witzel
Henry O'Neill
as Rev. Roberts
Bramwell Fletcher
as Wilbur Ashley
Leigh Whipper
as Jim Flash
Oscar Polk
as Umeela
Darby Jones
as Doctor's Houseboy
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All Critics (1) | Top Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | August 7, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

It's rubbish.

Full Review… | February 15, 2004
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