White Cargo

  • 1942
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

First this was a steamy book, then a play, and then it hit the screens as an early British talkie. In 1942, it was remade as a vehicle for Hedy Lamarr, who proved to be at her sultry best. Pidgeon is working at an African rubber station. Carlson, his new assistant, is the replacement for Fletcher, whose mental and physical destruction renders him incapable...read more

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First this was a steamy book, then a play, and then it hit the screens as an early British talkie. In 1942, it was remade as a vehicle for Hedy Lamarr, who proved to be at her sultry best. Pidgeon is working at an African rubber station. Carlson, his new assistant, is the replacement for

Fletcher, whose mental and physical destruction renders him incapable of helping Pidgeon. Carlson is determined not to let this happen to him, but this is easier said than done. Lamarr, a sexy jungle maiden Pidgeon has warned Carlson about, pays a call on this new man. Pidgeon finds her there and

tosses her out. Now Carlson finds himself in the same situation as Fletcher. The natives refuse to obey him, and Carlson is pining for the enticing Lamarr. She eventually returns, much to Carlson's delight. Though Pidgeon is against it, Carlson is determined to marry her. Lamarr, thought to be a

native, is actually the daughter of an Egyptian, making her a Caucasian, which eliminates any sort of racial prejudice against the marriage. After they are wed, Lamarr quickly grows bored with her new spouse. Carlson takes ill, and Lamarr sees the chance to be rid of him. She starts to give

Carlson some deadly poison, but Pidgeon catches her in the act. He forces the vixen to drink the poison herself, then sends her into the jungle where she dies. Carlson returns home after regaining his strength, leaving Pidgeon in need of a new employee, though he no longer must fear any man's

destruction at the hands of Lamarr. Lamarr, clad in sarong and dancing in an oh-so-sexy fashion, needless to say, is the main attraction in the film. She swings her hips and sashays around the floor, breaking not only Carlson's and Fletcher's hearts, but capturing the passions of any warm-blooded

male viewing the film. ("I know," Lamarr wrote in her autobiography, Ecstasy and Me, "in my cocoa-butter-smeared nudity, I contributed to the war effort.") Her male costars give Lamarr some fine support. Pidgeon (in a role played on stage by both Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy) is fine as the

cynical plantation owner while Morgan, as an alcoholic expatriate doctor, gives an intelligent portrait of a man fighting to retain his self-respect. For Lamarr, this film proved to be a turning point in her career. After WHITE CARGO, she was offered sexier roles. "There was so much sex in [WHITE

CARGO]," she wrote, "I couldn't resist the temptation to kill the `marble goddess image' for good!"

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: First this was a steamy book, then a play, and then it hit the screens as an early British talkie. In 1942, it was remade as a vehicle for Hedy Lamarr, who proved to be at her sultry best. Pidgeon is working at an African rubber station. Carlson, his new a… (more)

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