Viewers familiar with the exotic (if toned-down) 1942 MGM film version of Leon Gordon's lurid stage play White Cargo might be surprised to discover that the property was previously filmed in England in 1929. A young and handsome Maurice Evans stars as Langford, the wimpish naif who arrives in Africa to take charge of a rubber plantation. Despite warnings from his superior Weston (Leslie Faber) not to "mammy-palaver" with the native girls, Langford falls madly in love with the sexy, near-savage Tondelayo (played by one Gypsy Rhouma, whose only film this was). After a few nights in the sack with the girl, Langford goes quickly to hell in a handbasket, just as his predecessor had done. Upon learning that Langford may be returned to England, the jealously possessive Tondelayo contrives to keep him by her side by slowly poisoning him to death -- but she's not clever enough to hide her crime from the wily Weston. Gypsy Rhouma's ludicrous performance as Tondelayo is enough to make Hedy Lamarr's performance in the 1942 remake look like Academy Award material.
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