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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
Because of the miscegenation aspects of the play (Tondelayo was a black woman), it was on the Production Code Administraiton's "condemned" list of sources not to be considered. A big outcry was heard when the British film, based on the same sources, was released in New York in March, 1930, because it was deemed to violate the spirit of the Hays decree. MGM hired playwright Leon Gordon to adapt his play for the screen; he changed Tondelayo's parentage to half Egyptian and half Arab, and it was eventually given an approved certificate. Still, the movie was placed on the Legion of Decency's condemned list, and the film was banned in Singapore and Trinidad because of its racial implications. See more »
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 »
Mr. Harry Witzel:
[Referring to Rev. Dr. Roberts]
Tondelayo played you for a sap. Translated your good words into bush dialect that all might hear. And then, behind your back, taught your converts to lie and cheat and steal. She's too high and mighty for the natives and too smart for the white man.
And fond of trinkets. Thanks, Witzel. Thanks for the tip.
Mr. Harry Witzel:
Don't mention it.
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hedy Lamar has no peer when it comes to beauty. her role in this movie showed a beautiful face and a gorgeous figure. she holds her own with a great performance. this movie is chalk full of great actors that seem to be fulfilling a studio contract commitment. nevertheless, Walter pigeon, Henry o'O'Neil, frank Morgan, Richard Carlson,and a personal favorite of mine Reginald Owen. show they are old pro's. the chronological recollection by pigeons character seems fitting and a staple of pigeon throughout his career. hedy Lamar was a very good actress and I thought her role here was outstanding. her role in 'conspiritors' was her most outstanding role with another bevy of great actors. she was a icon when it came to beauty, Bergman, Loren, Margret, even Hayworth, teirney, Monroe. were not in her class. she was a good actress as well. probably not why she had so much success.
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