Strange Cargo

Synopsis: Verne wants nothing more than to escape from a penal colony located off the northern coast of South America. He tries to involve Julie, a saloon girl, in his plans but she turns him in to the authorities. On Verne's next try, he piggybacks on the escape of six other convicts and runs into Julie again in the process. One of the convicts is a spiritual figure who seems to know what will happen before anyone else. The group attempts to travel through the jungle, board a boat, and make it to the mainland.
Director(s): Frank Borzage
Production: Warner Home Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
113 min

All right, Verne.

Did you hear me? I said, come out.

Thirty days in solitary

won't make him any easier to handle.

Don't try anything, Verne,

or you'll go back in there.

Look him over. He may have a knife.

Yeah. Maybe one of them rats in there

slipped me one.

But I got a couple of hidden weapons

at that, here and here.

- Nobody can take them away from me.

- Come on.

Ninety lashes, 16 months in solitary,

seven months in the bear pit

and five attempts to escape in three years.

- Don't you like it here, Verne?

- No. Does that answer it?

You put things so clearly.

Maybe we ought to give you a chance

to make some new contacts,

outside the walls.

- Outside?

- Why not?

Nature surrounded us with something

stronger than walls, the jungle.

You know about that don't you, Verne?

So it's tough. You've plugged up

every hole I've ever made,

but you know

I'm going to make another one.

Yeah, I've heard men talk like

that before. Men like Moussenq.

Six times he got away.

Three times we caught him,

and three times the jungle got him for us.

You can't win, Verne.

And why try,

when you've only got three years left?

I'd try if I only had three minutes left.

I'm a thief by profession, Grideau,

not a convict.

There's nothing worth stealing

around here except freedom,

and I'm after some of that.

Verne, I'm going to assign you

to the wharf detail outside the walls.

Frankly, it's an experiment.

I've tried everything else with you.

You'll be on your honor.

I haven't got any. Don't be a sucker.

Yes, well go and clean yourself up.

Report for work at the main gate.

Oh, Verne. I forgot to tell you,

there were three or four men,

big men like you,

who did make it through the jungle.

Except when they got through,

I was waiting for them to bring them back.

28, 30, 32, 34, 36. 36, right?

36, right.

Looks like you've had enough, Pop.

Twelve years seems like enough.

More than enough.

Get up, Moussenq. This is no picnic.

Did he call you Moussenq?

That's my name.

That's all Moussenq is now, a name.

You called me Pop.

How old do you think I am?

You look about 50.

I'm 36 years old, believe it if you can.

Twelve of them I spent in the bear pit

and solitary and under the lash.

You've made enough breaks.

Why didn't you get away?

No man can get through that jungle.

It tears you and breaks you

and makes you old before your time.

There's nothing a man can't get through

to be free. It's been done.

With help from the outside,

a boat waiting down the coast, maybe.

Who knows?

Some way they did it, but not alone.

No, monsieur, it can't be done.

But someday I'll try it again.

Verne. Drop it and get moving.

Hello, Georges. You've been

such a stranger at the caf lately.

Well, you know how it is

with a newly married man.

- He feels kind of married, you know?

- Well, in a couple of months, then.

- May I go aboard?

- What for?

Let's say I'm a fool for boats,

and I only see one every three months.

Well, maybe you expect

something from home?

- In care of the captain.

- Well, I'll take you to him.

Coming, Julie? There might be some mail.

Mail for me?

- Hello, Julie.

- Go away, Pig.

Oh, Julie, you don't mean it

just like that, do you?

After all, there is no harm

in being friendly.

Men die all the time

and pigs live on and on,

when you'd think their own smell

would kill them.

Look, how many times

have I got to tell you?

You're a pig, a sneak

and a dirty stoolpigeon,

and I want you to leave me alone.

Watch yourself, baby.

Just act natural like you're alone.

- What do you want?

- Guess.

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Lawrence Hazard

Lawrence Hazard (May 12, 1897 – April 1, 1959) was an American playwright and screenwriter active from 1933 to 1958. His career was cut short when he died at age 61 in 1959. His films include Man's Castle (1933) directed by Frank Borzage and starring Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young; Mannequin (1937) directed by Borzage and starring Joan Crawford and Spencer Tracy; Strange Cargo (1940) directed by Borzage and starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford; The Spoilers (1942) starring Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne; Jackass Mail (1942) starring Wallace Beery; Dakota (1945) starring John Wayne and Walter Brennan, and numerous other films as well as scripts for television anthologies in the 1950s. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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