Tamango

1958

Drama / History

1
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 187

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 20, 2020 at 10:50 AM

Director

Cast

Curd Jürgens as Captain John Reinker
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
916.96 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S counting...
1.66 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by goblinhairedguy 7 / 10

Factually based tale of slave revolt

"Tamango" is a rousing and intelligent tale of a slave ship revolt in the 18th century. It strives to avoid transparent moralizing and overt stereotypes, particularly by placing the gorgeous Dorothy Dandridge in the pivotal role of the Captain's mistress. She must decide whether to send him to his certain demise among her fellow Africans (as Leonard Maltin avers, it's way ahead of its time). Perhaps this even-handedness is not all that surprising given the fact that it was directed by the blacklisted John Berry, who found refuge in France after helming several sensitive films noirs about the urban American underclass.

Most references give the film's literary source as a novella by French author Prosper Merimée. However, I recently stumbled upon an article in the "New York Times" (August 24, 2005) concerning a South African archaeologist who is combing a beach off Cape Horn for the wreck of a Dutch slave ship named the Meermin. The history given of this particular ship is pretty much a blow-by-blow description of this film (apart from the miscegenation), even down to the very details of how the slaves were given their chance, and how the surviving crew foiled them at one point. I can't remember if the film acknowledges any true-to-life origins, but this shivery narrative certainly lends the movie even more credence.

Reviewed by EdgarST 8 / 10

Mutiny on the Esperanza

When I was 7 years old I saw the ads of «Tamango» in the press and posters in cinemas as I passed them by, but when I was old enough to see it (it was classified "for adults only") it had vanished from sight. Now that I finally watched it, when it was finished I was in awe. What a good film! Of course it does help that the final 10 minutes are simultaneously tense and poetic leading to a highly dramatic ending. But six decades after its original release, it is still a motion picture of strong content and great visual impact (although the copy I saw is not in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and the colors have faded). Released in 1958 it is an adaptation of Prosper Mérimée's 1829 homonymous novella (before he wrote his most famous «Carmen»). Significant changes were made for this screen version, but the final plot is also set in the early 19th century. In the coast of Guinea, warrior Tamango (Alex Cressan) and a sizable group of men and women have been sold to Reinker, a Dutch slave trader (Curt Jürgens) and they board the ship Esperanza that sets sails to Cuba, where they will be sold again, this time in the slave market. On route the violent conflict between the Caucasian sailors and the black slaves intensifies, the interracial sexual liaison between Reinker and a beautiful African woman named Ayché (Dorothy Dandridge) breaks, and Tamango leads a mutiny against the slavers. In the final script that went through significant re-writing due to Dandridge's insistence (who also refused to wear costumes that were offensive to the African woman, as designed by a Parisian designer), Ayché and Tamango are no longer lovers, he does not sell her but the two are victimized, and instead of surviving in Kingston the warrior fights until the end. These script changes turn Tamango and Ayché into icons of racial struggle, while the sincere, intense passion Reinker feels for Ayché is one of the first screen recognitions of many Europeans' love or lust for Africans. In the time it was made «Tamango» must have been some kind of a political and educational «audiovisual pamphlet», invaluable for those who were involved in the fight for the civil rights of Afro-descendants in the United States and elsewhere. No wonder it was banned in a few countries, and surely not only for the Reinker-Ayché relationship. I saw the English-spoken version: it becomes a bit hard in the first scenes to accept Dandridge as an African girl, with her American accent, but one gets used to it and thankfully she only has the necessary dialogue. Cressan, a medical student from Martinique that only made this film, is a magnificent emblem of African male beauty; and Jürgens, as usual, is fine as the villain with a soft heart. Director Berry was black-listed during the witch-hunting craze led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, and, after directing the cult film «He Ran All the Way», he went to Europe as Joseph Losey, Cy Endfield and Charles Chaplin. Berry also directed the romantic comedy «Claudine» about a couple of African-American workers, but he remained in France until his death.

Reviewed by runamokprods 7 / 10

An interesting moment in film history

Arguably more interesting as a social document and a step forward in mainstreams films dealing with race, than as a drama.

On a slave ship carrying Africans from their homeland to slavery in the American south, a charismatic young warrior attempts to organize a revolt. Meanwhile, Dorothy Dandridge plays captain Curt Jurgens' mistress, featuring interracial kissing and sexuality at a time very few American films would go near the subject. Add in the complexity that Dandridge's subjugated Lucy is a far more empathetic figure than any white character, and that Tamango and his fellow captives are show to be in every way – morally, strategically as well as physically better than their white captors, and you have a film that was way ahead of it's time.

That said there is odd flat quality in the drama and less than thrilling acting and film-making that keep the actual story from living up to it's potential. But it's still pretty involving, and worth seeing at least as a part of films' maturing around racial issues.

Interestingly, blacklisted director John Berry, went on to direct another racially 'ahead of it's time' film; 1974's "Claudine", one of the first mainstream American films to try and intelligently deal with the struggles of poor urban African Americans without falling into exploitation, violence or cliché.

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