Tamango (1958)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, History

Tamango (1958) Poster

A Dutch slave captain, on a voyage to Cuba, faces a revolt fomented by a newly captured African slave, Tamango. The slaves capture the captain's mistress, forcing a showdown.

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  • Alex Cressan in Tamango (1958)
  • Alex Cressan and Dorothy Dandridge at an event for Tamango (1958)
  • Alex Cressan in Tamango (1958)
  • Dorothy Dandridge in Tamango (1958)
  • Alex Cressan and Dorothy Dandridge in Tamango (1958)
  • Dorothy Dandridge and Curd Jürgens in Tamango (1958)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

16 June 2014 | runamokprods
| 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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Plot Summary


Drama | History

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