6 user

Cargo to Capetown (1950)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 1 April 1950 (USA)
The plot involves Ireland, captain of a tired oil tanker, and Crawford, the ship's engineer. The pair soon find themselves at odds over their mutual affection for Drew (who happens to be Crawford's fiancee).


Earl McEvoy


Lionel Houser (written)


Learn more

More Like This 

The Swordsman (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Young lovers brings two fighting clans together.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Larry Parks, Ellen Drew, George Macready
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A top syndicate crime boss and his corrupt politicians, make multi-million deals and order murders , until the vicious pattern finally catches up to him.

Director: Russell Rouse
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Richard Conte, Anne Bancroft
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The son of a powerful Mafia don comes home from his army service in Vietnam and wants to lead his own life, but family tradition, intrigues and powerplays involving his older brother ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Alex Cord, Irene Papas
Man Alive (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Michael McBride is declared dead after a car accident leaving his wife Connie grief stricken. When he reappears he has difficulty convincing people it's him due to the interference of Tolliver and a young Ignatius claiming to be his son.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Adolphe Menjou, Ellen Drew
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The Crime Doctor comes up against a criminal with a dual personality.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Warner Baxter, Ellen Drew, William Frawley
Dark Mountain (1944)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A woman doesn't realize that the man she has just married is a gangster. When she is implicated in a murder he committed, she turns to an ex-boyfriend, who is now a park ranger, for help. ... See full summary »

Director: William Berke
Stars: Robert Lowery, Ellen Drew, Regis Toomey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In this Western, the James and Younger boys ride the outlaw trail again all because of a mean Union Army Major.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Wendell Corey, Macdonald Carey, Ellen Drew
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A cheating husband is charged in the poisoning death of his invalid wife, in spite of other women and suicide also being suspected.

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: Charles Boyer, Ann Blyth, Jessica Tandy
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

At the end of the Civil War, two friends return home to Colorado and one of them has changed and is violent and erratic.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Glenn Ford, William Holden, Ellen Drew
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Treasury Department officials recruit a florist (Raft) to lead them to a wanted criminal (Macready); but once he gets too close, he finds he's the hunted.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff
Stars: George Raft, Nina Foch, George Macready
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Police seek a smuggler while doctors, unaware she's the same person, desperately comb unprotected New York for a smallpox carrier.

Director: Earl McEvoy
Stars: Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop
Tokyo Joe (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American returns to Tokyo try to pick up threads of his pre-WW2 life there, but finds himself squeezed between criminals and the authorities.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Alexander Knox, Florence Marly


Cast overview:
Broderick Crawford ... Johnny Phelan
Ellen Drew ... Kitty Mellar
John Ireland ... Steve Conway
Edgar Buchanan ... Sam Bennett
Ted de Corsia ... Rhys
Robert Espinoza Robert Espinoza ... Rik
Leonard Strong ... Singh


The plot involves Ireland, captain of a tired oil tanker, and Crawford, the ship's engineer. The pair soon find themselves at odds over their mutual affection for Drew (who happens to be Crawford's fiancee).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The lusty stars of ALL THE KING'S MEN! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 April 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ladung für Kapstadt See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The melody that Captain Steve Conway (John Ireland) often hums, whistles or plays on his concertina is called The Girl I Left Behind Me, an evident allusion to a past relationship with the fiancé of his buddy, Johnny Phelan (Broderick Crawford). See more »


Broderick Crawford is shanghaied. Ellen Drew comes aboard to rescue him. Neither has luggage. The ship sails for a weeks-long voyage. So, where did all their squeaky-clean costume changes come from? See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Prelude To The Exxon Valdez
3 January 2008 | by lotus07See all my reviews

SYNOPSIS: A tramp steamer outruns a typhoon to Capetown, South Africa, with a disgruntled crew and a love triangle between the Captain, the Chief Engineer and his fiancé.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Second chances and re-thinking past mistakes. Macho defeats love in the short-term, but compassion triumphs in the end. A trip back to simpler times when everything was black and white, literally.

PROS AND CONS: This film was supposedly made as a follow up to "All The King's Men", which also starred Crawford and Ireland. "All The King's Men" got a lot of Oscar buzz, so the studios thought they could make lightening strike twice. They sort of missed the mark. This is a competent film, but can hardly be considered great film making.

This film rehashes the tried and true cinema gimmick of trapping adults in a confined space so they must face their past and confront the present. There is a bit of a fantasy element in the concept of a world in which tramp steamers were the semi-trucks of their day, ferrying oil and cargo across the ocean highways of the world. Crewed by men with checkered pasts who lived a nomadic lifestyle. It probably isn't very accurately portrayed in this film, but it does make you wonder.

The camera tends to linger on Ellen Drew's character a lot and she is working her "Betty Davis Eyes" as much as possible. The script and plot lines of the film seem a bit strained from time to time. The roots of the past love affair between the captain and the fiancé are never explained. The small boy that longs to go to sea only to be crushed by oil cans in the storm doesn't really make a lot of sense and his acting is terrible.

This is not a very deep film. The basic concept is how folks forced together on a ship in the middle of the ocean have to work as a team and overcome their past differences. Nothing more, nothing less.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed