'SEALED CARGO' (1951)
I have always had a problem with Dana Andrews as an actor. For me, he
lacks charisma, and (more often than not) is on the bad side of wooden.
Sealed Cargo is a workmanlike addition to the Andrews canon- not
the best thing he ever did, nor the worst. The film’s directorial
credit goes to Alfred Werker, who managed to preside over some bizarre
films in his nigh on 30 year career- not many directors can boast a
c.v. including a classic pirate movie (Kidnapped, 1938), a
Sherlock Holmes film (1939) and a Laurel and Hardy comedy (A-Haunting
Go, 1942). Given this generic disparity, whether Werker is
an auteur or not is anyone’s guess. Given the way he directs,
the answer is probably no.
- A review by Richard Harrison (2011)
Sealed Cargo is a rather unusual film- it is typical B-movie
fare, but its focus- essentially propaganda- means that by 1951 it must
have seemed more dated than it does now if the time of its production
is overlooked. By the early 1950s, Hollywood was a place of transition-
science fiction films were just round the corner, as was Technicolor
and a new generation of young actors like Brando and James Dean. Sealed
Cargo is a bit like a museum piece, but, as with most museum
pieces, there is still something there to kindle nostalgia- and there’s
nothing wrong in that.
‘Sealed Cargo' is available on DVD from Odeon