One of filmdom’s favorite stamping grounds, the Belgian Congo, is the setting for some familiar bwana monkeyshines in The Sins of Rachel Cade. Although it is an earnest and workmanlike effort, nothing very novel or enlightening occurs in the Henry Blanke production, which is based upon Charles Mercer’s popular novel [Rachel Cade] about a spinster missionary.
Chief conflict of the film is the heroine’s (Angie Dickinson) inner emotional turmoil in which her religious principles debate against her natural sexual impulses. Arriving in the Congo, she dramatically persuades the region’s ‘left wing’ element to adopt the Christian philosophy, but has a deuce of a time practising what she has been preaching when a handsome RAF doctor (Roger Moore) arrives by unscheduled plane crash.
Dickinson is generally persuasive, although a trifle too composed in spots. Peter Finch, a convincing low-pressure performer, makes the most of his role. Moore is handsome, but far too British sounding to score in the part of an American, even a yank from Boston.
Direction by Gordon Douglas is nowhere near as perceptive as it should be. There is also a distracting tendancy to jam the lens right into the pupils of the heroine’s eye.