Without lights and in a driving rain, a bus is lumbering along the muddy Assam Road en route from Chunking to the Indian border. Passengers include Albert Pasavy (Otto Kruger), a European ... See full summary »
Without lights and in a driving rain, a bus is lumbering along the muddy Assam Road en route from Chunking to the Indian border. Passengers include Albert Pasavy (Otto Kruger), a European of unknown nationality; a missionary, the Rev. Dr. Van Der Liden (Steven Geray);a French officer Major Raoul Brissac (Ernst Deutsch as Ernest Dorian), and Countess Olga Karagin (Tamara Geva), a White Russian. There is also Madame Woo (Soo Yong), an ancient Chinese lady on an important diplomatic mission to Indian, and her traveling companion, Ann Richards (Ellen Drew), an American Red Cross nurse. The trip is halted when Japanese planes bomb the road and hit a munitions truck and kill many Chinese soldiers. The Chinese commander puts the wounded soldiers on the bus and directs it to a nearby secret airport where the officer in charge is Captain Nick Stanton (Robert Preston), an American attached to the Chinese Air Force. Stanton is ordered to fly the bus passengers to India and, before the take-off, ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
This picture is called "Night Plane from Chungking." I just don't see it. About five minutes, at most, takes place on a plane, and it's only in the last scene that night flight is shown. The cast actually spends more time on a night bus. "Escape from Chungking" might have been a better title.
Another IMDb reviewer claims "Peking Express" (1951) is the second remake of "Shanghai Express" (1933). "Night Plane from Chungking" is said to be the first. Again, I just don't see it. In "Shanghai," Marlene Dietrich is a woman of the world. In "Night Plane," Ellen Drew is a virginal nurse. In "Shanghai," a noble doctor is Dietrich's love interest. In "Night Plane," a cynical pilot is Drew's love interest. In "Shanghai," when captured, the characters undergo psychological interrogation. In "Night Plane," when captured, the characters undergo only confinement. In many ways, in fact, "Barricade" (1939) is a more likely, though not credited, "Shanghai" remake.
And while "Night Plane from Chungking," itself, isn't bad, it also isn't very good, being so dependent, as it is, on clichés. (Clichés, of course, are things that help us "to see it" before it even happens.) Example 1: Two people of a small party traversing China are actually Nazi spies, but, when the group's plane is forced down, we can't determine who the surviving spy is because the radio receiver -- as you might guess -- fails just before that revelation is made. Example 2: Who will survive their ordeal? Well, as in countless other pictures, you merely need to rank order the cast in importance to have your answer. (A most notable exception to this rule is provided by Hamburger Hill" .) Too bad. With more time and effort, or Dana Andrews in the lead, "Night Plane from Chungking" could have been much better.
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