Neale and Pedro fly cargo between Chungking and Calcutta. When their buddy Bill is murdered they investigate. Neale meets Bill's fiancée Virginia and becomes suspicious of a deeper plot while also falling for her charms.
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Neale Gordon and Pedro Lake, commercial pilots who fly the hump between Chungking and Calcutta learn, when they reach Calcutta, that their pal, Bill Cunningham, has been murdered. Neales investigation leads him to the Chalgani Club, run by Eric Lasser. Marina Tanov, the club's Russian singer, in love with Neale, tells him that Bill was engaged to an American girl, Virginia Moore. Neale seeks out Virginia, who admits that Bill gave her the $10,000 necklace she is wearing. Knowing that Bill never had that kind of money, Neale checks up. He learns that Bill had actually bought and paid for it. Neale and Virginia are having a drink at the bar when Pedro shows Neale a valuable star-sapphire which he found in the hangar. The pilots then realize they have stumbled onto a smuggling racket. Neale is convinced that Virginia is not involved. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Calcutta" was one of Alan Ladd's most successful movies of the 1940s (even out-grossing "The Blue Dahlia") and is a fun combination of film noir and adventure. Alan Ladd and Gail Russell made a beautiful couple, and I was sorry that they made only two co-starring vehicles together.
Some critics resented the fact that Gail Russell was the villainness of the story, but I have to disagree. It added irony at the end, and debunked the type-casting limitations so many stars of that period had to suffer through. She was a real beauty! As well, the supporting cast is excellent, in particular Broadway's Edith King. Without a doubt, this is a typical Alan Ladd "star vehicle" of the period -- to be enjoyed for what it is (a fun "Terry and the Pirates" type vehicle), and not to be over-analyzed.
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