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.
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 <email@example.com>
Three buddies, who are commercial pilots based in Calcutta, regularly fly cargo across the Himalayas between India and China. When one of them is murdered, the other two set out to find the killer. Beginning with a suspicious bank deposit and a carved diamond pendant, the pair uncover the victim's mysterious fiancé, a suitcase full of jewels, and another murder. Set in an exotic location on Paramount Studio's back lot, director John Farrow's "Calcutta" looks fabulous and has a competent cast, but the story is little more than a routine whodunnit, highlighted by John F. Seitz's rich black-and-white cinematography. Despite a few colorful supporting characters along the way, the plot develops without surprises, and viewers will guess the villain and the outcome long before the hero does.
Not the most expressive of actors, Alan Ladd plays Alan Ladd in the guise of Neale Gordon, the pilot who investigates the murder of his friend; Gordon, who is already involved with a Russian singer, becomes intrigued by his buddy's fiancé, played by Gail Russell. Gail Russell is not all that expressive either, and Pedro Blake, the third pilot, is William Bendix as William Bendix. Fortunately, the parts are undemanding, and the emphasis is on action and unraveling the plot.
Nominated for seven Academy Awards over his career, Seitz lensed such classics as "Sunset Boulevard," " The Lost Weekend," and "Double Indemnity." Seitz made movie stars glow like movie stars, and, in this film, he lavished his attention on Alan Ladd's blonde good looks and, to a lesser extent, on Gail Russell's dark beauty. Ladd even whips off his shirt to give audiences a look at his trim abs, although he radiates his handsome best while dressed in a white dinner jacket. Fans of Alan Ladd will relish "Calcutta" and savor the opportunity to freeze-frame several glamor shots of the star that are literally breath taking. While the film is not bad, just predictable, "Calcutta" is passably entertaining and a sturdy vehicle for Paramount's reigning star of the 1940's, Alan Ladd.
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