Calcutta (1947)

83 mins | Drama, Mystery | 30 May 1947

Director:

John Farrow

Writer:

Seton I. Miller

Producer:

Seton I. Miller

Cinematographer:

John F. Seitz

Editor:

Archie Marshek

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Franz Bachelin

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Several reviews list the film's running time as 83 minutes; however, the Var tradeshow review lists 73 minutes. pre-production HR news item lists Leslie Vincent in the cast as a hotel clerk, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. June Duprez was borrowed from RKO for the production. Duprez sings the song, "This is Madness," in French in the film. Dr. Paul Singh, who was a technical advisor on the film, also appeared as "Mul Raj Malik." As reported in Paramount News , Dr. Singh, of the Sikh faith, lived for many years in Calcutta, where his family still operated an export-import business at the time this film was made. The film marked the feature film debut of character actress Edith King, and the HR review noted, "King bids well to be a brilliant screen comedienne as the result of her work as the blonde cigar smoker." According to Paramount News , Josephine, the ring-tailed monkey who appears on King's shoulder throughout the film, was owned by actor Gabriel ... More Less

Several reviews list the film's running time as 83 minutes; however, the Var tradeshow review lists 73 minutes. pre-production HR news item lists Leslie Vincent in the cast as a hotel clerk, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. June Duprez was borrowed from RKO for the production. Duprez sings the song, "This is Madness," in French in the film. Dr. Paul Singh, who was a technical advisor on the film, also appeared as "Mul Raj Malik." As reported in Paramount News , Dr. Singh, of the Sikh faith, lived for many years in Calcutta, where his family still operated an export-import business at the time this film was made. The film marked the feature film debut of character actress Edith King, and the HR review noted, "King bids well to be a brilliant screen comedienne as the result of her work as the blonde cigar smoker." According to Paramount News , Josephine, the ring-tailed monkey who appears on King's shoulder throughout the film, was owned by actor Gabriel Canzona. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Apr 1947.
---
Daily Variety
14 Apr 1947.
---
Film Daily
21 Apr 47
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 47
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 45
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 45
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 45
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 45
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 47
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
4 Aug 45
p. 38.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Apr 1947.
---
New York Times
24 Apr 47
p. 30.
Variety
16 Apr 47
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Lee Tung Foo
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by, Wrt for the scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff asst, miniatures
Spec photog eff asst
Asst transparency projection
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Research dir
Research asst
SOURCES
SONGS
"This Is Madness," music and lyrics by Bernie Wayne and Ben Raleigh.
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 May 1947
Production Date:
18 June--early August 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 May 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1026
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11115
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Three American pilots, Bill Cunningham, Neale Gordon and Pedro Blake, fly a route from Chungking, China to Calcutta, India, where they share an apartment at the Hotel Imperial. On one trip, when Neale and Pedro's plane is forced to land in the mountains, Bill rescues them and then rushes back to Calcutta, where he and his fiancée, American Virginia Moore, are having an engagement party. When Neale and Pedro arrive in Calcutta, however, they learn that Bill has been strangled to death. Marina Tanev, a nightclub singer who is in love with Neale, informs them that Eric Lasser, who runs the nightclub, canceled the engagement party. Virginia tells Neale that the night Bill was killed, he left her in the hotel bar and never returned. Neale forces Virginia to confess she was not in love with Bill, then tears an expensive diamond necklace from around her neck. During a flight to Chungking, Pedro meets Mul Raj Malik, an Indian merchant, and Malik tells him to visit him at his import-export shop in Chungking. Back in Calcutta, a jewelry merchant named Mrs. Smith confirms that Bill bought Virginia's necklace himself, and Neale learns that Bill deposited a $7,000 check from Lasser's gambling establishment before he died. Later, Neale apologizes to Virginia for suspecting her, and over a drink, they begin to fall in love. At night, Neale boards one of his and Pedro's planes, and after discovering a bag of jewels hidden in the floorboards, he is nearly killed with a posse noose, the same device used on Bill. Neale gives the jewels to Pedro to place in a safe deposit box, and with only a brooch ... +


Three American pilots, Bill Cunningham, Neale Gordon and Pedro Blake, fly a route from Chungking, China to Calcutta, India, where they share an apartment at the Hotel Imperial. On one trip, when Neale and Pedro's plane is forced to land in the mountains, Bill rescues them and then rushes back to Calcutta, where he and his fiancée, American Virginia Moore, are having an engagement party. When Neale and Pedro arrive in Calcutta, however, they learn that Bill has been strangled to death. Marina Tanev, a nightclub singer who is in love with Neale, informs them that Eric Lasser, who runs the nightclub, canceled the engagement party. Virginia tells Neale that the night Bill was killed, he left her in the hotel bar and never returned. Neale forces Virginia to confess she was not in love with Bill, then tears an expensive diamond necklace from around her neck. During a flight to Chungking, Pedro meets Mul Raj Malik, an Indian merchant, and Malik tells him to visit him at his import-export shop in Chungking. Back in Calcutta, a jewelry merchant named Mrs. Smith confirms that Bill bought Virginia's necklace himself, and Neale learns that Bill deposited a $7,000 check from Lasser's gambling establishment before he died. Later, Neale apologizes to Virginia for suspecting her, and over a drink, they begin to fall in love. At night, Neale boards one of his and Pedro's planes, and after discovering a bag of jewels hidden in the floorboards, he is nearly killed with a posse noose, the same device used on Bill. Neale gives the jewels to Pedro to place in a safe deposit box, and with only a brooch and the bag in his possession, returns to the hotel, hoping to bait the smugglers out of hiding. Malik pulls a gun on Neale, but then leaves and is shot in the hall. When Neale shows the brooch to Marina, she warns that Bill found out about the shipment in the hotel and was called away from Virginia by an unknown informant. Again suspicious of Virginia, Neale visits her room, but it has been ransacked and she is missing. Neale later shows the brooch to Mrs. Smith, who explains that Malik used to be her partner in running smuggled goods and that after he found out that someone was successfully running goods to Chungking, he tried to get in on the deal. British police officers led by Captain Hendricks arrest Neale, whose gun they have, for Malik's murder. Pedro, however, claims the gun is his so that Neale can be released to find the killer. Virginia, in hiding, sends word to Neale, and when he visits, she confesses her love for him and they kiss. The next morning, Neale learns from the hotel desk clerk that Bill and Virginia were not at the hotel bar the night he was murdered, as Virginia had claimed. Furious at Virginia's duplicity, Neale brings the jewels to her to test her greed and slaps her into confessing that, as part of Lasser's smuggling ring, she was to seduce the pilots who were running the goods. She says she never meant to harm Bill, who discovered Lasser placing a shipment in his plane, and contends that she held a gun on Bill to keep him from talking, but that Lasser strangled him. Through false tears, Virginia pulls a gun from a drawer as Lasser enters. Neale disarms Virginia and kills Lasser during a struggle, then calls Hendricks. As she is arrested, Virginia swears her love to Neale. Later, when Marina sends Neale off on his next flight, and advises him that he is safer tangling with mountains than with women, they kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.