Night Plane from Chungking (1943)

68-69 mins | Drama | 1943

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Sky Over China and China Pass . According to a HR news item, this film was Walter McEwen's first producing effort for Paramount. According to a HR news item, Veronica Lake was initially considered for the lead in this film. Albert Dekker was included in the cast in an HR production chart, but he was not in the released film. Night Plane from Chungking was Robert Preston's final film before being inducted into the Armed Forces, he did not appear in another film until 1947, when he co-starred in The Macomber Affair (see above). Harry Hervey's unpublished story, known both as "Sky Over China" and "China Pass," was also the basis for Paramount's 1932 film Shanghai Express , directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook and Anna May Wong (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Sky Over China and China Pass . According to a HR news item, this film was Walter McEwen's first producing effort for Paramount. According to a HR news item, Veronica Lake was initially considered for the lead in this film. Albert Dekker was included in the cast in an HR production chart, but he was not in the released film. Night Plane from Chungking was Robert Preston's final film before being inducted into the Armed Forces, he did not appear in another film until 1947, when he co-starred in The Macomber Affair (see above). Harry Hervey's unpublished story, known both as "Sky Over China" and "China Pass," was also the basis for Paramount's 1932 film Shanghai Express , directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook and Anna May Wong (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.3993). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Jan 1943.
---
Daily Variety
30 Dec 42
pp. 3, 10
Film Daily
4 Jan 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 42
p. 4, 8
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 1942.
---
Motion Picture Herald
2 Jan 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 Oct 42
p. 983.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Jan 43
p. 1102.
New York Times
31 May 43
p. 13.
Variety
20 Dec 42
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
China Pass
Sky Over China
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 31 May 1943
Production Date:
mid August--11 September 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 January 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12081
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
68-69
Length(in feet):
6,230
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8766
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

During the Japanese invasion of China, a truck transporting civilian passengers by night, on the Assam Road to India, is forced to stop because a Chinese munitions truck is stuck in the muddy road. All lights are turned out when enemy Japanese bombers fly overhead, but Albert Pasavy, a trader, accidentally flips the headlights on while trying to ignite the cigarette lighter. The Japanese see the lights and bomb the road. The munitions truck is destroyed, so Lt. Tang commandeers the other truck to transport his now-wounded men and takes everyone back to a secret air field in Chungking. American captain Nick Stanton, who is attached to the Chinese Air Force, is furious that civilians have been brought to the secret base until he meets Ann Richards, a beautiful American Red Cross nurse. Woman-starved Nick cannot resist kissing Ann, but later resents her insistence that she and her companion, Madame Wu, who is on a secret diplomatic mission, be flown immediately to India. Nick flippantly recommends that Ann wire the minister of the interior for permission, but after he catches passenger Countess Olga Karagin in his office embroidering a map showing the secret bases along the Assam Road, he insists that they all return by truck to Chungking. Olga is arrested for spying, and as the passengers unwillingly board the truck, Ann gets a wire from the minister of the interior ordering Nick to fly the passengers to India. Nick grudgingly agrees, but en route, the plane is shot down by Japanese bombers. Nick manages to land the plane safely in the jungle and only his co-pilot, Capt. Po, is injured. Before the radio ... +


During the Japanese invasion of China, a truck transporting civilian passengers by night, on the Assam Road to India, is forced to stop because a Chinese munitions truck is stuck in the muddy road. All lights are turned out when enemy Japanese bombers fly overhead, but Albert Pasavy, a trader, accidentally flips the headlights on while trying to ignite the cigarette lighter. The Japanese see the lights and bomb the road. The munitions truck is destroyed, so Lt. Tang commandeers the other truck to transport his now-wounded men and takes everyone back to a secret air field in Chungking. American captain Nick Stanton, who is attached to the Chinese Air Force, is furious that civilians have been brought to the secret base until he meets Ann Richards, a beautiful American Red Cross nurse. Woman-starved Nick cannot resist kissing Ann, but later resents her insistence that she and her companion, Madame Wu, who is on a secret diplomatic mission, be flown immediately to India. Nick flippantly recommends that Ann wire the minister of the interior for permission, but after he catches passenger Countess Olga Karagin in his office embroidering a map showing the secret bases along the Assam Road, he insists that they all return by truck to Chungking. Olga is arrested for spying, and as the passengers unwillingly board the truck, Ann gets a wire from the minister of the interior ordering Nick to fly the passengers to India. Nick grudgingly agrees, but en route, the plane is shot down by Japanese bombers. Nick manages to land the plane safely in the jungle and only his co-pilot, Capt. Po, is injured. Before the radio fails, Nick and Po learn that Olga committed suicide but revealed before her death that her superior is still among them. Nick and Po plan to build a raft to float downriver, but the next morning, the Rev. Doctor Van Der Lieden is found missing. Just as the group is about to embark on the raft, Van Der Lieden returns with a basket of food he claims he received at a nearby monastery. Fearing exposure, the passengers disobey Nick's command that they continue by raft, and follow Van Der Lieden on the three-hour hike to the monastery. Once there, however, Van Der Lieden reveals that he is a Nazi commander working with the Japanese forces. Nick negotiates for the safety of the hostages, and Van Der Lieden agrees to allow Po to repair the plane if Nick wires his superiors to trade Olga for the hostages. To stall for time, Nick sends the wire, knowing that Olga is dead. The return wire is encoded, and Nick pretends that the hostage exchange is proceeding according to plan. In the meantime, the male hostages are kept in cells, while Ann and Madame Wu are held in a chapel. When Van Der Lieden finally decodes Nick's message and reads its true contents, Nick and Maj. Raoul Brissac, who is with the French Free Legion, try to escape, but Pasavy, concerned for his own life, betrays them to Van Der Lieden. Van Der Lieden watches Pasavy grovel before him and then coldly shoots him. Nick kills Van Der Lieden, and after he helps free the women, they all escape under enemy fire. Japanese troops follow them into the jungle, where Brissac sacrifices his own life to save the others by pulling the pin on a grenade, killing himself along with the Japanese. Nick, Po, Ann and Madame Wu then fly to safety. Having fallen in love, Nick and Ann vow to reunite after the war. +

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

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