When the telegraph wires to one of the British outposts are found to have been cut, the three friends, Sergeants Cutter (Grant), Ballantine (Fairbanks), and McChesney (McLaglen), are sent to investigate. They encounter the Thugges, a cult of religious extremists intent on driving the British from their land, but are able to repel their attack. After the soldiers return to their posts, Ballantine decides to leave the service and marry his girlfriend, Emmy Stebbins (Joan Fontaine). His friends are horrified by this news, and try to concoct a ruse to keep him in the army. While waiting, the mercenary Cutter, led by Gunga Din--their loyal, native water-bearer, goes into the hills in search of gold. They find that the temple of gold is, in fact, the headquarters of the Thugges, who capture Cutter, but allow Din to escape. Stevens makes good use of his slapstick training here, putting a comic twist on the potential cliches of nearly every scene.
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