Only Angels Have Wings

Only Angels Have Wings

DVD - 2016
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A traveling entertainer gets more than she bargained for during a stopover in a South American port town. There she meets a handsome yet aloof daredevil pilot, who runs an airmail company, staring down death while servicing towns in treacherous mountain terrain. Both attracted to and repelled by his romantic sense of danger, she decides to stay on, despite his protestations.
Publisher: [New York, NY] : The Criterion Collection, [2016]
Edition: Special edition
ISBN: 9781681431314
1681431319
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (121 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
DVD video,4 3/4 in.,rda
digital,optical,mono,Dolby digital,rda
fullscreen (1.37:1),rda
DVD-video,NTSC,rda
video file,DVD video,region 1,rda

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n
Nursebob
Nov 07, 2018

Everyone is terribly miscast in Howard Hawks’ turbulent soap opera which never quite falls into a comfortable groove even though he swore every word and ridiculous twist was based on real life events—are we watching a comedy, a tragedy, or a thriller? Grant and Arthur look like they accidentally stumbled out of a George Cukor farce as they alternately spit and spoon; Barthelmess skulks and glares in what has to be a very bad Petter Lorre impression; Hayworth emotes by the numbers; and Oscar winner Thomas Mitchell is reduced to being Grant’s hop-along sidekick. The only saving grace to the whole tedious melodrama is the cinematography and special effects which were both nominated for Academy Awards. Joseph Walker’s aerial sequences are breathtaking for the time, his cameras swooping over jagged peaks or else plunging through roiling fog banks while technical wizard Roy Davidson et al use their skill (and some convincing miniature models) to place you in a rollicking cockpit or make you witness first hand a horrendous plane crash. But despite the combined efforts of these two men the film itself simply limps down the runway before stalling altogether.

l
loulou2008
Sep 11, 2018

This is a great Howard Hawks film! Excellent cast (great chemistry between Cary Grant and Jean Arthur!). I also realized what a great actor Thomas Mitchell was. He also played Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life. Here's one of his lines (to his vague boss Cary Grant) in Only Angels Have Wings: "Someday I'll get a straight answer out of you and I won't know what to do with it." Thomas Mitchell is also excellent in the movie Moontide. A great actor!

t
ThomasJWhiting
Sep 01, 2018

GOOD 1939 b/w film set in fictional South America town Barranca starring Cary Grant and fab beautiful Jean Arthur, who I just recently discovered and have been searching out her film work. Rita Hayworth also has a small breakout role in this one. Grant is a bit mundane in this male role - but that's more the part than Cary's acting.

There is some terrific film work by Howard Hawks with all those planes flying around - particulary in the Andes pass sequences (actually filmed in Rocky Mountains).

m
Me_Tarzan
Aug 21, 2018

When it comes to vintage Hollywood cinema - It never ceases to amaze me what ridiculous lengths the screenwriters would go to in order to work a frickin' romance into the film's story.

And "Only Angels Have Wings" (from 1939) is, indeed, a perfect example of how utterly contrived and preposterous an on-screen romance could possibly get.

Had this potentially promising "Howard Hawks" production completely disposed with this truly demented "love-triangle" business and just focused in on creating a compelling story about US flyboys stationed in South America - Then - Yes. This vintage, b&w picture would have very likely excelled as being a sure-fire winner.

But, unfortunately - That wasn't how Hollywood cinema worked back in those days.

And, I ask you - Is it any wonder why so very few of these film's actually hold up at all today?

p
puffycat
Jun 12, 2016

So many facets to this film. Tough men and women , great dialog, do or die situations (it's about delivering mail) . Makes you think twice about what could happen if you miss your boat or flight.

m
madishoemake
Mar 17, 2011

Alright this is my favorite movie ever! Cary Grant and Jean Arthur play so well together-they both are so talented.

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gsoone
Sep 08, 2016

A traveling entertainer gets more than she bargained for during a stopover in a South American port town. There she meets a handsome yet aloof daredevil pilot, who runs an airmail company, staring down death while servicing towns in treacherous mountain terrain. Both attracted to and repelled by his romantic sense of danger, she decides to stay on, despite his protestations. Howard Hawks, 1939 100%/83%

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