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Only Angels Have Wings

  • Action
  • Drama
  • 1939
  • Howard Hawks
  • 115 mins
  • PG

Summary

Classic action adventure starring Cary Grant and Jean Arthur. From his base in Peru, tough-talking Geoff Carter runs an air freight service across the Andes - a notoriously treacherous route. As he struggles to keep his planes and pilots flying, he finds himself attracting the attention of Bonnie Lee, the girlfriend of one of his pilots.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

This movie about a civil airline taking mail and freight over the treacherous Andes contains all of producer/director Howard Hawks's key themes and some of his finest sequences. It also boasts a splendid cast headed by hard-bitten Cary Grant and chirpy Jean Arthur. They are superbly backed by Rita Hayworth as a vamp and Richard Barthelmess as a disgraced flier. The action is contained mainly in two cheap sets - a run-down bar and the adjacent air-control office - and the tension generated is all the more palpable for being so constrained. It was nominated for the first ever special-effects Oscar - the shot of the condor breaking through Thomas Mitchell's cockpit window is genuinely surprising. However, it's the characters you'll remember. Back in 1939, one of the most memorable years in cinema history, it was overlooked as a simple action adventure, but now it can be recognised as a superb study of grace under pressure. This is great cinema: supremely entertaining, mature storytelling.

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Credits

Cast

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Geoff CarterCary Grant
Bonnie LeeJean Arthur
Bat McPhersonRichard Barthelmess
Judith McPhersonRita Hayworth
Kid DabbThomas Mitchell
DutchmanSig Ruman
SparksVictor Kilian
Gent SheltonJohn Carroll
Les PetersAllyn Joslyn
Tex GordonDonald Barry

Crew

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DirectorHoward Hawks

Details

Theatrical distributor
Park Circus
Released on
2015-05-15
Languages
English | Spanish
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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