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Only Angels Have Wings
Only Angels Have Wings
Actors: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess, Thomas Mitchell
Director: Howard Hawks
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
UR     1999     2hr 1min

Jean arthur is a stranded showgirl who sets her sights on cary grant in this rousing adventure tale. Special features: full screen version mono sound subtitles: english spanish portugese chinese korean thai vintage adverti...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess, Thomas Mitchell
Director: Howard Hawks
Creators: Joseph Walker, Howard Hawks, Viola Lawrence, Eleanore Griffin, Jules Furthman, William Rankin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Love & Romance, Classics
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 08/31/1999
Original Release Date: 05/15/1939
Theatrical Release Date: 05/15/1939
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 2hr 1min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
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Movie Reviews

One of Hollywood's Hidden Treasures!
Dean Scoby | Toronto, Canada | 08/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Only Angels Have Wings is one of those many hidden treasures, one that was never really discovered... but will always be remembered. Taking place in a South American port of call for local Bananna Boats-Barranca- in which a Dutchman, John van Rider (The Dutchman) who runs almost everything in town, owns an air mail service that-despite hazardous and blinding weather- always sends its mail (and pilots) out on time, so that new planes can be bought, which will help weather conditions. As I have mentioned, the weather is harmful, and many who are emplyed by the Dutchman are killed at one point or another. Out of the small gang of pilots (including John Carrol as Jent Shelton, in a minor but excellent role), one stands out; Cary Grant, who plays Jeff Carter, a once sensitive and caring man who was turned into a cynical, unhappy chappy after a harsh breakup. Running the airline, Jeff only goes out when he thinks it might be too hard for anyone else. Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur, in one of her first large roles)has just gotten of a Northbound boat to cool off for a couple of hours before the ship has loaded some bannanas and is ready to set out to sea. On the shore, she is met by two pilots who (after some trouble) manage to "get" her. Heartless Jeff sends one out for a delivery, contrary to a deal made between the two. Bonnie is shocked by Jeff's behavior. After deciding to come back when the fog is too much to bare, the pilot attepts a dangerous landing resulting in his death. Bonnie is shocked by how easily and rudely the bunch takes it. However, she is explained to by two members of the band, including Jeff's veteran flier best friend Kidd (played by Thomas Mitchell in perhaps one of his best roles) that they must do that or te feelings balled up inside them would be too much to bare. So Bonnie cheers up and joins the group. The next day, when Jeff gtes back from a delivery, he is surprised to find that Bonnie purposely missed her boat ride. He informs her in a rather cruel manner that she has to go on the next boat. Just when everything seems perfect, a new pilot, McPherson (a great role for Richard Bartelmess) and his wife Judy arrive, (Rita Hayworth, in her career starting film) and two rather astonsihing revalations are made. After, the pilots try again to lead a happy life, though, as they discover, it may be rather difficult. ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS is perhaps one of the ten best films to this day, although widely ignored. The performances, direction, and sharp dialougue are equivalent to a solid five of today's so-called best films. Cary Grant is amazing, and as always, was ignored by the Acadamey Awards, as was everything about the film.Even among other films such as Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Gunga Din, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and other outstanding films, Only Angels Have Wings is this viewers favourite. My Secind Favourite Grant Film, and top ten worthy film of any kind, Only Angels Have Wings is a powerful, sad, hilarious, cynical, and brilliant film."
This movie has it all....
ehakus | New York, NY United States | 07/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Only Angels Have Wings is a perfect example of an often ignored, but excellent, classic movie. Directed by Howard Hawks, and with a great cast, Only Angels Have Wings is half exciting adventure movie and half romantic comedy. The sense of setting and atmosphere is very good as well - you almost feel as though the movie transports you to the imaginary South American port town of Barranca. The movie describes the adventures of a group of pilots working in a very dangerous location - they are hemmed in by mountains, and constantly face bad weather conditions. More specifically, it focuses on Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur), a chorus girl staying in the town, and her encounters with the tough boss of the business, Jeff Carter (Cary Grant). The cast is very good. Cary Grant, though not playing his usual role, is excellent as the tough boss, who only flys when it is too tough for anyone else. Jean Arthur is sweet and believable as the stranded chorus girl, and the supporting cast, including a very young Rita Hayworth (in her first A-movie) is perfect. Anyhow, if you haven't seen this hidden classic from 1939, what are you waiting for? The DVD is very good - the movie is very clear and sharp, and there are a few interesting special features as well (previews for other movies and old advertisement posters, for instance). But the movie alone is worth getting - it is a must have!"
Still flys high six decades later
Matthew Horner | USA | 03/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is yet another great movie from the remarkable year, 1939. I've always been curious as to what plateau the movies would have wound up on had it not been for the devastating chain of events called WWII, which had begun the year before in Europe and China. Jean Arthur, one of Hollywood's great comedic actresses, plays a show biz type who, for reasons never made clear, has sailed into a backwater South American port. There she meets a bunch of guys who work for a rickety airline that needs to get a big mail delivery contract in order to survive. Cary Grant plays the leader of this group. He's been burned by women in the past, and, though attracted to Arthur, acts the tough guy who only cares about his job and his buddies. It doesn't take long for Arthur to decide that he's the one for her, but she's worldly enough to know that this is one catch that will be hard to reel in. Meanwhile, Grant and company have enough to keep them busy, as they battle wind, rain, fog, old airplanes, big birds and some very tall mountains in order to get said mail to its destination.One thing I love about this movie is the way is never seems to take itself seriously. I don't know what the filmmakers intended, but much of it seems almost a satire of macho action pictures. Why else would they cast two such wonderfully funny stars in the leads? Also of note is way the script addresse some tricky issues in the Arthur-Grant relationship by giving the movie a hopeful, rather than happy, ending. It leaves it up to the viewer to decide if this odd couple will make it or not.The movie won an Oscar for Best Special Effects. Some of these are remarkable even today, while others are now laughably crude. But the special effects are just icing on the cake. Only Angels Have Wings is very much story driven. Nearly half of it takes place on one set, but the characters have so much going on that you hardly noctice the static setting. Great supporting perfomances by Thomas Mitchell, Richard Bathelmess and a very young, inexperienced Riat Hayworth. All in all, an endearing, highly entertaining movie."
A Forgotten Classic, Glad Someone Recommended It!
Michael Bock | Irvine, CA United States | 07/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First off, if you like Howard Hawks in general, or To Have and Have Not, you will love this movie. To Have and Have Not lifts its entire plot line and much of its dialogue from this, perhaps even finer, movie.

Cary Grant is hard-bitten, amoral, and cold as ice in this movie. And he's great! Way better than when he's acting suave or zany in other movies. The flying scenes have aged far better than similar special effects in other movies, and the dialogue, sexual tension, and machismo still crackles. I could imagine Barranca existing sixty years ago, and I imagine that it still exists in modern form today.

The plot line is fairly bare, a bunch of down on their luck pilots disagree, fight, and try to get by in a jungle port. (Barranca, where the film takes place, is one of the greatest sets I've ever seen. Maybe the best black and white set with the exception of Rick's Cafe Americain ever). There's a vengeance plot line, an unrequited love, and a floundering airline mixed in. It sounds like too much, but the combination works just right. The gray, noirish atmosphere really adds to the feeling of depression-era despair and hope.

Really, really good."