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Hell's Angels (1930)

Passed | | Drama, War | 15 November 1930 (USA)
Brothers Monte and Ray leave Oxford to join the Royal Flying Corps. Ray loves Helen; Helen enjoys an affair with Monte; before they leave on their mission over Germany they find her in still another man's arms.

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
James Hall ...
...
John Darrow ...
Karl Armstedt
Lucien Prival ...
Baron Von Kranz
Frank Clarke ...
Lt. von Bruen
Roy Wilson ...
Baldy Maloney
Douglas Gilmore ...
Capt. Redfield
...
Baroness Von Kranz
Evelyn Hall ...
Lady Randolph
William B. Davidson ...
Staff Major
Wyndham Standing ...
RFC Squadron Commander
Lena Malena ...
Gretchen - Waitress
...
Girl Selling Kisses (as Marilyn Morgan)
Carl von Haartman ...
Zeppelin Commander (as Carl Von Haartman)
Edit

Storyline

Two brothers attending Oxford enlist with the RAF when World War I breaks out. Roy and Monte Rutledge have very different personalities. Monte is a freewheeling womanizer, even with his brother's girlfriend Helen. He also proves to have a yellow streak when it comes to his Night Patrol duties. Roy is made of strong moral fiber and attempts to keep his brother in line. Both volunteer for an extremely risky two man bombing mission for different reasons. Monte wants to lose his cowardly reputation and Roy seeks to protect his brother. Their assignment to knock out a strategic German munitions facility is a booming success, but with a squadron of fighters bearing down on them afterwards, escape seems unlikely. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every one who has seen this sensation - concedes its unequalled pre-eminence in the history of the Screen! Howard Hughes' Thrilling Air Spectacle Hell's Angels. The first multi-million dollar talking picture. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 November 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pekelní andelé  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,950,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(tinted) (some sequences)| (Multicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

All color prints of the movie were thought to be lost until a print was found in John Wayne's personal vault in 1989, ten years after the actor's death, by his son Michael Wayne. That explains why the younger Wayne's name appears on the credits of the restored version. It is possible that Wayne received the print from the film's producer/director, Howard Hughes. The actor starred in Jet Pilot (1957) for Hughes in 1949, but the film was not released until 1957 because Hughes continued to have the flying sequences re-shot, a situation not unlike this film. See more »

Quotes

Monte Rutledge: Listen, Roy, never love a woman. Just make love to her.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Chasing the Sun (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Du, du liegst mir im Herzen
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Hugo Riesenfeld
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great combat special effects, but so-so "special mission" story.
10 October 2003 | by (Jacksonville, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Hughes as director had his limitations, but he was at his best in making possible the great combat and special effects scenes. The Zeppelin scenes are so realistic it is difficult to believe it was all model and special set work. In 1927-1930 there just wasn't available a "junk" Zeppelin for Hughes to buy and shoot down. It would not surprise me to learn that he offered the U.S.Navy or the Zeppelin Co. a good round sum to buy "Los Angeles" (LZ-126) or "Graf Zeppelin" (LZ-127) for that purpose! Hughes' inexperience as a director shows up at its worst in his handling of the cast. Even allowing for the difficulties of "Dawn of Sound" filming, and that HELL'S ANGELS started as a silent, Hughes tolerated some of the worst acting ever seen in a major film. There is some good work, though. Jean Harlow is very smooth and natural, and the actors playing the German officers are satisfactorily sly and evil.

The story? Oh, two brothers are in love with the same girl, who doesn't really give a hoot for either of them. They volunteer for a suicide mission in a captured German bomber, and .... But, see the ending for yourself. Meanwhile, the Germans are trying to bomb London with their Zeppelin, but the Royal Flying Corps in on the job. That's about it.

For true airship buffs, I'll add a word about the designation "L-32" visible in one scene when the "Zeppelin" is over London. In the minds of folks not too knowledgeable about Zeppelin history, there is apt to be confusion about the "L" and "LZ" designations of German airships used in The Great War (WW1) and after. The German Naval Air Service gave their ships an "L" number. The Zeppelin Co. gave its products an "LZ" number, and the two did not correspond. There was a real "L-32" (LZ-74), and a real "L-7" (LZ-32). Both were destroyed during raids over London in 1916. Perhaps Hughes may have had either of these airships in mind for his fictional one. Incidentally, there is no record of the "observation gondola", which figures in the film story, ever having been used over England. It was used to some extent in raids over European cities.


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