7.8/10
3,972
57 user 38 critic

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:
...
...
...
...
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
...
Staff Major
...
RFC Squadron Commander
...
Gretchen - Waitress
...
Girl Selling Kisses (as Marilyn Morgan)
Carl von Haartman ...
Zeppelin Commander (as Carl Von Haartman)

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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:

The GREATEST WAR DRAMA ever filmed! 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:

PekelnĂ­ andelĂ©  »

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)| (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Howard Hughes hired WWI aces to fly the planes but also flew one himself; he crashed shortly after his first takeoff and broke several bones. See more »

Quotes

Helen: Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.19 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Wine, Women and Song, Op.333
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jean Harlow in Technicolor!
22 May 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Hell's Angels', now available on DVD in a beautifully restored version, can now be enjoyed by all of us with tinted and full colour sequences intact.

Directed by Howard Hughes (with dialogue scenes staged by James Whale), this war movie is famous for two reasons - one, it has some of the most exciting air-borne battle sequences to appear on film; and two, it marks the feature film debut of Jean Harlow. She appears in colour for the only time in the 8 minute Lady Randolph's Party sequence about halfway into the film.

The story starts with three friends at Oxford - two brothers, the good-natured Roy (James Hall), and the fly-by-night Monte (Ben Lyon); and a German student, Karl (John Darrow). An early sequence features one of the brothers taking the other's place in a duel - important to remember for later in the saga; while the turning point of the first part is of course the start of the Great War (forcing Karl to join the enemy, and Roy and Monte to enlist as pilots). Roy has a well-to girlfriend, Helen (Harlow), who isn't quite the angel he takes her to be.

The aerial battles are by far the highlight of the film, although Harlow is good in her role, vamping all who come into her path. Evelyn Hall is agreeably twittery as Lady Randolph, while Lucien Prival overacts as Baron von Kranz. Roy Wilson provides some comic relief as 'Baldy' Maloney.

Originally planned and started as a silent movie, 'Hell's Angels' still has some problems with pacing and comes across as rather stilted in places. Ben Lyon is a bit of a problem as Monte - fine as a relaxed civilian, he doesn't convince in the later sequences.

All this aside, 'Hell's Angels' is a good film and looks fantastic after its clean-up. A very interesting viewing experience.


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