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Men with Wings (1938)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 61 users  
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Title: Men with Wings (1938)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Pat Falconer
...
Scott Barnes
Louise Campbell ...
Peggy Ranson
...
Joe Gibbs
Lynne Overman ...
Hank Rinebow
Porter Hall ...
Hiram F. Jenkins
...
Nick Ranson
Kitty Kelly ...
Martha Ranson
...
Peggy Ranson at Age 8
...
Pat Falconer at Age 10
Billy Cook ...
Scott Barnes at Age 10
James Burke ...
J.A. Nolan
Willard Robertson ...
Col. Hadley
Dennis Morgan ...
Galton (as Richard Stanley)
Frank Clarke ...
Burke
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Storyline

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Taglines:

IN BREATHLESS TECHNICOLOR! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 January 1939 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Les hommes volants  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

 
William Wellman's Lifelong Love Of Aviation
1 May 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I was surprised to see Edna Ferber not listed as an inspiration for Men With Wings. It has the scope and background of one of her novels, in fact in some aspects it's like an airborne Cimarron.

Men With Wings is the story of aviation from the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk where Walter Abel is covering the event right up to 1938 and the threat of a second World War looming ahead. It's seen through the eyes of three fictional people who become a love triangle. Billy Cook, Donald O'Connor and Virginia Weidler grow up to be Ray Milland, Fred MacMurray and Louise Campbell.

Milland is the smart one, he goes to MIT and becomes an airplane designer. MacMurray is the adventurous one, he grows up to be an air ace in World War I. But MacMurray is a fly by the seat of your pants pilot who's not real comfortable with new technology. But the progress of aviation is not all these two have a disagreement over.

Louise is Walter Abel's daughter and she's grown up in aviation and has had it for good and evil. As boys Cook and O'Connor send her aloft in a big kite and Abel becomes a believer in flight after seeing the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk. She marries one of the leads and the other steps gracefully aside.

The comparison to Cimarron bears attention with MacMurray whose character is definitely modeled on Ferber's Yancey Cravat from Cimarron. It's also modeled in real life on Eddie Rickenbacker who became an airline president after his World War I service. Of course Rickenbacker was not as technology resistant as MacMurray.

Aviation buffs will love Men With Wings. It's done in early technicolor and by dint of that director William Wellman improved on his Academy Award winning Wings. The aerial footage is some of the best ever done and it's done with a loving hand. Just about everyone knows of William Wellman's lifelong love of aviation, acquired since his service in the Lafayette Escadrille in World War I.

I wish Men With Wings were shown more often. I certainly hope it's a candidate for restoration as the print I saw, the color was pretty washed out. For aviation buffs everywhere.


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