"Hell in the Heavens" is generally a pretty good WW1 aviation melodrama. The main interest, for those who are fans of the genre, is that the script was co-written by Ted Parsons, one of the 38 members of the Lafayette Escadrille. He wrote an outstanding memoir of his time in WW1, "I Flew with the Lafayette Escadrille," and he served as historical consultant on "Hell in the Heavens." Therefore, some of the routine of squadron life and flying in this predictable melodrama ring true. There are some details that refer to the Lafayette Escadrille, though never by name, and the Sioux warrior escadrille logo is painted on the planes. There is also a "bottle of death."
The flying sequences are not terribly interesting, unfortunately, with the best footage taken from "Hells Angels." However, the performances by Warner Baxter and the alluring Conchita Montenegro (who co-starred in "Cisco Kid" a few years before) are good. Andy Devine is fun, as always. See the preceding review for a good synopsis.
This may be a hard film to track down -- I was given a bootleg -- but I hope someone will restore it. It's worthwhile.
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