7.7/10
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67 user 86 critic

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 25 May 1939 (USA)
At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots' lives in order to win an important contract.

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Writer:

(screen play)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dutchy (as Sig Rumann)
Victor Kilian ...
Sparks
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Gent Shelton
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Tex (as Donald Barry)
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Manuel Álvarez Maciste ...
The Singer (as Maciste)
Milisa Sierra ...
Lily (as Milissa Sierra)
Lucio Villegas ...
...
Mike
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Storyline

When the ship San Luis makes a stop at the port of Barranca, to deliver mailbags and load bananas, cabaret singer Bonnie Lee leaves the boat for some hours to look around. She meets a gang of American flyers, who works for a warm-hearted Dutchman. He is the owner of a scrubby hotel, but also of the shaky Barranca Airways, lead by the tough flyer Geoff Carter. The only way to fly out of Barranca is through a deep pass at 14.000 feet above the ground. As the weather is often stormy and foggy, the flights are extremely difficult, and several flyers have already lost their lives. Bonnie falls in love with Geoff, who reminds her of her father, a trapeze artist who worked without safety net. She decides to leave the boat and stay at the hotel. But Geoff is scared of being detained by a woman. He wants to continue his risky lifestyle uninterrupted. The situation is aggravated when a new flyer, Bat MacPherson, turns up with his wife Judy. He once caused the death of a young flyer, by leaving ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thrilling As Love Born Amid A Thousand Fabulous Adventures! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Only Angels Have Wings  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€9,918 (France) (29 January 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was inspired by a true story of a real-life couple Howard Hawks met while scouting Mexican locations for Viva Villa! (1934) (which was eventually directed by Jack Conway). See more »

Goofs

When McPherson takes off with the patient, the chimney smoke shows he's taking off with the wind instead of against the wind. Taking off against the wind would increase his relative speed and help him take off. See more »

Quotes

Bonnie Lee: So long, Sparks.
Sparks, radioman: Going bye?
Bonnie Lee: Nobody asked me to stay.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in To Have and Have Not (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Some of These Days
(1910) (uncredited)
Written by Shelton Brooks
Partially played on piano by Cary Grant and hummed and partially sung by John Carroll
Played on piano by Jean Arthur and accompanied by the restaurant band
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User Reviews

 
A Notch Above The Rest In Its Era
17 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

To quote to the movie cliché on the back of the VHS cover, this is old-time adventure, "the kind they don't make anymore."

Well, they've always made good adventure stories through the years but you get the message: it's simply a good, solid story done well on film .

What puts this a notch above other adventure tales of its day are: 1 - excellent cinematography; 2 - interesting aerial scenes with neat-looking planes flying in the fog and around and above the treacherous Andes Mountains; 3 - a top- notch cast featuring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess, Thomas Mitchell, Allyn Joslyn, Sig Ruman, John Carroll and Noah Beery Jr., and 4 - a story that is generally interesting.

I say "generally" because there are a few dry spots, mainly Arthur's continued pining over Grant, but most of it fun to watch and it gets you involved in the story. Ruman and Barthelmess were especially good in their supporting roles. Hayworth's role, one of her first, was not that much.

In all, a solid adventure-romance tale, and I'm shocked it gets so little attention on this website, with under 20 reviews as of my writing.


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