MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 303 this week

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  15 May 1939 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,812 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 61 critic

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.

Director:

Writer:

(screen play)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 11 Jun 2011
 
list image
a list of 42 titles
created 25 Nov 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 10 Mar 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 21 Jul 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Only Angels Have Wings (1939) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Only Angels Have Wings.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An escaped prisoner and a stuffy law professor vie for the hand of a spirited schoolteacher.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Ronald Colman
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Captain Henri Rochard is a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Capt. ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Marion Marshall
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard "Baby."

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
Holiday (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long suffering brother.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan
In Name Only (1939)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While out riding in the country, wealthy New Yorker Alec Walker meets young widow Julie Eden, and a relationship quickly develops. However, Alec has not told her that he is already locked ... See full summary »

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Kay Francis
Gunga Din (1939)
Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen
Mr. Lucky (1943)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A gambler has plans to swindle money from a charity program, but starts to have second thoughts when he falls for a rich society girl.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Cary Grant, Laraine Day, Charles Bickford
Ball of Fire (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to hear how real people talk, and end up helping a beautiful singer avoid police and escape from the Mob.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Beautiful young Virginian Jane steps down from her proper aristocratic upbrining when she marries down-to-earth surveyor Matt Howard. Matt joins the Colonial forces in their fight for ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Cary Grant, Martha Scott, Cedric Hardwicke
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Bat Mac Pherson
...
Judy MacPherson
...
Allyn Joslyn ...
Sig Ruman ...
Dutchy (as Sig Rumann)
Victor Kilian ...
Sparks
John Carroll ...
Gent Shelton
...
Tex (as Donald Barry)
...
Joe Souther
Manuel Álvarez Maciste ...
The Singer (as Maciste)
Milisa Sierra ...
Lily (as Milissa Sierra)
Lucio Villegas ...
Doctor
...
Mike
Edit

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:

1939's Greatest Screen Adventure! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Only Angels Have Wings  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Calling Baranca" later became a recurring line in Looney Toons/Merrie Melodies cartoons. See more »

Goofs

In the immediate aftermath of Joe's crash, distant shots show Bonnie with her left arm cocked at a right angle, but close shots show it limp at her side. See more »

Quotes

Bonnie Lee: They must love it. Flying, I mean.
Sparks, radioman: Why do you think they come down to this kind of a place?
Bonnie Lee: It's like being in love with a buzz saw.
Sparks, radioman: Not much future in it.
Bonnie Lee: What is there about it that gets them?
Sparks, radioman: I'm not a flier myself. Hey, you'd better ask the Kid. Miss Lee. Mr. Dabb.
Bonnie Lee: How'd you do?
Sparks, radioman: She wants to know why you like flying.
Kid Dabb: I've been in it 22 years, Miss Lee. I couldn't give you an answer that would make any sense. What's so funny about that?
Bonnie Lee: That's what my dad used to say.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Gwine to Rune All Night
aka "De Camptown Races" (1850)
Written by Stephen Foster
Piano background music played in the restaurant
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
High flying, adored
5 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Great flying sequences, some marvelous special effects, and a great cast are the highlights of "Only Angels Have Wings," directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Thomas Mitchell, Richard Barthelmess, and Rita Hayworth. You will also see a youthful Noah Berry, Jr., as well as Allyn Joslyn, Victor Kilian, and Sig Ruman.

"Only Angels Have Wings" is the story of mail carriers who fly often in bad conditions through a perilous mountain pass. They thrive on the excitement and danger. Their boss is Geoff Carter (Cary Grant). Jean Arthur is Bonnie Lee, a chorus girl passing through who decides she can't leave - like a lot of women in the past, she's falling for Carter. One woman who fell for him turns up as the wife (Hayworth) of a new pilot (Barthelmess) who once parachuted out of a plane and left Kid Dabb's (Thomas Mitchell) brother to die. With fliers out of commission or dead, Carter has to use him, but warns him he's only getting the most dangerous missions.

This is a testosterone-heavy movie, very much the kind of thing John Wayne would do. The romantic part of the story, between Carter and Bonnie Lee is lethargic, with fine actress Jean Arthur left standing around worrying. Hayworth, with a decidedly different hairline, has a small but showy role. The meaty roles belong to the men. Grant is terrific as a devil-may-care boss who hides his emotions, and Barthelmess, who would retire after World War II and end his long career, is very good as the disgraced pilot in a role that suited him perfectly. Underplayed, one sees the pain of his past decision on his face. Thomas Mitchell played so many great roles - this time, he's a pilot who has to face his anger as well as a physical problem. Very poignant.

Though a little disjointed and a little too long, "Only Angels Have Wings" has great atmosphere and some spectacular flying sequences and effects. Released in that golden year of 1939, it's another example of Hollywood at its apex.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
in comparison to To Have and Have Not (1944) olebuttermilksky5-1
Favorite Scene? cinemajay
'Calling Baranca...calling Baranca' spoofed in a cartoon rac701
TCM The_Only_Real_Thalia
Outstanding Film; Not Talked About Much csu16387
Do condor's really fly that high? Avalon123
Discuss Only Angels Have Wings (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?