IMDb > Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Only Angels Have Wings
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Only Angels Have Wings (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   7,385 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Jules Furthman (screen play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Only Angels Have Wings on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 May 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
BIG As The Fog-Shrouded Andes! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
And You Thought FedEx Delivery Men Had It Rough See more (62 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cary Grant ... Geoff Carter

Jean Arthur ... Bonnie Lee

Richard Barthelmess ... Bat Mac Pherson

Rita Hayworth ... Judy MacPherson

Thomas Mitchell ... Kid Dabb
Allyn Joslyn ... Les Peters
Sig Ruman ... Dutchy (as Sig Rumann)
Victor Kilian ... Sparks
John Carroll ... Gent Shelton

Don 'Red' Barry ... Tex (as Donald Barry)

Noah Beery Jr. ... Joe Souther
Manuel Álvarez Maciste ... The Singer (as Maciste)
Milisa Sierra ... Lily (as Milissa Sierra)
Lucio Villegas ... Doctor

Pat Flaherty ... Mike
Pedro Regas ... Pancho
Pat West ... Baldy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Enrique Acosta ... Tourist (uncredited)
Harry A. Bailey ... Tourist (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Assistant Purser (uncredited)
Dick Botiller ... Tourist (uncredited)
Stanley Brown ... Harkwright Jr. (uncredited)
Cecilia Callejo ... Felice Torras - Geoff's Lady Friend (uncredited)
Candy Candido ... Bass Player (uncredited)
Lew Davis ... Shorty - Mechanic (uncredited)
Vernon Dent ... Ship's Captain (uncredited)
Curley Dresden ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Elena Durán ... Elena Silva - Geoff's Lady Friend (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... First Mate on the Ship's Bridge (uncredited)
Eddie Foster ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Tex Higginson ... Foreman #2 (uncredited)
Raúl Lechuga ... Tourist (uncredited)
Jack Low ... Banana Foreman (uncredited)
Francisco Marán ... Plantation Overseer on Trolley (uncredited)
James Millican ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Charles R. Moore ... Charlie - Waiter (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Mr. Harkwright - Mine Operator (uncredited)
Tessie Murray ... Tourist (uncredited)
Aurora Navarro ... Tourist (uncredited)
Inez Palange ... Lily's Aunt (uncredited)
Ed Randolph ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Al Rhein ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Ky Robinson ... Mechanic (uncredited)

Robert Sterling ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Rafael Storm ... Rafael - Purser with the Scar (uncredited)
Sammee Tong ... Sam the Cook (uncredited)
Victor Travers ... Plantation Overseer (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Mechanic (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard Hawks 
 
Writing credits
Jules Furthman (screen play)

Eleanore Griffin  contributor to treatment (uncredited)
Howard Hawks  story "Plane from Barranca" (uncredited)
William Rankin  contributor to treatment (uncredited)

Produced by
Howard Hawks .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Walker (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Viola Lawrence 
 
Art Direction by
Lionel Banks 
 
Costume Design by
Robert Kalloch (gowns) (as Kalloch)
 
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur S. Black Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sam Nelson .... second unit director (uncredited)
Richard Rosson .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Chesley Bonestell .... background paintings (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Roy Davidson .... special effects
Edwin C. Hahn .... special effects (uncredited)
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects (uncredited)
Harry Redmond Sr. .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Paul Mantz .... chief stunt pilot (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Elmer Dyer .... aerial photographer
 
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
Howard Jackson .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ben Oakland .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Louis Silvers .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Paul Mantz .... chief pilot
Paul Mantz .... technical adviser
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Howard Hawks' Only Angels Have Wings" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
121 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:G | Finland:K-16 | France:U (re-release) | Germany:6 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1939) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1992) | UK:U (passed with cuts) (1951) | USA:Approved (PCA #4942) | West Germany:16 | West Germany:12 (cut version)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The "Flit gun" mentioned by Bonnie in relation to the pests in her room is a hand-pumped insecticide sprayer. The devices were developed to spray Flit, a brand-name insecticide. Like many innovations, the name became attached to similar devices made by competitors and "Flit gun" became a generic name for this type of sprayer.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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:[Joe has just died and Bonnie is feeling guilty about his death] Mr. Carter? Mr. Carter? Do you really think... I mean... Do you really think it was my fault, what happened out there?
Geoff Carter:Sure it was your fault. You were gonna have dinner with him, the Dutchman hired him, I sent him up on schedule, the fog came in, a tree got in the way. All your fault. Forget it, unless you want the honor.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in To Have and Have Not (1944)See more »
Soundtrack:
Some of These DaysSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
And You Thought FedEx Delivery Men Had It Rough, 7 February 2006
Author: evanston_dad from United States

A very strange movie in its own way, "Only Angels Have Wings" is about a group of mail carriers living, working and carousing somewhere in South America. Supposedly it's very dangerous to fly mail back and forth from this particular frontier town, and the life expectancy of a flier isn't long. Therefore, when sexy Jean Arthur shows up on a stop-over and gets a hankering for boss Cary Grant, the sexual tension rests in whether or not Grant will be alive long enough to make forming a romantic attachment worthwhile.

With a second world war looming on the horizon, one can see how this story was both relevant and irrelevant at the same time: relevant as a parallel for the many American men who would soon be in the position of not knowing whether or not they would be alive from day to day; but sort of irrelvant too, since we're talking about delivering mail here, not going to war!! I can't imagine a movie made today about the dangers of being a FedEx delivery man (unless you count "Cast Away").

Anyway, Cary Grant is horribly miscast as the crusty man in charge, who puts up a callous front and tries to convince everyone that he doesn't care when one of his men dies. I can only take Grant seriously when he's in a tuxedo and being dapper; here they outfit him in ridiculous parachute pants pulled up to his nipples---I kept expecting him to drop to the floor and start break dancing.

As for the female lead, Jean Arthur could do no wrong, as far as I'm concerned. Rita Hayworth shows up in an early role as another love interest for Grant, and one-time silent film star Richard Barthelmess struts in playing Grant's mail carrier arch rival (!), looking for all the world like he's still acting in silent films.

Director Howard Hawks creates an authentically foggy and sweaty South American atmosphere, and for all the surface silliness of the plot, he fashions a pretty compelling movie about the instinct to challenge death that dominates these characters' lives. I don't hear this movie mentioned along with the other classics released in the golden year of 1939, but it more than holds its own against the more popular films of that year.

Grade: A-

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Actual setting? Burt-11
Censorship dave_wlogan
A Lot of Familiar Faces slgr7
in comparison to To Have and Have Not (1944) olebuttermilksky5-1
Bonnie Lee river4932
Why are all the pilots carrying guns? geleafa
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