Only Angels Have Wings (1939) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • 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 a malfunctioning airplane in a parachute. And Judy was once Geoff's girlfriend, who he left, because she tried to stop him from making risky flights.

  • When Bonnie Lee steps off the ship taking her home, she runs into the handsome Geoff Carter and decides to stick around for awhile. They're in a small South American village where Carter runs an air service. The location is remote and surrounded by mountains making pretty well any flying quite dangerous. Carter is aloof and doesn't want to get involved with another woman but that doesn't deter Lee. Life for the pilots is dangerous and when replacement pilot Bat MacPherson arrives, Carter realizes he knows him under a different name and what he knows isn't good. While Bonnie tries to get Carter's interest, the flyer is doing his best to get a contract that will keep the air service afloat.

  • In the hypothetical port of Barranca in South America, the American showgirl Bonnie Lee befriends two American pilots while waiting for the departure of her ship. They go to a bar and she meets their boss, Geoff Carter, who runs a small airline company. The company delivers mail and other cargo through the dangerous chain of mountains. Bonnie feels attracted to the cynical Geoff, and decides to stay. When the new hired pilot, Bat MacPherson, arrives with his wife, Judy, to replace an ill pilot, their pasts affect Geoff and the other pilots.


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