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Only Angels Have Wings


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Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess, Thomas Mitchell
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Howard Hawks, Eleanore Griffin, Jules Furthman, William Rankin
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : General Audience (G)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Aug. 31 1999
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000JRW5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,113 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dean Scoby on Aug. 4 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Only Angels Have Wings is one of those many hidden treasures, one that was never really discovered... but will always be remembered. Taking place in a South American port of call for local Bananna Boats-Barranca- in which a Dutchman, John van Rider (The Dutchman) who runs almost everything in town, owns an air mail service that-despite hazardous and blinding weather- always sends its mail (and pilots) out on time, so that new planes can be bought, which will help weather conditions. As I have mentioned, the weather is harmful, and many who are emplyed by the Dutchman are killed at one point or another. Out of the small gang of pilots (including John Carrol as Jent Shelton, in a minor but excellent role), one stands out; Cary Grant, who plays Jeff Carter, a once sensitive and caring man who was turned into a cynical, unhappy chappy after a harsh breakup. Running the airline, Jeff only goes out when he thinks it might be too hard for anyone else. Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur, in one of her first large roles)has just gotten of a Northbound boat to cool off for a couple of hours before the ship has loaded some bannanas and is ready to set out to sea. On the shore, she is met by two pilots who (after some trouble) manage to "get" her. Heartless Jeff sends one out for a delivery, contrary to a deal made between the two. Bonnie is shocked by Jeff's behavior. After deciding to come back when the fog is too much to bare, the pilot attepts a dangerous landing resulting in his death. Bonnie is shocked by how easily and rudely the bunch takes it.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Columbia Pictures presents "ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS" (1939) (121 min/B&W) -- Starring: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Richard Barthelmess, Rita Hayworth & Thomas Mitchell

Directed by Howard Hawks

While waiting for her boat, Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur) stops at a small airport in South America. The pilots there deliver mail over a dangerous and usually foggy mountain pass. Geoff Carter (Cary Grant), the lead flyer, seems distant and cold as Bonnie tries to get closer to him. Things heat up as Judy MacPherson (Rita Hayworth), Geoff's old flame, shows up with her husband Bat MacPherson (Richard Barthelmess) who is an infamous pilot.

Scripted by Jules Furthman from a story by Hawks, 'Only Angels Have Wings' is a treasure trove of terse, pithy dialogue: one favorite scene occurs when, upon discovering that he's about to die, Thomas Mitchell says he's often wondered how he'd react to imminent death-and, now that death is but a few moments away, he'd rather that no one else be around to witness his reaction.

Good score by the great composer Dimitri Tiomkin.

Special footnote: ~ Howard Hawks remembers: "When the movie was released a certain critic said 'It's the only picture Hawks ever made that didn't have any truth in it.' I wrote him a letter and said, 'Every blooming thing in that movie was true.' I knew the men that were in it and everything about it. But it was just where truth was stranger than fiction."

BIOS:
1. Howard Hawks (Director)
Date of Birth: 30 May 1896 - Goshen, Indiana
Date of Death: 26 December 1977 - Palm Springs, California

2. Cary Grant [aka: Archibald Alexander Leach]
Date of Birth: 18 January 1904 - Horfield, Bristol, England, UK
Date of Death: 29 November 1986 - Davenport, Iowa

3.
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By S. Lo on July 19 2007
Format: DVD
I originally only watched this because Cary Grant was in it and I was curious to see the normal Rita Hayworth - I love Gelda but I think it's a shame she didn't just stop there.

I love this movie because everyone stepped back and let the story shine - this is not a Cary Grant or Jean Arthur vehicle, or a Howard-Hawks-wants-to-win-the-Oscar-so-we-made-it movie. This is genuinely good story told by brilliant actors and good direction, no tag lines required.

The story is simple. Barranca station has to delivery mail on time for 6 months so that they qualify to get THE contract that will bring in the money and equipment to solve everyone's problem; and reduce the death rate of the pilots. So every character contributed into this goal, and in turn jeopardised it with seemingly irrelevant personal crisis.

I once read a comment made by one of the actresses who worked with Cary Grant. She states that she believes that Cary Grant was never recognised by the Academy Awards because he is more concerned about overall good of the picture than whether his own acting would please the critics and academy. In "Only Angel Have Wings", everyone truly took to this idea and hats off to all of them for being the professional that we so seldom see today!
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Format: DVD
I wanted to like this movie, but I thought it was so dated as to just about cancel out the strong story line and how the story was crafted into a movie.
I like Cary Grant a lot, but here he was the no-nonsense, grim, man-among-men leader that, to my mind, played to none of his strengths. Richard Dix could have done almost as well up to the last three minutes. (Okay, I'm exagerating.)
Jean Arthur was a strong, strange actress who could hold her own with any lead actor. Here she's reduced to waiting anxiously for Grant to glance at her and to holding back the tears while she stands by her man. The subplot involving Rita Hayworth and Richard Barthelmess becomes tedious after a while. Thomas Mitchell, who seems to be in every movie made between 1935 and 1945, played Thomas Mitchell again. (Sometimes he could be great.)
It seemed to me that the tensions were self-evident; nothing was unexpected given the premise of the movie...unlike a movie with a similar premise, Wages of Fear, where your socks were scared off every time a truck approached a pot hole.
Most people seem to love this film. I dunno. There are a number of older movies that have held up well over the years. Even many which, while dated, still retain a great deal of charm. I can see how this movie would have been a hit when it came out. For me, it just seems dated.
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