ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939) B/W 121m dir: Howard Hawks
w/Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Richard Barthelmess, Rita Hayworth, Thomas Mitchell, Sig Rumann, Victor Kilian, John Carroll, Allyn Joslyn, Don "Red" Barry
Director Howard Hawks' masterpiece examines the lives and loves of the pilots of a small commercial airline in South America. Spare, brittle screenplay by Jules Furthman, and exemplary acting by the fine cast.
From The Movie Guide: "ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS is a powerful character study, and director Hawks and his predominantly male cast carefully develop the personalities of an interesting collection of characters. Though much of the dialogue is predictable, the story is strong, the acting is outstanding, and Hawks's cameras move with fluid grace through the confining sets.
"Rita Hayworth gives a notable performance as a vamp, and supporting players Allyn Joslyn and John Carroll are jaded, sardonic live wires. Richard Barthelmess, as the film's most complex character, plays his role stoically, failing to invest his washed-up flyer with the necessary emotional depth. This was an important comeback attempt for Barthelmess, who had experienced lean years since his days as a silent screen star. Regrettably, the meaty part he was given was left on the kitchen table, half-eaten, and Barthelmess never again appeared in a major film as a lead. The special effects, particularly the fine aerial sequences, earned Roy Davidson and Edwin C. Hahn an Oscar nomination in a category recognized for the first time by the Academy. The film was also nominated for Best Black-and-White Cinematography."