Hell's Angels (1930)
Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 2,275
No one was surprised in 1929 that aviation mogul Howard R. Hughes would produce a paean to World War I flying aces like Hell's Angels. Given Hughes' comparative inexperience as a moviemaker, however, everyone was taken slightly aback that the finished film was as good as it was. The very American Ben Lyon and James Hall play (respectively) Monte and Roy Rutledge, a couple of British brothers who drop out of Oxford to join the British Royal Flying Corps. Several early scenes establish Lyon and
Nov 15, 1930 Limited
Dec 7, 2004
Baron Von Kranz
Lt. Von Bruen
Baroness Von Kranz
William B. Davidson
Carl von Hartmann
William Von Brincken
Girl Selling Kisses
The machine guns are real machine guns, the bombs are real bombs, the drum of motors is the drum of genuine motors. But the actors themselves are false, puny, inadequate, the only real automatons in a world of vital steel.
The end result is barely adequate. But it does feature a spectacularly elaborate World War I dogfight, and an equally fine Zeppelin sequence. And of course there's Harlow.
These air scenes, with the crashing of flaming planes, have never been matched on the screen.
Like a James Cameron movie, it's epic with great action sequences, but weak when it comes to the performances.
The two spectacular set pieces are as much the audience's reason for viewing the film as it was Hughes' reason to make it
Though the film was better than could be expected, it was still done in by its uninteresting love triangle story.
Should be judged in context but even then it's a bit high on the melodrama and low on subtlety.
The 1930 film has some major weaknesses -- most of the expository scenes, especially a creaky beginning -- but there's enough stunning stuff in it to make it worth seeing.
Jean Harlow's screen debut isn't much to look at, to be honest. The air battles, however, are another story.
Despite being mauled by critics for its ludicrous story, Hell's Angels has undeniable grandeur in its aerial sequences.
Spectaculat spectacle. Lame drama. Interesting early James Whale
Audience Reviews for Hell's Angels
- Helen: Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?
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