Criterion Close-Up – Episode 37 – Only Angels Have Wings

Only Angels Have Wings - featured image

Mark and Aaron fly back to 1939 to discuss Howard Hawks’ classic Only Angels Have Wings. We evaluate the special effects, how the film built suspense, the context of aviation in the late 1930s, and later films that embody a similar masculinity. We also reveal the winner of our Don Hertzfeldt contest and talk about region free players.

About the film:

Electrified by crackling dialogue and visual craftsmanship of the great Howard Hawks, Only Angels Have Wings stars Jean Arthur as a traveling entertainer who gets more than she bargained for during a stopover in a South American port town. There she meets a handsome and aloof daredevil pilot, played by Cary Grant, who runs an airmail company, staring down death while servicing towns in treacherous mountain terrain. Both attracted to and repelled by his romantic sense of danger, she decides to stay on, despite his protestations. This masterful and mysterious adventure, featuring Oscar-nominated special effects, high-wire aerial photography, and Rita Hayworth in a small but breakout role, explores Hawks’s recurring themes of masculine codes and the strong-willed women who question them.


Buy The Films On Amazon:

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Episode Links & Notes

0:00 – Intro and Welcome

1:50 – Don Hertzfeldt giveaway winner

7:55 – Podcastaggedon

12:40 – Region Free Player

18:05 – Short Takes (Everybody Wants Some, Amy, Blue Velvet, Chimes at Midnight, Son of Saul, A Vermont Romance)

39:20 – Only Angels Have Wings

Episode Credits


Next time on the podcast: The Manchurian Candidate

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