Hello All! This is my entry for the one and only Cary Grant Blogathon Hosted by my good friend over at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Before I begin just a few things 1-Happy Noirvember! I hope you all are enjoying/ enjoyed it! (Best new watch for me was Detour 1945) 2- I want all of you to know that while I may not reply to all of your comments, I do read every single one, and I can’t thank you enough for them- seriously they mean a lot to me!
With that done, without further ado, I now give you my entry! Only Angels Have Wings is one of those films from Hollywood’s Golden Year, 1939, and the second of three movies for Cary that year.
For me, Only Angels was the second Cary Grant drama film I ever watched, with the first being Penny Serenade (1941). In fact, I did see a snippit of the this film even before I knew who Cary Grant was- it was when I was 13, at my Grandfather’s place- he had the TV on TCM, and I heard Cary’s character calling out over the radio- that was my first encounter with Cary Grant- too bad it took three more years for me to fully embrace his awesomeness!!!
Three years later, this film was one of the first of his I saw, like I mentioned, but will admit I didn’t really want to watch it at first- I was so enamored with Cary making me laugh, I didn’t know if I could handle him doing a full on drama (as Penny Serenade is technically a melodrama)- but boy was I wrong!!
One of the best things about Only Angels is that the picture is a different Cary Grant picture and in the best way possible. I don’t wanna say Cary isn’t the focus, but at the same time, I do. I think the picture really belongs to Jean Arthur, and even scene stealer Rita Hayworth.
However Cary’s character, Geoff Carter, is important (as always), as without him, there is no development- he’s the guy who keeps everyone moving forward- he consoles Jean Arthur when Joe is killed, catches Thomas Mitchell’s character’s, Kid, bad eyesight, and all in all is a great guy to have on hand (I mean he is Cary Grant!!!)
Another aspect that makes this film just wonderful is the direction of Howard Hawks- who literally could direct anything- film noir, musical, screwball comedy, adventure, drama, comedy, western- he seriously did it all , with them all being enjoyable. And while Cary Grant may have been the favorite of Mr. Alfred Hitchcock, Cary’s favorite director was said to be Hawks. If any other director would have been at the head of this project, I personally feel it wouldn’t have turned out as wonderful as it did.
Lastly, what makes this film is the aviation scenes and attitudes that are depicted. Flying in airplanes was the fascination for people in the 1920s and 30s- and yes so many films have depicted pilots, it this film is probably one of the best , if not THE best from the era. And- To those who watch today and say “that’s cheesy”- please just remember- this was without computer and green screen CGI- no animation whatsoever, yet it looks great!
On the whole, Only Angels Have Wings is a delightful picture, it’s a bit long, but that’s OK- I love Cary Grant and I love him with Jean Arthur (she’s soo underrated!). It’s just one of those movies that offers a real escape from everyday life- go out to the South American coast with Mr Cary Grant? SIGN. ME .UP.
To wrap up, I’m just gonna leave you with this really awesome picture of Cary and Jean- man I wish I was her! (For those who have seen the movie- I just adore the ending scene, and so did Ms. Arthur- for years later she recalled “I loved sinking my head into Cary Grant’s chest”. ) SIGGHHH!