Hell’s Angels

Hells AngelsBBBB

(out of 5)

Billionaire Howard Hughes obsessed passionately over the making of this World War I melodrama which he himself produced and directed. It tells the tale of two English brothers (, , sporting very un-English accents) and their best friend (), a German student living in London, who are torn apart when war breaks out in Europe and they end up fighting on opposite sides. Complicating things is a gorgeous platinum blonde ( in her first major role) for whom both brothers fall, though admittedly one is more enamoured with her and the other sees her as a good way to spend a Saturday night. The story isn’t much to speak of (there is an act of violence ‘for the good of the battalion’ at the end that will seem ridiculous to modern-day audiences), but the visuals are extremely impressive. A sequence involving a battle with a German zeppelin is awe-inspiring (featuring hand-tinted colouring), as well as climactic airplane battles at the end shot in skyscapes of bursting clouds that will take your breath away (Hughes himself flew a plane in these scenes to perfect a shot he wanted, and ended up nearly killing himself in an accident). More exciting than Wings and a lot more visually inventive.

USA, 1930

Directed by

Story by , , adaptation and continuity by , , dialogue by Joseph Moncure March

Cinematography by , , , , ,

Produced by Howard Hughes

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Award Nomination
Best Cinematography (Gaetano Gaudio, Harry Perry)



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