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- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 2 hours, 9 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: December 7, 2004
- Originally Released: 1930
- Label: Universal Studios
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Performer:||James Hall, Jean Harlow, John Darrow & Lucien Prival|
|Directed by||Howard Hughes & James Whale|
|Screenwriting by||Harry Behn, Howard Estabrook & Marshall Neilan|
|Composition by||Hugo Riesenfeld|
|Cinematography by||Tony Gaudio, Harry Perry & E. Burton Steene|
|Story by||Joseph Moncure March|
|Produced by||Howard Hughes|
Rating: 3.5/4 -- Like a James Cameron movie, it's epic with great action sequences, but weak when it comes to the performances. Full Review
Three Movie Buffs
Rating: 4/5 -- These air scenes, with the crashing of flaming planes, have never been matched on the screen. Full Review
New York Times
Rating: 2/5 -- Should be judged in context but even then it's a bit high on the melodrama and low on subtlety. Full Review
Rating: C+ -- Though the film was better than could be expected, it was still done in by its uninteresting love triangle story. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
It's no sappy, imbecilic tale. Full Review
Despite being mauled by critics for its ludicrous story, Hell's Angels has undeniable grandeur in its aerial sequences. Full Review
This James Whale/Howard Hughes WWI drama is renowned for its stunning air combat scenes, which required 137 pilots to shoot, and for being the most expensive film of its time, costing a staggering $3.8 million. Oxford students and brothers Roy and Monte Rutledge (Ben Lyon, James Hall) sign up to fight with the Royal Flying Corps. Trouble arises when Roy's girlfriend, Helen (Jean Harlow), takes a liking to Monte. Monte, cracking under the pressure of fighting, considers another kind of betrayal. The brothers must wrestle to overcome these troubles--or a key flying mission could be jeopardized.
One of James Whale's first films, HELL'S ANGELS is a story of love, war, and betrayal that rocketed Jean Harlow to stardom. The Rutledge brothers--upstanding Roy (James Hall) and irresponsible playboy Monte (Ben Lyon)--are carefree Oxford students until war breaks out. Their friend Karl (John Darrow) is unwillingly drafted for Germany, while Roy eagerly joins the Royal Flying Corps and Monte accidentally enlists. Meanwhile, Roy insists that Monte meet Helen (Jean Harlow), the beautiful girl he loves. When Helen and Monte meet, sparks fly. Helen is not the sweet girl that Roy imagines and takes every opportunity to prove it in some racy scenes that would become illegal under the Hays Office Production Code a few years later. As the war progresses, Monte begins to lose his nerve, and Roy must push him to accept a flying mission that could alter the entire war. In one of cinema's great air displays, the Royal planes fight the Germans in a dogfight to end all dogfights. Utilizing tinting for night scenes and the rarely used two-tone Technicolor process (watch for the zeppelin scene), HELL'S ANGELS is both a special effects wonder and an old-fashioned tale of betrayal and sacrifice.
- The film includes a two-color Technicolor party sequence as well as a tinted night scene. Although the sequences were cut from the original film, they were restored in 1989.
- The film's budget was approximately $4 million--a lot of money for a picture of its period.