Hell's Angels


As chronicled in The Aviator, the 22-year-old Howard Hughes started shooting this grandiose folly in 1927. By the time it was released in 1930 he'd reshot for sound, replaced his leading actress and poured wads of his own cash into the production, eventually making it the most expensive movie ever made. Four other directors took a hand, but Hughes snatched sole credit. A World War One flying drama saddled with lumpen dialogue, woeful acting and a creaky plot: good brother (brave but priggish) and bad brother (charming but cowardly), both in love with same girl. On the credit side there's the young Jean Harlow, grotesquely miscast as an English socialite but looking delicious; a society ball sequence shot in fragile two-strip Technicolor; beautiful hand-tinted sequences (courtesy of UCLA's scrupulous restoration); and some of the most breathtaking aerial combat footage ever shot -  the climactic multiple dogfight over France is to die for. As indeed three pilots did.

Film Details

  • tbc
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: August 1st 2005

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