Director Howard Hawks and star Cary Grant teamed up again, following the previous year’s classic comedy Bringing Up Baby, for 1939’s Only Angels Have Wings. Trading most of the laughs for melodrama, this is a spirited romantic adventure, based on a story by Hawks himself, with Grant as a pilot in South America, flying the mail through the worst storms and fogs the Andes can throw at him. Showgirl Jean Arthur starts pulses racing when she arrives on the scene, and both she and seductress Rita Hayworth – in a movie that did much to further her career – have their sights set on clipping Grant’s wings. Grant and Arthur make a winning combination and, if nothing in the story is terribly original and the drama remains largely earthbound, there are still some rousing flying sequences, which won a special-effects Oscar nomination – in the first year for that category.
Restored in 4K from the Original Nitrate Picture Negative and Composite Duplicate Negative by Sony Pictures Entertainment at Colorworks. 4K scanning by Cineric, Inc. Digital image restoration by MTI Film. Sound restoration from the Original Nitrate Soundtrack Negative by Chace Audio.
Only Angels Have Wings shows at the Vue Leicester Square at 12.30pm today.