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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:55 am 
Hell's Angels. Dir: Howard Hughes. United Artists, 1930.

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Hughes's 1930 War Epic is definately worth the couple of bucks to purchase it (if you can even find it!). It tells the story of two British brothers during the First World War who join the Royal Air Force. The two brothers are very different in their outlook on life. One is an outstanding young man who volunteers for patriotic reasons and believes in the cause. The other is a playboy who joins just for the appeal the uniform would have on the women. The film co-stars Jean Harlow in her first major role. Just 18 at the time Harlow is an absolute knockout in her skimpy pre-production code wardrobe. The film has numerous pre-Hayes Code elements including strong sexuality (for 1930) and foul language.

The real reason everyone see's this movie is for the authentic flying scenes which Hughes insisted upon. Four members of the film crew were killed during the making of the film because of the, literally, death-defying realism that Hughes sought. The scene in which the actors fled from being crushed by a falling Zeppelin always amazes me. I am not sure how close they were to being crushed by a ball of fire but it was a hell of a lot closer than it should have been! This type of realisitic filmmaking is completely extinct in today's CGI world - for good or for bad.

Decent movie, lousy acting, great action sequences - your typical male action film, 1930s style. Worth a watch!


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