Hell’s Angels (1930)

“Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable? ” – Helen

Number of Times Seen – 1 (9 Mar 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Two brothers volunteer to be fighter pilots and join the fight for England during World War I while also trying and help one another make it through the war safely.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve heard so many mixed things about over the years yet never had the opportunity to see what it was all about.

This film is famously known as the one which Howard Hughes produced and spent millions of dollars trying to make sure it would be authentic and perfect.

The fact that this kind of film was made in this way and also filmed in this way during the last 1920’s says so much about it because it is such a fascinating look at war that has some amazing shots along the way.

The film was nominated for an Oscar for Cinematography and I can completely understand how that could happen.

The cast is fine here yet none of them stick out among the rest and let the story unfold.

The action scenes are filmed really well and the dogfight scenes depicting air battles seem so realistic and are breathtaking to watch.

The techniques used by Hughes and his crew were quite innovative for that time and the end result is quite impressive.

The film’s plot plays out really well and allows the viewer to get an idea f what kinds of things people are willing to do for one another during desperate, dangerous and even stressful times in life.

The way that this film is quite frank and open in it’s dialogue and situations was quite surprising to see but it once again proves that certain things don’t really change very much over time yet at the same time shows how much power the censors got not long afterwards to really change the way people spoke and acted in films for over a decade.

Bottom Line – Interesting war film that is quite impressive especially given the time of when it was made. The cast is fine and none of them really stand out but that doesn’t hurt what they try to do here. The action scenes are done extremely well and the dogfight scenes are especially breathtaking to watch. Those scenes are quite amazing to watch because of the techniques used to make it all seem so realistic along the way. The plot plays out really well and we get to see the kinds of things people are willing to do for one another even at very dangerous and stressful times. The film surprised me in a few instances due to the frank discussions and language which were not so common to see back when this was made. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Stunt pilots refused to perform an aerial sequence that director Howard Hughes wanted. Hughes, a noted aviator himself, did his own flying. He got the shot, but he also crashed the plane. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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One thought on “Hell’s Angels (1930)

  1. It is great to read this review – I wish more people reviewed oldies such as this one! I have never watched this film, but I think I will like it too. You say “the action scenes are done extremely well” – well, it seems that Hughes not only risked his own life, but that of others because I also know this film by its tragic deaths – Pilots Al Johnson, C. K. Phillips and Rupert Syme Macalister were all killed while performing on the movie set and the mechanic Phil Jones also tragically died when he could not escape from a crashing down plane in time. The cost of a good movie, he?


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