Pat Coston Movie Reviews

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hell's Angels

After watching Howard Hughes' favorite movie, Ice Station Zebra, I decided to follow that up with one of Howard Hughes most expensive movies which he directed called Hell's Angels (1930) which by the way is one of Stanley Kubrick's 10 favorite films. It's the story of two brothers who become combat fighter pilots in World War I. One is a coward and the other is brave. The film is amazing for many reasons. About half the film was shot as a silent film before it was decided to re-shoot it as a talkie. Some of the scenes appear to be from the original silent cut since they appear to be running at double-speed and yet re-dubbed with normal speed voices. Some scenes were filmed in Multicolor and printed by Technicolor. It's a little odd watching a black and white movie then have it go into color. Night battle scenes are in a blue tint. When the zeppelin crash and burns, it's in a red tint. This works quite well. This movie was made before Hollywood starting censoring films. This has some very strong language for its time but its very tame these days for example "son of a bitch", "goddamit" and "for Christ's sake". The scene where they bomb the ammo depo is freakin' amazing even by today's standards. They really do blow up a whole lot of buildings ... for real! Being one of the first talkies, you have to forgive how bad the lines sound. The transition for actors to move from silent movies to talkies could not have been easy. The sexuality is off the charts for the 1930s. Major side-boob in one scene and very low cleavage. Very passionate kissing. Lots of sexy dresses and heavy flirting. This is an anti-war film that deals with the issues of why we fight. It also deals with the nature of women ... they're all bitchy sluts that can't be trusted. The ending is quite shocking. If you want to know what I'm talking about, you can read about it on the wikipedia link below.


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