Men With Wings

  • 1938
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Action

Director Wellman had been a daredevil flier during WW I, had made the film WINGS, and had just come off winning the Oscar for the story of A STAR IS BORN (with Robert Carson, who wrote the story for this film), so he and Carson seemed to be the logical choices to make MEN WITH WINGS. Despite that and the lush color photography, the movie failed to ignite...read more

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Director Wellman had been a daredevil flier during WW I, had made the film WINGS, and had just come off winning the Oscar for the story of A STAR IS BORN (with Robert Carson, who wrote the story for this film), so he and Carson seemed to be the logical choices to make MEN WITH WINGS.

Despite that and the lush color photography, the movie failed to ignite imaginations, as it was more a cavalcade of flight than a solid story. The picture opens with three young kids, O'Connor, Weidler, and Cook, flying a kite. Then we hear about the Wright Brothers and their successful flight at

Kitty Hawk, followed by a scene with Abel, a reporter, as he attempts to fly and becomes the first air casualty, perishing in a fiery crash. Time passes and the three children grow up to become MacMurray, Campbell, and Milland. MacMurray marries Campbell, they have a child, and Milland, despite

the fact that he has always loved Campbell, remains a pal to the two. With Devine around as an airplane mechanic (and to provide whatever laughs there are in the film), the careers of the three are traced until MacMurray takes off to help the Chinese in their war with the Japanese. The love story

between MacMurray and Campbell takes up too much time when more emphasis on the early days of flight might have made better cinema. In the end, MacMurray loses his life in his desire to help the Chinese, and Milland moves in to take his place. Some superb aerial shots, including a dog fight, the

testing of planes, and lots of other high-in-the-sky excitement. But if you were to cut the excellent action, it's sort of a dull love story and falls into the mold of a cliched "two guys and a gal" tale. Ever since planes caught the public's fancy, Hollywood had been making movies about them, and

this film was an attempt to get the same large audiences which had been attracted to TEST PILOT with Gable. In a small role, you may recognize Paul Mantz, who went on to head his own company with Frank Tallman--called "Tallmantz"--until he lost his life in an accident while shooting FLIGHT OF THE

PHOENIX. Mantz and Tallman were acknowledged as the best movie stunt pilots in the business, and yet both lost their lives in planes. (Tallman's death occurred on a flight between two small airports in Southern California.) Look for Joan Leslie in her second film, in a small role as the pre-teen

Campbell.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Director Wellman had been a daredevil flier during WW I, had made the film WINGS, and had just come off winning the Oscar for the story of A STAR IS BORN (with Robert Carson, who wrote the story for this film), so he and Carson seemed to be the logical cho… (more)

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