September 28, 2015

"Calling Barranca"~A Review of Only Angels Have Wings


You know those movie that you watch and love, but don't watch again for awhile? Because of circumstances you don't pick it up again for some time. When you finally get around to obtaining it from the library, you sit and watch it with nervous apprehension. "Will it still be my favorite?" "What if I don't love if I used to?" "What if it's lame and boring?"

And then. You find out, that instead of loving it less, you love it even more.

Only Angels Have Wings is "my" movie. It's so fun to love a movie that isn't very well known-because then it feels like it belongs to you. AND, it also means you get to force ask all your friends to watch it and love it too.

Granted, watching it again I realized a few more of its flaws then last time. ;) I can see where a longer run time could have fleshed out the characters and their relationships even more. But, even as it is, it's pretty darn spectacular.

(oh, and by the way, this is my first movie review since October 25th of 2014! Wow. It's been nearly a year!!)

Cary Grant plays the tough Geoff Carter, a pilot who acts careless and gruff, but underneath has a soft heart of gold. He's been hurt in the past-probably more than the movie even reveals-and does all he can to avoid being hurt again.


He vows never to settle down and marry because all women want to "look ahead" and "make plans". With his pattern of living he can't afford to do that-he's a pilot whose job is Very Dangerous.


Jean Arthur is one of my favorite old-time actresses. She's adorably funny and lively. She plays Bonnie Lee, a piano player stopping over in Barranca (South America) on her way back home (I think). After being invited to dinner by two American fliers, she meets their boss, Geoff and is immediately attracted to him-despite his gruff and almost mean attitude.

GUYS THE PIANO SCENE IS SO FUN "Peanuuuuuttttss"
After a tragedy strikes, she is horrified by how nonchalant and careless everyone acts over it-especially Carter.


He tries to force some sense into her, explaining how down there they can't get emotional over every accident and lost man, It's part of the job, part of their life, and the men have to shrug it off in order to face each day.


Despite herself, Bonnie finds herself falling for Geoff. When she decides to not take her boat home, however, she is met by icy coldness from him. She resolves to be on the boat home next week.
Carter's rebuff of her desire to stay cures her-or so she thinks.



All the action centers around the Geoff's struggle to keep the airline going by getting the mail delivered on time. This involves a dangerous flight over the mountains. If they miss one flight they'll lose the business due to money problems. He's the boss and has to be the one to send his pilots out on their flights-even to their deaths. 


However, he claims the toughest flights for himself. If the weather is as bad as it can get, Geoff won't let anyone else up but himself . Bonnie struggles with learning how to "stomach" the dangers of flying. She can't help herself-she's still in love with him-but she isn't sure if she could stand watching him fly off to his possible death day after day.

"The Kid" (or "Uncle Billy" to all you who have seen It's a Wonderful Life ;)), Carter's best friend, helps Bonnie out by being her friend as well. He listens to her and tries to help her feel better. But he tells her what he thinks is the truth-Geoff Carter is trouble for any woman. 


More drama ensues when a new pilot arrives-a pilot with some past actions that has stained his name forever. Despite his attempts at covering up, Geoff and the others find out who he is. Geoff decides to keep him on-they need pilots. The Kid isn't too happy when he finds out. He has a personal grudge against the man.


Things get even more complicated when the wife -Judy- of this new pilot turns out to be the woman from Geoff's past-the one who wanted to plan out their future together and couldn't stand his flying. 

*This section is kind of spoiler-y. It won't give away any major plot points, but if you like to avoid all spoilers till you watch the film, I'd recommend skipping this section. *

At one point, there was really good, thoughtful scene. Judy had  asked her husband what it is he had done to make everyone hate him so. He didn't tell her. When she complains of this to Geoff and tells him she's essentially "done" with her husband, Geoff shakes some sense into her.
He tells her she should stick by him and trust him. I just thought it was a really interesting scene. If someone I loved had done something in the past that everyone detested them for-would I still stick by them even if kept in the dark of their "crime"? I hope so. 


*end of slightly-spoiler-y section*

Slowly, Geoff finds himself warming to Bonnie. I think he liked her from the start-but, scarred from his past, wanted to avoid any woman who would try to "tie him down."

Guys, these two are SO DARN CUTE. Every scene with them together is adorable and I love them as a couple so so so much. If you watch this movie for only one reason, watch it for them because it's such a sweet romance.


I can't really go into the rest of the movie because.....


The stakes build up in the latter half of the film as flight after flight is ticked off till their down to only one more-the one that will solve all their financial problems.

But as the stakes pick up, so does the danger.
Some characters will have to choose between life and death and some are offered the chance of redemption.
Bonnie decides to go home-unless Geoff asks her to stay-the man who claims "he'd never ask any woman to do anything."


Aren't you just dying to find out what happens now?? :D
And no, of course I won't tell you. You need to watch the movie yourself!

The movie is totally family friendly (I mean, you know, unless you don't want to watch movies where the characters drink casually and smoke even more) and SUCH A GOOD FILM. It has humor and fun  but the excitement, suspense and emotion outweighs it. It's sad without being depressing, and it's thoughtful without being heavy. 

Only Angels Have Wings deserves to be more well-known and popular and I sincerely hope I can help that happen by my review. Hopefully some of you can get a chance to watch this movie! 

ps. It's one of my favorites, did I say that already? ;)

25 comments:

  1. oooh, I'm going to have to try this one! I'm a bit of a Cary Grant fan, and so I'll probably like this one :)

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    1. I hope you like it if you do get to try it, Hayden! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I've never heard of this before, but after reading your review I WANT TO SEE IT SO BAD!!!! I love old movies -- especially in the fall, for some strange reason. (I've recently been immersing myself in old musicals, and it's the cat's meow. ;-D) Plus I love Cary Grant. :-) Have you seen My Favorite Wife? It's pretty far-fetched but some parts are HILAAAARIOUS.

    ~Emma

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    1. Oh, I am so happy my review got you interested in this movie, Emma!
      Haha, yes! I have seen that movie-it's been awhile but I remember my family laughing at it a lot-I'll have to see if I can get it again!

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  3. Did I mention that I practically swooned at the beauty of your new blog design???? :-D

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  4. This looks like such a good movie! THE MOVIE POSTER. It's SO PRETTY. :-)

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    1. Isn't it though? I was so excited when I saw that poster! Thanks, Naomi!

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    2. Oh, and I went to watch the Piano Scene on youtube - and you're right. It's SO MUCH FUN. Goodness, she does play well. :-) And they're adooorable. Man, I love this movie already. :-)

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    3. Awww, Naomi, that made me so happy that you went and watched the scene!! Isn't it just?? I hope you can see the full movie soon! Please tell me if and when you do!

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  5. This sounds really good, Natalie! I like Jean Arthur and "Uncle Billy"!!! ;) Cary Grant...not so much, but his character sounds very interesting in this movie. So, yeah. I should watch this sometime. Thanks for the review! (It was very well written!)

    ~Miss March

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    1. I do hope you can see it sometime, Miss March! Even if you don't like Cary Grant very much. ;) But yay! Another Jean Arthur fan! And "Uncle Billy". (I have no idea what the actor's real name is, haha) Thank you!

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  6. I must needs watch it!!!:D Cary Grant and Jean Arthur look adooooorable, as does the piano scene;) I know what you mean about loving a lesser-known movie because then it feels like it's "yours"--that's me with The Philadelphia Story, which stars Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Grant. I think we've talked bout it before…anyway, wonderful review! I need to watch it:)

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    1. You know, I thought of you when writing this review because I just felt like it might be "your" kind of movie-since we've talked of old black and white Cary Grant movies before. ;) I hope you can watch it soon!
      Yes, I think we did! Isn't it so fun having "you own" movies?? :D Thank you!!

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  7. "Calling Baranca; come in Baranca".
    I like Cary's leather flight jacket!

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    1. Haha, thanks, Dad. I think you already have a leather jacket...? ;)

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  8. I'll keep an eye out for this! I do like both Jean Arthur and Cary Grant :-)

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    1. Yay! Another fan! :D I hope you like it if you see it, Hamlette!

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    2. I've added it to my Amazon watchlist, but I have like 75 movies on there so... I'll get around to it one of these days :-)

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    3. Haha, that's fine. Enjoy it when you do! :)

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  9. This film was on my to-watch list already, but it has just moved up in importance! I listened to a radio version with many of the original cast from the film starring in the show http://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/drama/lux/lux-radio-theater-39-05-29-221-only-angels-have-wings and that was what made me want to see it first, not to mention that it has Jean Arthur (one of my very favorite actresses) and of course Cary Grant. :) The radio show is great too, check it out!

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    1. Annie,
      Thank you so much for commenting! And ooh, a radio drama? How neat! Thank you for telling me, I will definitely check it out sometime in the future!
      I hope you like the movie when you see it!

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  10. I have tagged you for the One Lovly Blog Award over at my blog: Stlseeds.blogspot.com

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