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Only Angels Have Wings Blu-Ray Review - AVClub

AVClub: Cinephiles frequently cite 1939 as Hollywood’s greatest year, rattling off an impressive list of widely beloved classics: Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, Wuthering Heights, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, and so forth. Rarely mentioned, however, is Howard Hawks’ Only Angels Have Wings, a stealth contender for the single greatest Hollywood movie of all time. That this glorious amalgam of romance, adventure, melodrama, and musical doesn’t have a loftier reputation is to some degree understandable—even more than most of Hawks’ films, it’s an ode to pragmatism and professionalism, dismissing almost any powerful display of emotion as a distraction from the task at hand and/or an admission of weakness. That sensibility only appeals to a very particular mindset… but for those viewers, Only Angels Have Wings achieves a seismic force that conventionally open-hearted movies can’t hope to match. With any luck, its forthcoming release as part of the Criterion collection will yield new converts.

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