Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Baranca, a small stop in South America where Dutchman owns an airmail service, is where Bonnie (Jean Arthur) makes a stop. She encounters a group of mail pilots in a social shack.

The head of these mail comrades is Geoff Carter (Cary Grant), who has ample confidence yet retains the charm and sophistication.

It isn’t surprising Bonnie is falling for him. These mail pilots’ work is quite a tricky one, as the natural mountain slides coupled with tropical weather are always a recipe for an aviation disaster, the main being the plane crash—Geoff ventures to flying only under challenging circumstances.

Bonnie, amazed by Geoff, is repeatedly shut off whenever she tried getting to know Geoff better. It is evident, Geoff is cynical towards women and vows not to take any favours from them.

Each of his choices has a history behind it. His daring lifestyle didn’t go well with his ex, and as a result, she left him. It had a profound effect on his way of thinking. He became tougher, a touch more than what he was.

In the sub-plot, a couple comes down to Baranca. They both have a connection to Geoff and the group of mail pilots. Bat Macpherson (Richard Barthelmess) is seen as a villain in the eyes of all the pilots.

He once jumped out of the plane leaving behind the mechanic moments before the plane crash. This didn’t go well with the team and more so with Kid, who lost his brother in that crash. The agency was on the lookout for more pilots, and Bat was looking for a new challenge.

Bat’s wife Judy (Rita Hayworth) was Geoff’s ex. Her presence made Geoff a bit tougher on Bat and made it difficult to forget the past. One of the best scenes is when Judy gets drunk and has a word with Geoff; in some ways, clarity is provided as to why things happened and how it unfolded in the past.

Not a man to live in his emotions, Geoff is in serious need of workforce to get the Government’s contract. He offers the job to Bat, as he realises there is none better than him to weather the storm.

In a mission to deliver the cylinders, Bat is accompanied by Kid. Not in good terms, while flying, they encounter the storm as they try to deliver the goods.

Flying across Andes Mountains during a storm isn’t an easy task, and while Bat is trying his best to reach the destination, a bird hits the plane, and it catches fire. Bat battles it out and lands the aircraft amidst the fire on it. Kid is badly injured, and he dies not before he tells Geoff about Bat’s bravery.

Bonnie, unable to get the attention from Geoff, decides to leave Baranca. – “I am hard to get Geoff; all you have to do is ask me”. Geoff offers her a coin. Heads – she stays and Tails – she leaves.

Before he starts to toss the coin, the clouds clear and Geoff runs down to the flight for his next mission. Bonnie waits as she decides not to leave hurriedly and hopes to toss the coin with heads being on both sides.

I was amazed by Jean Arthur’s characterisation in this movie. This was my first movie of hers, and I was fascinated by her charm, and no wonder she remains one of my favorites. Beauty, brains, and a wonderful actor, that’s Jean Arthur to sum it up.

On the other hand, it was another scintillating performance by Cary Grant, who puts his coat of sophistication to perfection.

Rita Hayworth was provided with the acting platform to play prominent stream roles and achieve fame in the years to come. Directed by Howard Hawks, this 1939 classic was nominated for two Oscars under Best Cinematography (B/W) and Best Special effects (Audio and Visual).

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

When there is confusion, it cannot be delightful. Well, move to the other end of this spectrum of convolution; one can have some fun as well. As an audience, I would say it is more enjoyable to watch both ends than face one.

Bringing up Baby is one such movie that I believe was ahead of its era. Comedy had a taste of logic in it. The confusion was more attributed to thrillers and dramas than to comedy in general. It was quite a bomb when this movie was released so much that director Howards Hawks had to be removed from the existing contract with RKO Productions.

Katherine Hepburn enters the world of comedy with her spectacular performance in the role of Susan Vance.

Susan Vance is eccentric, at times lunatic, teams up with the sophisticated palaeontologist Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant) in a series of misadventures that take them from one place to another.

Their lines, witty jokes, and, more importantly, demonstrate why they are still revered among the legends in Hollywood’s comedy history.

In need of $ 1 million to complete the brontosaurus skeleton’s project, David is trying hard to please the endower Mrs. Carleton Random. In that case, he accidentally encounters Susan at a golf course.

A young terrier steals the fossil bone and buries it under the earth. Taming the baby (a leopard), which was a gift from Susan’s brother. When David says, ‘he went gay’ when questioned about his female attire. These are some of the goofy incidents that pack up this movie.

David is misunderstood by Susan to be a zoologist and begs him to help her transport the baby to her aunt. He postpones his marriage to help Susan well; he is forced into it.

Susan believes she is in love with David and tries her best not to let go of David. Upon reaching the aunt’s place, one has many more fun situations with George (Asta, the terrier), leopard escaping, etc.

In search of the baby, George, and the missing bone, David and Susan both end up in prison due to confusion. In the end, everything clears up like all the comedies. David remains unmarried, and his donation to complete the project has also been rejected.

Susan meets David to return the bone and gets to know the situation David is in. She decides to donate $1 million through her Aunt Elizabeth and makes him confess that he likes her standing on the brontosaurus’s skeleton.

Considered to be one of the classic movies and one of the best from Howard Hawks, this screwball comedy got its due at a later stage after the public and critics’ initial rejection.

Cary Grant plays the role to perfection. Quite zany, he is apt for a researcher’s part, who is engaged and trying to coax the endowers so that he could complete the project. His character David Huxley’s looks were modelled on the real-life silent comedian Harry Lloyd. The title role of Baby was played by Nissa (II), a leopard.

Some of the movie scenes, such as the torn dress scene in the restaurant, have been re-made in other movies like the 1964 Man’s Favourite Sport and has also been adapted loosely twice in 1972 Peter Bogdanovich’s What’s Up Doc?, and the 1986 Madonna starrer Who’s that Girl?

Released in 1938, this movie was adapted to screen by writers Dudley Nichols and Hagar Wilde from a story written by Wilde, published in Collier’s Weekly magazine in 1937.

His Girl Friday (1940)

Call it front-page news or inspired by a drama called “The Front Page,” His Girl Friday will be my pick for all-time favorite Cary Grant movies.

This was the second Cary Grant movie for me, and to be frank, I became a big fan of his after watching this movie.

Cary Grant (Walter Burns) plays the role of a Chicago-based newspaper editor. The story starts with him losing his main editor, who coincidentally happened to be his ex-wife, Hildy Johnson, played by Rosalind Russell.

She would visit him to say that she would be getting married in two days. She even introduces her to be husband, played by Ralph Bellamy (Bruce Baldwin), to Walter.

More than losing his wife, he wouldn’t want to lose his primary weapon in Hildy, who had quit the job for marrying Bruce.

Watch the movie to see the events, which keep rolling while Walter makes every effort to get Hildy back on the job. He ensures Bruce is placed outside the equation so that she doesn’t have to marry him.

Quite a selfish guy, to be honest, but it’s the dialogues and how he convinces Hildy to cover one final story about a convict.

Coming to the origins, the original story had a guy playing Hildy’s role. But director Howard Hawks was convinced the dialogues would suit better if a female plays the part.

The script was altered, and the rest is a masterpiece concerning situational comedy.

I have read a lot about this movie; this movie was one of the first, if not the first, films to have characters talk over other characters’ lines for a more realistic sound.

Before this, movie characters completed their lines before the next lines were started. I have just put a scene, which showcases this…