Men with Wings (1938) - Rotten Tomatoes

Men with Wings (1938)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Men with Wings Photos

Movie Info

Brash and vigorous director William Wellman always had a place in his filmography for movies glorifying the early years of aviation -- from the start of his career (Wings), until the end (Lafayette Escadrille). But, perhaps, never has his devotion to aviation been made more vivid than in his 1938 drama Men With Wings. Wellman, in this film, attempts to dramatize the history of aviation from the early days of the Wright Brothers until the 1930s, when airline transportation first became viable. The story centers upon two contrasting aviation types: the barnstormer, Pat Falconer (Fred MacMurray), and the methodical scientist of flight, Scott Barnes (Ray Milland). Through these two archetypes, Wellman follows Pat and Scott from childhood to adulthood. Pat marries childhood sweetheart Peggy Ransom (Louise Campbell) and they have a child. Scott, who had always loved Peggy, remains in the background, not wanting to break up his solid friendship with Pat. But Pat is clearly doomed by his recklessness and breakneck individuality. After fighting in the skies during World War I, he refuses to sit back and do the methodical work of flight research like Scott. Always searching for another war to fight, Falconer leaves Scott and Peggy behind, taking off for China to help the Chinese fight Japanese invaders.


Fred MacMurray
as Pat Falconer
Ray Milland
as Scott Barnes
Louise Campbell
as Peggy Ranson
Andy Devine
as Joe Gibbs
Lynne Overman
as Hank Rinebow
Walter Abel
as Nick Ranson
Porter Hall
as Hiram F. Jenkins
Kitty Kelly
as Martha Ranson
Virginia Weidler
as Peggy Ranson at Age 8
Donald O'Connor
as Pat Falconer at Age 10
Billy Cook
as Scott Barnes at Age 10
James Burke
as J.A. Nolan
Willard Robertson
as Col. Hadley
Juanita Quigley
as Patricia Falconer at Age 6
Joan Leslie
as Patricia Falconer at Age 11
Mary Brodel
as Patricia Falconer at Age 17
Marilyn Knowlden
as Patricia Falconer at Age 18
Dorothy Tennant
as Mrs. Hill
Charles Williams
as Telegraph Operator
Pat West
as Photographer
Lee Phelps
as Photographer
David Newell
as Photographer
Chuck Hamilton
as Photographer
Frank Mills
as Mechanic
Garry Owen
as Reporter
Bobby Tracy
as Reporter
Paul Kruger
as Reporter
Jerome Storm
as Reporter
Al Hill
as Mail Driver
Jerry Storm
as Reporter
Billy Bletcher
as Red Cross Man
Franklin Parker
as Mail Truck Driver
Sherry Hall
as Field Official
Bob Perry
as Waiter
Charles Hamilton
as Photographer
Russell Hicks
as Gen. Marlin
Jack Hubbard
as Attendant
Edward Earle
as Officer
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Critic Reviews for Men with Wings

All Critics (2)

The brutal force Wellman achieves in his climactic passages is due, conversely, to the restraint with which he handles them.

October 31, 2019 | Full Review…

The situation isn't a new one. but the picture as a whole is highly dramatic, partly because of the skill and swiftness of William Wellman's direction, partly because there is so much excitement and sheer visual beauty in flight itself.

July 22, 2019 | Full Review…

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