Grant gives one of his greatest performances in perhaps Howard Hawks’ most poignant film: a stolid airmail pilot (Grant) must grapple with a colleague’s death, an enchanting singer (Arthur)‘s arrival, and a former lover’s untimely reappearance, all while navigating the stormy South American skies. —BAMcinematek
Although John Ford—his friend, contemporary, and the director arguably closest to him in terms of his talent and output—told him that it was he, and not Ford, who should have won the 1941 Best Director Academy Award (for Sergeant York (1941)), the great Hawks never won an Oscar in competition and was nominated for Best Director only that one time, despite making some of the best films in the Hollywood canon. The Academy eventually made up for the oversight in 1974 by voting him an honorary Academy Award, in the midst of a two-decade-long critical revival that has gone on for yet another two decades. To many cineastes, Howard Hawks is one of the faces of American film and would be carved on any film pantheon’s Mt. Rushmore honoring America’s greatest directors, beside his friend Ford and Orson Welles (the other great director who Ford beat out for the 1941 Oscar). It took the French “Cahiers du Cinema” critics to teach America to appreciate one of its own masters, and it was… read more
Pessoas em torno do serviço de aviação postal num país da América do Sul é o microcosmo da vez, o que interessa a Hawks ao descortinar os focos de amor e amizade/inimizade que surgem dali. Pode não existir um conflito maior que permeia toda a história, mas é nesse ambiente quase exótico que o personagem de Cary Grant, durão da vez, precisa lidar com as intempéries das relações pessoais e passionais | Rafael Carvalho
The most sober film about death and men I've seen. There is no god, no reincarnation, no hopes for more. There is only the drinks you have with friends, the time you spend with romance, and holding to your duties. It is in this way that Hawks remains the most responsible and honest director of human beings.
In his memoir, Claude Lanzmann tells us that at a screening of this Hawks masterpiece, he and Jean-Paul Sartre were both moved to tears.
Living dangerously in South America! Of course, this being a Howard Hawks movie, it's also a battle of the sexes. Admittedly, the film's gender ideals seem damn near irrelevant in an era where women have career opportunities and Weezer has gone platinum. But as a movie, it still crackles. A great Hawksian line, from a plaintive Arthur to an emotionally withdrawn Grant: "I'm hard to get. All you have to do is ask."