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Wings (1927)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  5 January 1929 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,449 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 66 critic

Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (screen play by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Wings (1927)

Wings (1927) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jack Powell (as Charles Rogers)
...
...
Sylvia Lewis
El Brendel ...
Herman Schwimpf
Richard Tucker ...
Air Commander
...
Gunboat Smith ...
Henry B. Walthall ...
David's Father
...
Lt. Cameron
Julia Swayne Gordon ...
David's Mother
Arlette Marchal ...
Celeste
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Douglas Haig
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Storyline

Two young men fall in love with the same same girl. After the US enters WWI, both join the Air Corps and become aces. They remain friends, but the relation to the girl threatens their friendship. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Epic of the Air See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 January 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director William A. Wellman appears in the film, in what today could be called a "cameo" (although he does "speak"). During the final battle scene Wellman, portraying a doughboy, is shot and exclaims "Atta boy. Them buzzards are some good after all." See more »

Goofs

When Schwimpf is punched and falls down, he drops his coat on the ground, but is on the table in a following shot. See more »

Quotes

British Soldier: Hello Yank, welcome to a very merry little war. And now how about a wee drop for the King and Uncle Sam?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Golden Years (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1843) (uncredited)
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Remains really well made and impressive!!
2 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wings (1927)

An epic WWI movie that uses all the classic approaches to a war film and has a lot of great battle footage. It's a tale of rivalry over a girl, of fighting for country (and against the Germans), and of facing death. There are several scenes that make death really gruesome--blood spurting from a pilot's mouth, or a man crushed under a tank--that took me by surprise. I didn't know that such a mainstream American film would go there.

"Wings" is in a way exactly what American movies would look like thereafter--not just war movies, but all of them. By that I don't mean directors studied this movie and it was the inspiration from here on. But just that the story line, the romance, and even the filming, adventurous but straight on, with more attention to characters and plot than visual effect, all of this would be how films would be made for decades. Including many more by the director, William Wellman, who is one of handful of truly expert but never quite daring and inventive directors of classic Hollywood.

To back this up neatly, compare this film to the other film that jointly won Best Picture this year (the first year the Oscars were given, and the only year when the best picture category had two separate parts). That is Murnau's "Sunrise." Never mind which is better ("Sunrise," easily by most accounts). Notice how this film is utterly conservative and "conventional" in its approach to the art of making movies. It's superbly well done, but well within the rules of the time. Yes, there are moments of inspiration, including some double-exposed stock where a scene takes play in the sky over another scene on the ground. But "Sunrise" shows the lyrical art of the camera, and of editing, and of a less literal kind of storytelling. "Wings" is probably much easier to watch for most people--that's the idea. But "Sunrise" is far more engaging and complex, begging you to watch it twice. I doubt anyone needs to see "Wings" a second time.

But then, I have to admit the acting makes more sense in this film. The naturalism of the three leads helps you get emotionally involved. The most famous by far is the woman, Paramount's biggest star, Clara Bow. She doesn't get a huge role (the men do the fighting and flying) but at least when she's there she's a treat. The flying is actually done by the actors, and many of the people involved were veterans (including Wellman, who was a WWI pilot himself).

It's pretty exciting to find this so exciting all these years later. Give it a look. It's been restored really well (there's even a new Blu-Ray release). And it looks great. Don't expect anything new from the story or the filmmaking, but just expect a really well made high drama affair.


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