Wings (1927)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  5 January 1929 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,419 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 73 critic

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


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(story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Jack Powell (as Charles Rogers)
Sylvia Lewis
Herman Schwimpf
Richard Tucker ...
Air Commander
Gunboat Smith ...
The Sergeant
Henry B. Walthall ...
David's Father
Lt. Cameron
Julia Swayne Gordon ...
David's Mother
Arlette Marchal ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An Epic of the Air See more »


Drama | Romance | War | Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 January 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chocolate syrup was used as blood in the movie. See more »


Jack and David shoot down a German bomber. The soldiers in the just-bombed village come running out and celebrate atop the bomber's wreckage, but by the time it was shot down, the bomber was a good many miles away from the village - too far away for the troops to just run out to its wreckage. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Mary Pickford: A Life on Film (1997) See more »


Le Roi D'ys
(credited on 2012 restored score only)
Written by Edouard Lalo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good Entertainment, Despite Some Flaws
29 March 2002 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This entertaining and occasionally impressive movie is still well worth seeing in spite of its flaws. The combat scenes alone make the rest of it worth watching, and Clara Bow gives a very good performance. She has plenty of energy as always, and here she makes her character especially sympathetic. But it has its weaknesses, too. The story is contrived and full of obvious holes, and except for Bow most of the acting is rather routine (Buddy Rogers is as likable as ever, but no more).

The highlights of "Wings" come in the battle scenes, and they are awfully impressive. Done without computers or other such advantages, they are exciting and are usually completely realistic. The aerial dogfight scenes are especially dazzling. This part of the movie is not shallow stuff, either, since it has a good balance between the thrilling and the horrifying. If the main story-line had been better, this could have worked very well as a classic film about the realities of war and its effects on the young persons who must carry the heaviest load in a war.

But unfortunately, it has the story that it has, which could easily have been better. It is far too heavy-handed, and is also riddled with unlikely coincidences, implausible developments, strange decisions by the characters, and many other such holes. If you can somehow look past all these problems, then it produces some moving and emotional moments, but such moments are too often undone by the contrived ways that they are set up. It's just the kind of mess that has often impressed the individuals who vote for well-known awards, but a movie with such strengths deserved to have a much better plot.

Nevertheless, it is still well worth watching for its strengths, and not just because it is the answer to some trivia questions. Just in case there are any modern movie fans who have accidentally wandered into the silents section of the database, please don't think that this is the best of what silent cinema has to offer, just because it won an arbitrary award. There are many silent film masterpieces that are vastly better than this. But it's good entertainment, and has some portions that were made with great skill.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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