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Much of the film was based on the experiences of director William A. Wellman as a combat pilot during World War I. While stationed in France, he joined the French Foreign Legion's Lafayette Flying Corps, N.87, les Chats Noir (Black Cat Group). The plane he flew was a Nieuport 24 fighter, which he named "Celia" after his mother. He was credited with three recorded "kills" of enemy aircraft, plus five probable kills. Wellman was shot down in combat and survived the crash, but walked with a limp for the rest of his life. He received the Croix du Guerre for his service. After the war, he returned home and joined the US Army Air Corps for two years, where he taught combat tactics to new pilots at Rockwell Field in San Diego. See more »
Mary paints the shooting star on only one side of the car. But a shot or two later of the car from a different angle, where they are standing in front of the car, reveals enough information to show that the shooting star is now painted on both sides of the car. See more »
You could justifiably criticize WINGS lesser moments: the naive, "gee-whiz" dialog...the less than comedic "champagne" sequence in Paris...any of the romantic scenes...the idealized view of military life.... But as light entertainment, WINGS manages to hold its own, despite the passage of years. The battle scenes, easily the highlight of the film, may not have the intensity of later films, but the narrative is clear and precise. And this was not meant to be the last word in documentary accuracy: it's an adventure film tinged with romance, with engaging aerial fight scenes that capture your attention whenever they occur.
And personally, I felt that the music from the Wurlitzer organ tied together the film's various themes, musical and narrative, quite tidily.
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