MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 350 this week

Wings (1927)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  5 January 1929 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,389 users  
Reviews: 57 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 »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 11 Feb 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 05 Jun 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 06 Sep 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 10 Oct 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Wings" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Wings (1927)

Wings (1927) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Wings.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield's shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet,... See full summary »

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Bessie Love, Anita Page, Charles King
Cimarron (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A newspaper editor settles in an Oklahoma boom town with his reluctant wife at the end of the nineteenth century.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Estelle Taylor
Cavalcade (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook, Una O'Connor
Sunrise (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Grand Hotel I (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Gale Sondergaard, Joseph Schildkraut
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This biography follows the ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld, famed producer of extravagant stage revues.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru
Going My Way (1944)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy, but his level gaze and twinkling eyes make it clear that he knows ... See full summary »

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh
Hamlet (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.

Director: Laurence Olivier
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first movie to incorporate product placement. See more »

Goofs

The film is set during the years 1917-1918. However, most of the female civilian clothes and hairstyles are contemporary with the late 1920s, particularly the clothes worn by Clara Bow in the home sequences and in the Follies Bergere sequence. Bow's and almost all the other female characters have bobbed hair, common in 1927 but almost non-existent during World War One. See more »

Quotes

Sergeant in Mervale: Hey, if youse guys need kissin' *I'll* kiss you - wit' a gun-butt!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Wings
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by J.S. Zamecnik
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

American Melodrama at its Best
15 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wings (1927), is not only the FIRST winner of the Best Picture Academy Award, it may be the BEST film to hold that title, and I say that knowing that Casablanca, Gladiator, and The Last Emperor all hold the statue too. There have been some stinkers dubbed "Best Picture" in the past, (Shakespeare in Love beating Saving Private Ryan??? The Greatest Show on Earth over High Noon?! Spare us all) but this is not one of them.

Even supporters of the film, writing reviews here at IMDb, can't seem to resist taking shots at Wings' plot, but I'm here to tell you it is just fine, even solidly written. Some reviewers don't sound like they have seen this movie in a long time, or if they have, they slept through it. For one thing, the "Love Triangle" is not as convoluted or hard to grasp as others have implied:

Jack Powell (Buddy Rogers) has a crush on one Sylvia Lewis (Jobyna Ralston), the local beauty queen. She finds this cute and indulges it a little bit--actually too much. But she is quite sincerely in love with someone else, David Armstrong (Richard Arlen) a well-off local boy who isn't quite able to figure out how to tell Jack to butt-out because it doesn't involve money. The wild card in all of this (literally and figuratively) is Mary Preston (Clara Bow), who lives next door to Jack and has been mooning over him since she was a little girl.

That's the whole dynamic. I have no idea what someone was thinking when they suggested Mary expressed any feelings for David (She never does). Some have said they can't believe Jack would go for Sylvia with Mary next door. I see their point, because the casting of Clara Bow in her role is like having Kirsten Dunst living next door and not noticing. The problem is, Jack isn't SUPPOSED to notice Mary until the end, when he has experienced the war and realizes that everything he wants is right there at home where he belongs. In the beginning he is all about Fast Cars and the Trophy Girls.

So, the plot thickens as the US gets dragged into World War I and both Jack and David sign up as pilots. Naturally each of them heads to Sylvia's house to say good-bye. Sylvia prepared a locket with her picture in it for David, but Jack sees it first. This scene is a great display of awkwardness wrapped in etiquette, especially when Sylvia tries to let go of Jack's hand. Jack takes the locket from her, and, this being more than she can stand, Sylvia almost gets the words out to tell him the truth when David gets there. At this point Jack turns on the macho-factor, and he is so gleeful about rubbing Sylvia's locket in David's face that he doesn't even notice she never kissed him good-bye.

Sylvia makes up for David's loss of the locket with some tender words and some passionate kissing--no mystery where her feelings lie--and the three of them head off for war. Three, because Mary goes too, as a nurse. Another complaint about this film and it's plot has been that Clara Bow wasn't given enough to do, shunted off into a side part even though she got billing as the Leading Lady, but I just don't see it. Her part was as big as any Romantic Interest in most movies out there; a good example for comparison would be Kathleen Quinlan's roll in Apollo 13. Most of her scenes were not shared with Tom Hanks, but she turned in an emotional and Oscar-nominated performance nonetheless.

The air battles in this film have never been topped anywhere. Ever. And that includes anything involving aliens, fighter jets, or a galaxy far, far, away. The information that the actors flew their own planes is misleading. Actors couldn't do what these pilots do. The stunt flying is by the US Army Air Corps in Texas (!) where the movie was filmed (I dare you to have guessed that on your own). What Rogers and Arlen do is all their own close-ups, flying the plane as they careen and dive. When the camera ran out of film (or the planes ran out of gas) a stunt pilot from the Army would pop up and land the plane.

The resolution of the story I won't comment further on, except to say that it is extremely moving and does highlight the madness of war, especially the kind of war WW1 was. I support military action for just causes, but everything has a cost and Wings lays that cost bare. These were issues being struggled over long before Vietnam, just in case you thought Hippies invented protest.

After complaining that she didn't do enough, some people insist that Mary's tactics in Paris were out of character. No they were not. Mary had to get Jack away from that "other woman" and get him his orders before he got court marshaled. She was not becoming a floozie, only dressing the part, and she paid the ultimate price for the risk she took. It also helped to stir up Jack's feelings about her in later scenes, and get him thinking.

Wings! Melodramatic? Sure. Unoriginal? Well... if you make that claim because you can guess what's coming or you've seen it all before, just ask yourself how old these movies are that you are comparing Wings to, and check Wings' release date again. Maybe the plot-heist occurred in the other direction.

This film deserves a DVD release. Barring that, see if you can track down the old Paramount Laserdisc, LV 2851-2, which is what I had. I have been enamored with, and watching, this film since I was 13 (30 now). It shattered my little-boy prejudices against both black and white and silent films in one great blast of anti-aircraft fire, and I have been spreading its gospel ever since. You will not ever see a better World War 1 film.


47 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Theater showings of restored Wings! JackBluegrass
TCM on Feb. 6th badmoon36
Did 'Pearl Harbor' (2001) rip this off? JoReia
Wings won the Oscar right? aatx1154
What MPAA should WINGS receive today mrcleangarrett
Where is Gary Cooper in this? The Colourful Jester
Discuss Wings (1927) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?