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Story follows the training and personal lives of three recruits in the Army Air Corps --- a wealthy playboy, a college jock and an auto mechanic. Love interest is supplied by a female photographer and a sultry blonde. Written by
Herman Seifer <email@example.com>
I Wanted Wings has its place in Hollywood history because of winning the Best Special Effects Oscar for 1941. It's story about three men who wanted to become pilots in the Army Air Corps and the women who loved them is a bit dated.
Ray Milland, William Holden, and Wayne Morris are three very different types looking to be pilots. Milland is a well known playboy from the Long Island horsey set, Morris a good natured football jock, and Holden a poor garage mechanic who wants to better himself. It all comes real easy for Milland while the other two have to sweat out under the tutelage of Flight Instructor Brian Donlevy who they keep running into no matter where they go in the Army Air Corps.
The women in their lives are Constance Moore photo journalist doing a cover story for a magazine like Life or Look and sultry nightclub singer Veronica Lake. Holden and she have a past, but she's got her eyes set on Milland's millions.
I Wanted Wings is of course at its best in the air. Director Mitchell Leisen is invading territory that normally belonged to William Wellman, still Leisen does a nice job with material he normally wouldn't be assigned to. I'm guessing Paramount wanted Wellman for director, but he was probably tied up someplace else.
These guys are all a wee bit too noble though, especially Holden who was getting type cast in what he called his 'Smiling Jim' roles. As for Milland, I'm not sure why everyone keeps going out of their way to pull his chestnuts out of the fire.
Veronica Lake got her first real big break it's with here that Leisen's talents shine. This was where the famous peekaboo hairdo with the accompanying come hither glance was invented.
I agree with other reviewers that the film was too long by about 25 minutes. Still I Wanted Wings should please the aviation fans out there.
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