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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lake and Holden shine in dull overlong WW II pilot want-to-be saga
Although I WANTED WINGS' claim to fame is that it won the Special Effects Oscar of 1941, the reasons to see it today reside with the marvelous performances of a very young and sensitive William Holden and a stunning Veronica Lake. Holden, Milland and Morris are three cadets who want to enter the Army Air Corps. The film shows their basic training and progress, not without melodramatic stops and starts. The film is overlong and quite dull when it concentrates on the training. It gets interesting, though unbelievable, when the melodrama enters. Milland is a rich kid, drawn to national photographer, Moore, but falls in with Lake during a down moment. Lake is Holden's former flame, the one that left him feeling rotten and worthless and propelled his entry into the Corps to "make something of himself." She sets her sights on Milland and when he comes to, she won't let go. Her gold-digging interests are mainly in his wealth. She fabricates a pregnancy. Holden marries her and thus leaves the Corps to protect his friend from scandal. It all comes out right in the melodramatic ending. Lake is exceptional in her star-making performance that is strong enough to have netted a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nom. Holden is quite fine in a very understated, underplayed performance. The sound is exceptionally good and also deserved an Oscar nom. The effects are "okay" but not in any way outstanding. They consist of a simulated practice air raid drill on the City of Los Angeles at the start of the film and a forced landing, take off and crash at the end (obviously done with miniatures - you can even see a string at one point attached to the plane). The middle of the film uses a lot of back projection in its training segments. What probably copped the Oscar was a clever bit of matte printing at the end (the plane crashes and breaks apart, obviously done with miniatures, and the camera pulls in to look into the plane from its torn aperture and we see live action as it pulls in). This could have been a good 90 minute film but with the extra 41 minutes, it does tire the audience. See it however for Lake and Holden.
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