7.7/10
9,856
85 user 83 critic

Wings (1927)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, War | 5 January 1929 (USA)
Trailer
1:10 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Directors:

William A. Wellman, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast (uncredited)

Writers:

John Monk Saunders (story), Hope Loring (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.

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 6/10 X  

The triumphs and tragedies of two English families, the upper-crust Marryots and the working-class Bridges, from 1899 to 1933 are portrayed.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook, Una O'Connor
Grand Hotel I (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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 7.3/10 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
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 | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A tyrannical ship captain decides to exact revenge on his abused crew after they form a mutiny against him, but the sailor he targets had no hand in it.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., famed producer of extravagant stage revues, are portrayed.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer
Going My Way (1944)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Father Charles O'Mailey, a young priest at a financially failing Church in a tough neighborhood, gains support and inspires his superior.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh
Hamlet (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright
Sunrise (1927)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clara Bow ... Mary Preston
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers ... Jack Powell (as Charles Rogers)
Richard Arlen ... David Armstrong
Jobyna Ralston ... Sylvia Lewis
El Brendel ... Herman Schwimpf
Richard Tucker ... Air Commander
Gary Cooper ... Cadet White
Gunboat Smith ... The Sergeant
Henry B. Walthall ... David's Father
Roscoe Karns ... Lt. Cameron
Julia Swayne Gordon ... David's Mother
Arlette Marchal ... Celeste
Edit

Storyline

Two young men from the same town but different social classes end up as fighter pilots in WW1. Jack Preston is a keen auto mechanic, building and modifying cars. David Armstrong comes from a wealthy family. They are both in love with the same woman, Sylvia. Her heart belongs to David but she doesn't let Jack know and plays along with his infatuation. Meanwhile, Jack's neighbour, Mary, is deeply in love with him but he just views her as a friend. WW1 interrupts the romantic entanglements as Jack and David enlist in the US Army Air Service (Air Service of the AEF at the time). They are initially bitter enemies, due to them both vying for Sylvia's affections. Over time, however, they become very good friends. They are both posted to the same fighter squadron in France, where being a fighter pilot means every day could easily be your last. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Sensational Romance of the War Fliers! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alas See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,587,502
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)| Silent | Dolby Digital (2012 restoration edition)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In contrast to co-star Richard Arlen, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers did not know how to fly a plane when production began, but learned how to by the end of it. During filming, Rogers' flight instructor and sometime backup pilot was Lt. Hoyt Vandenberg (aka "Van"), an Army Air Corps pilot at California's March Field (Vandenberg later became a four-star general, commanding the 9th Air Force in World War II, and served as the US Air Force's first official chief of staff after the war, when the Air Force was made a separate branch of the military). For close-up scenes where Jack and David (and other characters) are flying, the actors are actually working the planes themselves. To shoot these scenes, a camera was strapped to the engine cowling. The actors had to get the plane up in the air, keep it up, fly it so that clouds or German fighter planes could be seen in the background, operate the (motorized) camera and land the plane-and act at the same time. During Rogers' early flights, Vandenberg would hide in the back seat of the plane and operate the controls while Rogers gave his performance. See more »

Goofs

At 1:27:27, the position of David holding the letter changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Mary Preston: Can't you understand? Your leave - cancelled! You've got to go back! War!
John "Jack" Powell: [drunkenly] No war - jus' bubbles! Isn't any war - - Isn't any war - - Isn't any war -...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some showings have trimmed Clara Bow's brief topless scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Century of Cinema (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Intermezzo
(credited on 2012 restored score only)
Written by B.P. Whelpley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Remains really well made and impressive!!
2 September 2012 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Wings (1927)

An epic WWI movie that uses all the classic approaches to a war film and has a lot of great battle footage. It's a tale of rivalry over a girl, of fighting for country (and against the Germans), and of facing death. There are several scenes that make death really gruesome--blood spurting from a pilot's mouth, or a man crushed under a tank--that took me by surprise. I didn't know that such a mainstream American film would go there.

"Wings" is in a way exactly what American movies would look like thereafter--not just war movies, but all of them. By that I don't mean directors studied this movie and it was the inspiration from here on. But just that the story line, the romance, and even the filming, adventurous but straight on, with more attention to characters and plot than visual effect, all of this would be how films would be made for decades. Including many more by the director, William Wellman, who is one of handful of truly expert but never quite daring and inventive directors of classic Hollywood.

To back this up neatly, compare this film to the other film that jointly won Best Picture this year (the first year the Oscars were given, and the only year when the best picture category had two separate parts). That is Murnau's "Sunrise." Never mind which is better ("Sunrise," easily by most accounts). Notice how this film is utterly conservative and "conventional" in its approach to the art of making movies. It's superbly well done, but well within the rules of the time. Yes, there are moments of inspiration, including some double-exposed stock where a scene takes play in the sky over another scene on the ground. But "Sunrise" shows the lyrical art of the camera, and of editing, and of a less literal kind of storytelling. "Wings" is probably much easier to watch for most people--that's the idea. But "Sunrise" is far more engaging and complex, begging you to watch it twice. I doubt anyone needs to see "Wings" a second time.

But then, I have to admit the acting makes more sense in this film. The naturalism of the three leads helps you get emotionally involved. The most famous by far is the woman, Paramount's biggest star, Clara Bow. She doesn't get a huge role (the men do the fighting and flying) but at least when she's there she's a treat. The flying is actually done by the actors, and many of the people involved were veterans (including Wellman, who was a WWI pilot himself).

It's pretty exciting to find this so exciting all these years later. Give it a look. It's been restored really well (there's even a new Blu-Ray release). And it looks great. Don't expect anything new from the story or the filmmaking, but just expect a really well made high drama affair.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 85 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed