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Wings (1927)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, War | 5 January 1929 (USA)
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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 »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
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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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Daring danger and destruction. Scouring the skies for enemy planes. Soaring to the clouds in a flimsy machine. And yet, like a charm, her love kept this "Shooting Star." Carried him through the terrific dangers. Brought him back to earth. Spirited, striving, spectacular. A story of the American war "Aces" in France. 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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alas See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of only four films to win the Academy Award for Best Picture without its director being nominated. The others are Grand Hotel (1932) Driving Miss Daisy (1989) and Argo (2012). 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

Title Card: Paris in war-time... the capital of the world's gayety crowded with soldiers of all races - on furlough from Death... trying to forget...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The House That Shadows Built (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Music
(credited on 2012 restored score only)
Written by Hugo Riesenfeld
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a little dated here and there, but overall a great film
28 June 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In many ways, I enjoyed this film more than the more expensive HELL'S ANGELS (which Howard Hughes RE-SHOT after its initial completion in order to make it a sound picture)--even though it was a silent film. That's because for a silent movie, it's nearly as good as you're going to find, whereas the primitive sound of Hell's Angels and less engaging plot left me feeling a bit flat--though its flying sequence were clearly better and more spectacular than those in WINGS.

Clara Bow is excellent as the sweet lead of the film whose two friends go off to war. This is a far better showcase of her talents than the equally famous movie "IT" (which did NOT age as well).

Richard Arlen and Buddy Rogers also did fine jobs in the movie, though special recognition must also be given to the cinematography--the movie is just beautiful in spots and the aerial sequences are amazing for 1927! The only down side? Occasionally, there are melodramatic lapses in the pacing--such as the drinking scene where they talk about BUBBLES incessantly. This seems to be due mostly to the style of the day, and for what it was, it was a brilliant picture. I can easily see why it got the first Best Picture award.


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