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
When Schwimpf is punched and falls down, he drops his coat on the ground, but is on the table in a following shot. See more »
Recruiter at Aviation Exam Station:
Herman Schwimpf? That's a fine name to fight the Kaiser with! If I had my way, I'd throw all you Dutchmen in the coop till the end of the war.
I'm as much American as you!
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I was fortunate to view this film at the Academy of Motion Pictures' Diamond celebration screening series for all the Best Picture winners last year. A newly restored print in pristine condition was beautifully paired with a live performance of the musical score by an eleven-piece ensemble. As a relative novice to silent era films I was struck by the acting, aerial stunt work, sophisticated camera work and great storytelling. As I was watching I couldn't help but think that this 1927 film has so much more to offer than many contemporary attempts at the war/action genre.
As the trend for releasing forgotten classics on DVD continues, I make a very loud plea to add Wings to the list. This masterful bit of film-making history deserves a much wider audience.
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