Action / Drama / Romance / War


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December 19, 2013 at 12:57 AM


Gary Cooper as Cadet White
Clara Bow as Mary Preston
Hedda Hopper as Mrs. Powell
981.26 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 24 min
P/S 3 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jfmcmahan 10 / 10

Good Entertainment, Despite Some Flaws

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.

Reviewed by Claudio Carvalho 10 / 10

I Am Very Impressed With This Amazing Awarded Epic

In 1917, Jack Powell (Charles 'Buddy' Rogers) is a young man with passion for cars. His next door neighbor is Mary Preston (Clara Bow), who is in deep love for him, but Jack does not notice her. Jack indeed loves Sylvia Lewis (Jobyna Ralston), but she is in love with the rich David Armstrong (Richard Arlen). When USA enters in World War I, Jack and David join the Air Force to fight in France and become pals. Mary joins the Women's Motor Corp, trying to be close to Jack. But it is war, and a tragedy happen between the two friends.

I am very impressed with this amazing awarded epic. "Wings" was recently released on DVD by the Brazilian distributor Continental, and in spite of the Japanese subtitles along the story, it was a worthwhile shopping. The story is fantastic, and the air sequences are awesome. I would like to have an idea of the cost of this ahead of time production, with these anthological battles in the air. I can not imagine how these shootings were achieved, in such angles, considering the cinema technology of 1927. The story raises an anti-war flag with the tragic end, and has realistic sequences that are impressive even in the present days. As a curiosity, Gary Cooper, in the role of Cadet White, has a very short participation, due to his affair with the famous actress Clara Bow. "Wings" is a highly recommended movie, even for audiences that do not like silent movies. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Asas" ("Wings")

Reviewed by drednm 10 / 10

A Stunning Achievement

Famous of course for winning the first Oscar for best film, WINGS is also one hell of a good film. Spectacular aerial photography highlights the terrific performances of the three leads: Clara Bow, Buddy Rogers, and Richard Arlen. Director William Wellman creates a solid and moving anti-war statement as he shows us the brutality and stupidity of war, its waste of youth, and its power to destroy the lives of all involved.

The film starts with star-crossed lovers in a small town in America. Bow loves Rogers but he loves Jobyna Ralston. Ralston loves Arlen and he loves her but through a mistake, Arlen thinks she loves Rogers. Then the boys go off to war. The outgoing Rogers thinks the war will be an adventure; the shy Arlen goes off, leaving his devastated parents who cannot express their emotions. Bow soon goes off to be an ambulance driver. Ralston stays homes and waits.

The story follows the rivalry and growing friendship of the boys as they head for war. The story ends in yet another bitter mistake. The viewer is as emotionally drained by the end of this film as the parents were at the beginning.

El Brendel provides some comedy relief. Roscoe Karns has a small part. Henry B. Walthall and Julia Swayne Gordon are the parents. And Gary Cooper has one brief scene with Rogers and Arlen. The scene in which he turns and flashes that famous smile as he exits the tent supposedly made him a star.

Clara Bow is solid as the spirited home-town girl who chases Rogers to no avail. She's gorgeous here and she is even moreso in the Paris scene where the matron lets her borrow a snappy and dazzling dress. Few women in film history have been able to be so sexually charismatic as Clara Bow. She's also a good actress.

Richard Arlen and Buddy Rogers give their best performances here. Each takes turns as the center of attention as they become men during the grueling war. Their flight scenes are incredibly well done. Arlen's flight scene as he races toward the American lines is amazing.

Jobyna Ralston has a rare memorable film not working with Harold Lloyd. And Henry B. Walthall is quietly grand as the crippled father.

Wellman's direction and the camera work of Harry Perry are beyond perfection. The aerial battles are breathtaking as are the scenes where they blow up the German blimps. There's also one astounding scene in the beginning of the film where Ralston and Arlen are in a swing. The camera is mounted in a stationary position in front of the actors so we see the scene as though we are in the swing with them. Then suddenly in the background we see Rogers in his jalopy pulling up in the street. The swing stops and Ralston gets out and runs to Rogers (in the background) while we see the close-up of Arlen as he twists in the swing seat and turns to watch them. It's an amazing scene and all one shot.

This film is a must see.

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