RELEASE DATE: 1927
DIRECTOR: William A. Wellman
SCREENPLAY: Hope Loring, Louis D. Lighton
CAST: Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen, Gary Cooper
Winner: Best Picture, Production
Winner: Best Effects, Engineering
Oscar month continues with the first film to ever capture the Best Picture award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It’s also the only silent film in history to ever win Best Picture. (The Artist had some sound that was filmed and a spoken dialogue scene.) It tells the story of two best friends, pilots during World War I, who are also in love with the same woman. While the story may seem cliche now, this was fresh material in 1927… 70 years before Pearl Harbor stole the same basic plotline. The aerial battles in this film are amazing, especially when considering they were filmed with 1927 technology. Ain’t no CGI here, these are real pilots, in close up, flying real planes and dodging and shooting at each other. It’s no wonder it also won the first Special Effects Oscar as well. Also, special bonus trivia: Wings is one of the first major films to feature nudity. It’s a blink and you’ll miss kind of moment, but if you want to catch one second of 20s movie star Clara Bow’s breasts, they’re there.
In 2012, Paramount released a high definition restoration of Wings on DVD and Blu-Ray. It is also available for disc rental via Netflix. It is available for digital purchase and rental via Amazon and iTunes. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can stream it for free.
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