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Wings (1927)

Drama | 144 minutes
3,70 73 votes

Genre: Drama / War

Duration: 144 minuten

Alternative title: Vlammende Vleugels

Country: United States

Directed by: William A. Wellman

Stars: Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers and Richard Arlen

IMDb score: 7,5 (14.514)

Releasedate: 12 August 1927

Wings plot

"Youth, hitting the clouds! Laughing at danger! Fighting, loving, dodging death! That's "WINGS""

America, 1917. Jack Powell, working on his sports car, dreams of becoming a pilot. His neighbor Mary Preston is in love with him, but he doesn't realize it. Jack is madly in love with the beautiful Sylvia Lewis, but he can't see that she only has eyes for the wealthy David Armstrong. Jack and David then take part in World War I. They follow pilot training and are stationed in France. Their rivalry gradually turns into camaraderie, but then Mary enlists in the army to be closer to Jack…

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Full Cast & Crew

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Mary Preston

David Armstrong

Sylvia Lewis

Herman Schwimpf

Air Commander

Cadet White

The Sergeant

Lieutenant Cameron

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avatar van Film Pegasus

Film Pegasus (moderator films)

  • 30497 messages
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If Metropolis had been an American film, it would undoubtedly have won an Oscar at the 1st Academy Award, but the honor (not to the revolutionary The Jazz Singer) went to Wings. Less than 10 years after World War 1, Wings is a fairly topical film about the First World War. The film is a great mix of romance, humour, war and drama, especially for that time. I always have a bit of admiration for actors from the silent film era because they have to let their facial expressions and body language do the work even more than strong dialogue. The focus in the film is mainly on the 2 men, but the star of the film is Clara Bow. Furthermore, one of the trumps is the beautiful use of effects. We see very good battle scenes and battles between the trenches. The problem of the film is mainly the somewhat wrong focus on the 2 men with a stronger female role and the fact that the film is too long. Not that the film has too many boring parts, but you get blocks of different longer genres that each attract attention, whereupon the film becomes less of a whole. The story in Paris is nice, but is completely separate from David's flight, which ends up between the Germans. But Wings is still a good film and the Oscar is not immediately undeserved. It remains primarily an American view of the war. I also have no idea how a (for that time very credible) film about WW1 was received in Europe.

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avatar van BBarbie


  • 12848 messages
  • 7654 votes

Richly variegated war drama with room for humor and romance from time to time. (I wouldn't be surprised if the makers of Pearl Harbor (2001) found their inspiration in this story.) The cinematography is top notch. The staging of the air battles is especially impressive. Good, considering the time in which this film was made. It must have made a difference that director Wellman could draw from his own experiences as a fighter pilot during the First World War.

Reportedly, scene stealer Clara Bow was not very happy with her role, because she did not think it was sexy enough and did not fit her image. Perhaps the short, superfluous topless scene was inserted to temper her dissatisfaction a bit.

Despite its age, it is still a film that is more than worth seeing and that is actually mandatory reading for every film lover, if only because it is the first film to win the Oscar for "Best Picture". dragged. Rightly so, as far as I can judge.

It is also great how, under the responsibility of Paramount, the film has been restored from bits and pieces into a presentable whole, including a suitable new soundtrack.

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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8435 messages
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Great film from the interbellum and apparently another one without sound. Not much later, the sound film made its final breakthrough. Score one last time at the Oscars. Not unjustly because this film was highly regarded at the time and was very popular. I was also told that Clara Bow's career, then a big star in many silent films, was in the doldrums because she got few parts in sound films because of her annoying voice. Well, then Gary Cooper fared better.

I saw the restored version via Archive.org. A film that then depicts the First World War surprisingly strongly. A topper even and still worth a reference if you want to see a film with that subject. A film that does not take place between the trenches, but is mainly fought in the air. Aces, as these fighter pilots were also called when they eliminated at least 5 opponents, delivered hallucinatory and exciting fights to the death, also called dog fights.

Well captured here, just like the panoramic images of the battlefield. The war event is linked to a romantic story of two roosters and one hen, but manages wonderfully to keep the balance and leave out the sentimental ones, most of the time anyway. The hatred for the Germans also occasionally surfaces (the flag that was used as a doormat), but all in all this remains within limits. The ending is heroic and typical for a movie. It is reminiscent of the weak Pearl Harbor (Film, 2001), but was handled much better here.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original