Production Company: Paramount, Famous Players-Lasky
Top Billed Actors: Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Richard Arlen
IMDb Rating: 7.9
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 2 Oscars:
Best Engineering Effects - Roy Pomeroy
Nominated for 0 more
Plot: Two men are in love with the same woman and they are befriended by punching each other in the face. They then fly around in planes.
Politics aside, Wings delivers on many fronts. One being the excellent technical feats in the dogfight sequences. William A. Wellman had plane combat experience in World War I, in which this film is set, and got exactly what he wanted from his actors. A camera was mounted on the planes so the actors could display their emotions in the sky. The editing in these sequences were phenomenal as well, switching from this cockpit camera to the ground camera, capturing the very realistic plane flights. Planes were crashing, zigging, zagging, flipping, and doing all sorts of maneuvers. These sequences are truly amazing, regardless of the time period in which they were shot.
This film is not perfect however. It's not even close. The story, for one, serves as stepping stone to show the elaborate battle sequences. The poor plot and poor acting by the lead male, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, makes it hard to get through some scenes. Clara Bow even considered herself to be an afterthought as her character was inserted after the script was written to capitalize on her popularity in the 1920s. Not only was Rogers' character unlikeable, but any scene he was involved in was dragged out. One scene in particular is when he gets really drunk and is obsessed with bubbles (after drinking champagne). It goes on far too long and was merely put in the film to get Bow topless.
Overall, the technical achievements and the realistic battle sequences, coupled with the fact that this is the very first Best Picture winner, makes this a must-see film. The plot is not executed well, but is still bearable, even by today's standards.
My Score: 7/10