7.8/10
8,666
77 user 77 critic

Wings (1927)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, War | 5 January 1929 (USA)
Trailer
1:10 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Bessie Love, Anita Page, Charles King
Cimarron (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A newspaper editor settles in an Oklahoma boom town with his reluctant wife at the end of the nineteenth century.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Estelle Taylor
Cavalcade (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook, Una O'Connor
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Gale Sondergaard, Joseph Schildkraut
Grand Hotel I (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., famed producer of extravagant stage revues, are portrayed.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti. Bligh proves to be a brutal tyrant and, after six pleasant months on Tahiti, ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Sunrise (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Going My Way (1944)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Father Charles O'Mailey, a young priest at a financially failing Church in a tough neighborhood, gains support and inspires his superior.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jack Powell (as Charles Rogers)
...
...
Sylvia Lewis
El Brendel ...
Herman Schwimpf
...
Air Commander
...
...
The Sergeant
...
David's Father
...
Lt. Cameron
...
David's Mother
...
Celeste
Edit

Storyline

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 grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The war in the air from both sides of the lines See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 January 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The "German" fighters in the film are actually Curtiss P-1 "Hawks". See more »

Goofs

When David says goodbye to his stiff and formal parents and is then greeted affectionately by his dog, as he pets the dog's head, a "treat" can be seen hidden in his hand to make the dogs affectionate. See more »

Quotes

Mary Preston: D'you know what you can do when you see a shooting star?
John "Jack" Powell: No, what?
Mary Preston: You can kiss the girl you love.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Stunt Man (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Jealous of You
(credited on 2012 restored score only)
Written by Max Freedman (as Max C. Freedman), Nelson Ingham, Ed Johnson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Remains really well made and impressive!!
2 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wings (1927)

An epic WWI movie that uses all the classic approaches to a war film and has a lot of great battle footage. It's a tale of rivalry over a girl, of fighting for country (and against the Germans), and of facing death. There are several scenes that make death really gruesome--blood spurting from a pilot's mouth, or a man crushed under a tank--that took me by surprise. I didn't know that such a mainstream American film would go there.

"Wings" is in a way exactly what American movies would look like thereafter--not just war movies, but all of them. By that I don't mean directors studied this movie and it was the inspiration from here on. But just that the story line, the romance, and even the filming, adventurous but straight on, with more attention to characters and plot than visual effect, all of this would be how films would be made for decades. Including many more by the director, William Wellman, who is one of handful of truly expert but never quite daring and inventive directors of classic Hollywood.

To back this up neatly, compare this film to the other film that jointly won Best Picture this year (the first year the Oscars were given, and the only year when the best picture category had two separate parts). That is Murnau's "Sunrise." Never mind which is better ("Sunrise," easily by most accounts). Notice how this film is utterly conservative and "conventional" in its approach to the art of making movies. It's superbly well done, but well within the rules of the time. Yes, there are moments of inspiration, including some double-exposed stock where a scene takes play in the sky over another scene on the ground. But "Sunrise" shows the lyrical art of the camera, and of editing, and of a less literal kind of storytelling. "Wings" is probably much easier to watch for most people--that's the idea. But "Sunrise" is far more engaging and complex, begging you to watch it twice. I doubt anyone needs to see "Wings" a second time.

But then, I have to admit the acting makes more sense in this film. The naturalism of the three leads helps you get emotionally involved. The most famous by far is the woman, Paramount's biggest star, Clara Bow. She doesn't get a huge role (the men do the fighting and flying) but at least when she's there she's a treat. The flying is actually done by the actors, and many of the people involved were veterans (including Wellman, who was a WWI pilot himself).

It's pretty exciting to find this so exciting all these years later. Give it a look. It's been restored really well (there's even a new Blu-Ray release). And it looks great. Don't expect anything new from the story or the filmmaking, but just expect a really well made high drama affair.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?