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Wings (1927)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, War | 5 January 1929 (USA)
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Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.

Directors:

William A. Wellman, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast (uncredited)

Writers:

John Monk Saunders (story), Hope Loring (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clara Bow ... Mary Preston
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers ... Jack Powell (as Charles Rogers)
Richard Arlen ... David Armstrong
Jobyna Ralston ... Sylvia Lewis
El Brendel ... Herman Schwimpf
Richard Tucker ... Air Commander
Gary Cooper ... Cadet White
Gunboat Smith ... The Sergeant
Henry B. Walthall ... David's Father
Roscoe Karns ... Lt. Cameron
Julia Swayne Gordon ... David's Mother
Arlette Marchal ... Celeste
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rod Rogers Rod Rogers ... Aviator
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$746
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)| Silent | Dolby Digital (2012 restoration edition)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With the thousands of extras battling on the ground, dozens of airplanes flying around in the sky and hundreds of explosions going off everywhere, only two injuries on the entire picture were incurred. One was by veteran stunt pilot Dick Grace. A plane he was crashing was supposed to completely turn over, but it only turned partly over. Instead of being thrown clear of the plane, which was the plan, Grace was hurled against part of the fuselage and broke his neck. He returned to the company after six weeks in the hospital. The other injury was to one of the army pilots helping out on the shoot. Unfortunately, he was killed, and director William A. Wellman feared it would shut down production, but the army held the pilot, not the director, responsible. See more »

Goofs

When Schwimpf is punched and falls down, he drops his coat on the ground, but is on the table in a following shot. See more »

Quotes

John "Jack" Powell: [drunkenly] Li'l Bubbles... I'm gonna kiss you!
[puts his forefinger up next to Mary's lips, she closes her eyes, opens her lips, and swoons]
See more »

Alternate Versions

A version played at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on May 15 and 16, 2003, was restored, with fewer scratches, color tintings, and an orchestral score with sound effects. See more »

Connections

Featured in Wings: Grandeur in the Sky (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Incidental Symphonies #3
(credited on 2012 restored score only)
Written by Leo Kempinski (as Leo A. Kempinski)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Dated, true...but entertaining
2 May 2010 | by poikkeusSee all my reviews

You could justifiably criticize WINGS lesser moments: the naive, "gee-whiz" dialog...the less than comedic "champagne" sequence in Paris...any of the romantic scenes...the idealized view of military life.... But as light entertainment, WINGS manages to hold its own, despite the passage of years. The battle scenes, easily the highlight of the film, may not have the intensity of later films, but the narrative is clear and precise. And this was not meant to be the last word in documentary accuracy: it's an adventure film tinged with romance, with engaging aerial fight scenes that capture your attention whenever they occur.

And personally, I felt that the music from the Wurlitzer organ tied together the film's various themes, musical and narrative, quite tidily.


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