Thanks to “TMC’s 31 Days of Oscar”, I finally was able to view the classic first Oscar winning picture, WINGS. The silent classic war film filmed in widescreen Magnascope, director William Wellman’s and Paramount’s Wings, was the official first winner of the Best Picture award as the “most outstanding motion picture production.” The most expensive film of its time (at $2 million), it featured spectacular aerial footage (air battles, bombing raids and crashes) and state of the art visual effects in its story of two flying buddies who are in love with the same woman, but war has it’s casualties.
It starred Silent Film Godess Clara Bow, and Charles Rogers, Richard Arlen and a very young Gary Cooper. I recently was able to view this film in it’s entirety.
I wondered how a silent film would keep my interest for 139 minutes, but this film was absolutley captivating and beautifully filmed. Clara Bow, is mezmerizing, as in silent films you have to rely on your gestures and face, which Clara was a true artist. Amazingly though, she did not win the Oscar. Both Charles “Buddy” Rogers (who later married the famous silent star, Mary Pickford) and Richard Arlen were dashingly handsome and quite skilled as artists. There was also the newcomer, an even more dashingly handsome Gary Cooper in his first film role. Not once in 139 minutes of this film did I loose interest. Actually after seeing it, it has become one of my top 20 favorite movies of all time. A