In my task of watching all Best Picture Oscar-winners, I finished up my introductory weekend of viewing with Wings, directed by DGA Lifetime Achievement award-winner William A. Wellman. As the only true silent film to win Best Picture, Wings upholds the powerful affect that silent films can have. Yes, silent films can be as good, if not far better than ‘talkies.’
Starring Clara Bow as Mary, it doesn’t take long at all to understand why Bow was called the “It” Girl of movies. As with all of the stars, Bow captures your eyes and heart with her earnest portrayal of a gal hopelessly in love. But the film truly soars (no pun intended) with the performances of Charles “Buddy” Rogers as Jack Powell and Richard Arlen as David Armstrong, two young men from the same town that become fighter pilots in the first world war. To see their relationship grow throughout the film is a joy to watch, if not frustrating and infuriating at times- just as it should be.
Action-Adventure films have been a part of filmmaking since the beginning. Wings is a classic in the genre and deserves its place in Academy Award annals… and not just for the first Best Picture with nudity. 😉
Wings. (1927) 144 minutes. Directed by William A. Wellman. Starring Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen, Jobyna Robston.