Wings - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wings Reviews

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August 25, 2017
Yes, by today's standards Wings has slow pacing and requires patience to watch. However, the follow-through is rewarded with a poignant ending and overall story.
July 19, 2017
Very moving. Definitely the best silent film I've watched in years.
June 4, 2017
I can fairly say I don't think I've seen a silent film with better production values than this one. From the aerial footage to the on-location filming this was clearly an example putting every penny on the screen in a big way. And on top of that its got a great story to boot!
A truly remarkable film to take home the very first Best Picture Oscar.
February 28, 2017
The first movie to ever win Best Picture, "Wings" is a cinema milestone and should be revered as one of the most important movies in history.
½ January 20, 2017
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.

Incredibly gritty and accurate war drama, especially for its time. Doesn't glamorize war at all and shows the dangers and bloodshed very well. Helped by some superb action scenes. With no CGI available, the staging of the dogfights and massive land battles must have been a huge undertaking. It is worthwhile in the end as the action scenes are incredibly realistic and engaging.

Solid, emotional plot that ties everything up rather well. While this is almost as much a romantic drama as a war drama, the movie doesn't overdo the schmaltz.

Great work Charles Rogers and Richard Arlen as Jack and David, respectively. Clara Bow shows why she was THE actress of the late 1920s, giving a wonderful performance as Mary. Incredibly gorgeous, while absolutely nailing the free-spirited, self-reliant tomboyishness of Mary.

The nuances of silent movies do take a bit of getting used to, initially. You keep expecting to see captions for dialogue, but often none come. This is because, other than for important or scene-setting dialogue, the director leaves it to the viewer to figure out what was being said. The performances are much more physically expressive than what we would expect today, to convey what is being said and what is going on.

Wings won the first ever Best Picture Oscar, in 1929. Technically the award was shared, as in that year (and that year only) Best Picture was split into two categories, Best Picture, Production and Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production.
½ January 11, 2017
Notable today for being the first film to win the Academy Award for best picture, but I didn't find it easy to watch. Time hasn't been kind to Wings. While some technical aspects may be impressive for its time, it is completely lacking in entertainment value. (First and only viewing - 2/7/2011)
October 20, 2016
One of the greatest silent films ever made.
September 10, 2016
Clara Bow is absolutely incredible. She has a screen presence that's beyond description and is larger than life. She lights up the silver screen and doesn't need sound to convey her thoughts or emotions. She is mesmerizing to watch and she'll steal your heart.
½ February 28, 2016
An incredibly ambitious, heartbreaking and influential film. With innovative camerawork, simplistic sentimentality, a classic plot, and a lack of certainty in its morality, it has all the makings of a real "best picture" winner.
February 3, 2016
Not even finished with it yet, but Top Gun and the like have absolutely nothing on this amazing piece of work, that truly deserved to be the first Best Picture.
½ January 16, 2016
I just saw WINGS, the first film to win the Oscar for best picture in 1928. It was a silent film but they added some sound effects to the restoration. They did a good job restoring it. It's a dated and a bit cheesy especially the part where one of the characters gets drunk. The main plot is two men from the same town, one rich and one poor, in love with the same women enlist in the Army air corp in WWI. The ariel cinematography and the plane battles were really good, especially for its time. It's worthwhile seeing once, despite its flaws.
January 16, 2016
The movie turned out to be much richer than I expected it to be.
January 5, 2016
I can certainly see why this won the first ever best picture oscar. I bet there weren't many directors out there that knew how to make a film like this. The war scenes were very realistic, for 1927. One of the best silent films I've seen.
December 22, 2015
1920's Paris was a real treat to see in this silent film. The story is unimportant-- this is a visual feast!
½ September 2, 2015
Its shadow fell, in some degree, on every living person.

Two men have no choice but to join the army during World War I. They decide to both become fighter pilots and they become the best at what they do...and bitter rivals. Their love for the same girl's heart makes it harder for them to work together during battle. They will need to overcome their differences or it may cost one of them their lives.

"If this guy needs kissing, I'll kiss him...with a gun butt! Now fall in line!"

William Wellman, director of A Star is Born, The Ox-Bow Incident, Public Enemy, Battleground, Blood Alley, Yellow Shy, and the Iron Curtain, delivers Wings. The storyline for this picture is interesting and fun to watch unfold but stagnant in parts and a bit dated. The acting is pretty good and the cast includes Charles Rogers, Richard Arlen, Gary Cooper, Roscoe Karns, and Clara Bow.

"Here's the way to uncork a right!"

I came across this old Gary Cooper movie on Netflix and decided to add it to the queue. This was okay and fun to watch play out for a movie from the era. This 140 minute run time was a bit long but the overall premise was well executed. I would only watch this if nothing better is on.

"I'm just as American as you! I'll show you!"

Grade: B-
September 1, 2015
Decided to watch this old film due to it being the first ever recipient of the Academy Award for Best Picture. As I've never watched a silent film before (or much of anything from this era) I didn't know what to expect and I'll admit my expectations weren't set too high. I'm glad to say that I thought the movie was great, especially considering the limitations of the time. While the backstory of two young men competing for one woman's affections came off to me as fluff that never really seemed important, the awesome aerial combat footage more than made up for it. The movie was directed by William Wellman who was a WWI combat pilot himself so I would expect nothing less. I found Jack and David's characters likeable and I didn't mind Clara Bow's part, Mary, though I did think she was a sort of a pathetic creature. And speaking of Jack; just how drunk, exactly, do you have to be to see bubbles shooting out of women's faces and bed posts? Damn man.
Overall, great movie. The dogfighting and combat were engaging, action packed, and had an amazingly authentic feel like you were really watching First World War combat footage. I recommend.
August 5, 2015
Simple, powerful storytelling.
July 27, 2015
Emotional, stirring, and profound with innovative battle sequences, Wings is one of the finest achievements of the silent era!
½ July 20, 2015
Winner of the first Best picture for academy awards. is this one of the better silent films I've seen? Yes, that being said this movie is sooo long. I could've done without so much battle scenes, but eh whatever I got the point and at least they were well done. The story went along nicely and the scripting was great that they displayed. The musical score was great. The battle scenes which were done before cgi or most special effects looked amazing. You could tell a lot of time, money, and overall effort went into making this film. I'm sure it was groundbreaking for the time. I really liked the main girl character-charming. A good act to follow for future film makers.
July 14, 2015
What you see is what you get! Since it was made in 1927, so of course no fancy computer special effect. It was real flying with no green screen! The actors had to learn to fly airplanes and then they would have camera attached to their airplanes. It's a dangerous movies to make. The director was a former pilot and he had to choreographed every flying scenes carefully and the results were amazing! The battle scenes on the ground was also amazing and I'm sure it was so extremely difficult to choreograph everything and there were so many things happened at once! The movie was quite dark and risque for it's time and now it's one of the best silent movies I've ever seen. Not only that, it's now become one of my favorite movies of all time. This movie was the first one to win academy award.
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