Wings (1927)

Genres - Action, Adventure, War  |   Sub-Genres - Combat Films, Ensemble Film, War Romance  |   Release Date - May 2, 2012 (USA - Rerelease)  |   Run Time - 139 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Wings is the 1927 equivalent of Top Gun, with marvelous air combat scenes and just enough plot to keep the film moving at other times. While the film stands out primarily because of its production values, there's still room for strong performances by Buddy Rogers and Clara Bow and a small but important appearance by Gary Cooper. On the downside, there's the not-so-comic relief of El Brendel, whose contributions occupy far too much of the film's 139 minutes. When it came time for the first Oscars to be awarded, the committee selecting the winners struggled with whether to honor a film for production values or for artistic merit. They did both, giving a Best Production Oscar to Wings and a Best Artistic Quality Oscar to Sunrise.