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

Drama Action War
144 min     7.2     1927     USA


Two young men, one rich, one middle class, both in love with the same woman, become US Air Corps fighter pilots and, eventually, heroic flying aces during World War I. Devoted best friends, their mutual love of the girl eventually threatens their bond. Meanwhile, a hometown girl who's the lovestruck lifelong next door neighbor of one of them pines away.


CinemaSerf wrote:
OK, so the initial story is all a bit of well trammelled soap. "Jack" (Buddy Rogers) and "David" (Richard Arlen) come from different sides of the streets - but they both fall in love with "Sylvia" (Jobyna Ralston). She probably prefers the latter, wealthier man, but plays both along whilst the former's neighbour "Mary" is deeply enamoured with him even if her affections go unreturned. Things change tack rather, though, when the US Army Air Service needs their flying skills during the Great war in France so off they go to face the legendary fighter aces of the Bosch. There's no love lost between those two romantic rivals but gradually the constant dangers and streams of bullets whizzing by their heads each day, wear down this antipathy and soon the two are firm friends. Meantime, "Mary" has decided that she has to do her bit for the cause (and "Jack") too - so she joins up too as a driver, but will her beloved even notice? The acting is all fine, Bow flutters her eyes and smiles whilst the gents exude a camaraderie that's suitably uplifting. It's really the photography that sets this apart. The aerial combat scenes - the dogfights - are superbly presented with a surprisingly effective degree of authenticity. Not just with the visuals, but William Wellman makes sure the story delivers a realism - and some humour - to it too. It's war and tragedy happens - sometimes very close to home for these two men. An early appearance from a rather gangly Gary Cooper might catch your eye, but not so much as the imagery which is captivating at times. You can just imagine audiences back in 1927 believing that this is what wartime France was like.