Welcome to the first meeting of Club Oscar! It’s going to be quite a ride. Feel free to agree, disagree or share some Oscar trivia you may have stumbled on over the years! Enjoy.

Wings (1927)
Starring Clara Bow, Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, Richard Arlen & Jobyna Ralston

Jack Powell is in love with Sylvia, Mary Preston is in love with Jack, Sylvia is in love with David, the wealthiest man in town and David is head over heels in love with Sylvia. Whew! Talk about a love trapezium without a meeting point.

Jack and David find themselves in love with one lucky lady, Sylvia! However, bigger things are brewing thousands of kilometres across the Atlantic and the boys sign up for the Air Force. The First World War is in full flight as the boys begin their training. They are not the best of friends and there is a great scene where they grab the opportunity to beat each other up in the name of flight training. This ironically, transforms their friendship from combative to friendly. Good times!

Once the training is completed they head to the front line where they learn to fly (quite quickly I must add) a real plane. Tragedy strikes one of their own and their idealisitic view of war is shattered. Meanwhile Mary signs up for the Motor Corps and finds herself driving an ambulance. There’s a classic scene where she runs over a soldier who then plays dead to get her attention. Here’s a clip from just after the accident:

Full on war begins. There are some impressive fight scenes and fascinating biplane crashes! There are some questionable plot progressions including the scene where David’s gun jams and the dreaded German General, in a chivalrous gesture, retreats, saving Dave-o from certain death.

In the final days of war, Jack and David are in the thick of it. There are some really tense moments. I was really getting into it! By the end David nearly dies a few times but the ending is quite unbelievable! David escapes the dreaded Germans, steals a plane which ultimately results in his demise! Sad, sad moment when handsome Dave dies. The war is then won and the troops head home.

Mary busted in a risque moment

I must admit to writing this film off before I had started watching it. But, hat in hand, I come to you as a silent film skeptic no more. I loved this film. It was funny, heartwarming, tense; impressive really. There were incredible fight scenes in the skies and there was even animation (bubbles!!!). It was risque, emotional and very dramatic. They combined necessary silent film melodrama with real experiences that would have been quite raw for the audience. I warn you that this is a ra ra go pro America movie, very patriotic but if you can just accept that you will enjoy it for what it is!

When I watch Oscar winning films, I expect a lot. What makes a film worthy of the Best Picture award? There has to be something epic and original about it. This film had it all. It covered war, friendship, fidelity, love, family, sex, morals and loss. Wings is epic and timeless. I highly recommend you take the time to experience the birth of a new era in film. It’s awesome.

Wings Trivia:

  • Budget: An incredible $2 million
  • In 1927 Charles Lindbergh flew non stop across the Atlantic and this boosted the popularity of Wings with audiences, they were fascinated with flying!
  • For a time all copies of Wings were lost until it was found in an archive in Paris! C’est la vie! They immediately copied it and now we have it on Youtube!
  • Along with the Academy Award for Best Picture, Wings received Oscars for Best Effects, Engineering Effects.

First film down, only eighty something to go! The next film we’re looking at is The Broadway Melody (1929) starring Charles King, Anita Page and Bessie Love. See you next Monday at the Oscar Club!