Jul 8, 2015


The fact that Wings won the inaugural (and official) Best Picture prize over the likes of The Crowd and Sunrise is indicative that the honor of being the very "Best" picture of the year comes with preferential criteria, and has been this way since Oscar was a fetus.

Watching it today, it's no surprise that this fairly forgotten picture was selected as the best of 1927-1928. It tells of war, it tells of miraculous heroism, it showcases scenes of groundbreaking spectacle--all of which are essentially 'no-brainer' pieces of bait today. I admit, I didn't care for Wings the very first time I watched it. Like many other war epics, it rambles on a little longer than it needs to (a rather ridiculous drunk/party sequence in the film's midsection is wholly out of place and shouldn't be there at all) and its reliance on excessive intertitles to fill in the viewer on the exact action of what is happening is silly and burdensome. However, with a more mature set of eyes I found myself a lot more interested in the picture this time around. The camera work is wonderfully done, the companionship depicted between Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen is sweet, and the action sequences--as underwhelming as they may seem today with in its extreme long-shot presentation--should still be respected by merit alone. And even though Wings isn't the most amazing picture I've ever seen, I was still surprised by the depth of its cutting-edge action and its simple yet effective storytelling.

1 comment:

  1. Suddenly leaping back to the late 20s, rather shows up the bland crop the mid-40s were, doesn't it? It's been years since I've watched, but I'm sure I could sit through Wings with more patience than Since You Went Away. Still, I agree both The Crowd and Sunrise haunt the memory much longer.