Movie Information

In Brief: William A. Wellman's Wings (1927) won the very first Oscar for best picture — and unlike many Oscar winners since then, it was a deserved honor. It's also one of those rare Oscar winners that holds up to this day. First of all, it's truly an epic, but it's an epic grounded in human beings. The story of its three main characters — played by Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Richard Arlen and Clara Bow — remains fresh, vibrant and moving. More, it's a war picture made by a director who knew the war he was depicting first-hand, having served as a fighter pilot in the Lafayette Flying Corps in World War I, giving the movie unusual authenticity. (The fact that what you see is done largely without special effects adds to that sense.) But it also benefits from being a late-era silent picture — an era that saw film fully become an art form of its own. It was a full-blown event in 1927. It still is. This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke, published on Sept. 17, 2013.
Genre: War Drama
Director: William A. Wellman
Starring: Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Richard Arlen, El Brendel, Roscoe Karns, Gary Cooper
Rated: NR

The Asheville Film Society will screen Wings on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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