Road Rash Reviews

Wings, The Masters of Cinema Series Review*****

Cert PG | 144 mins

5 Stars of First World War aviation, rivalry and friendship.wingscover

A classic from 1927, remastered in 1080i. This epic story of love, rivalry and World War is from the brilliant talent of William A. Wellman, (A Star is Born) who went on to direct 83 films with many nominations, but this film stands in history as the first winner of the Best picture Oscar, the only silent film to do so.

This film is more American than apple pie, but can be forgiven due to what it took to make it. (see Special Features disk).

wingsjackmaryJack Powell, (Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, My Best Girl) dreams of speed and taking to the sky like a shooting  star, so he strips his car down to the bare bones to get the best speed, so that he can take out his dream girl, Sylvia Lewis, (Jobyna Ralston, College Days). But the girl next door has her own designs on Jack. Mary Preston ( Clara Bow, It) is a game girl and she helps Jack strip wingsdavidsylviadown his car not knowing that it will be Sylvia that will be riding by his side, much to the annoyance of the well to do David Armstrong, (Richard Arlen, Island of Lost Souls) who already has the affections of the lovely young Miss Lewis.

Jack doesn’t know this and tries his best to woo her. This is irritating for both Mary and David but that is put on the back burner as the call to war calls loudest.

Both David and Jack sign up to the air corps and spend months not learning to fly, which fuels their rivalry to the point where they have a public boxing match with no quarter given, Jack bashes three colours out of David until they realise that friendship is far better than  enemies.

wingswhiteThen they are off to flying camp where we meet their tent mate Cadet White, (Gary Cooper, High Noon). A 1½ minute appearance makes a career.

A good luck charm, David’s small bear goes with him everywhere and White doesn’t believe in them, so when White dies on a training flight David vows never to fly without it and Jack clings onto the locket from Sylvia.

What happens next would not be possiblewingsthethree now as a cast of thousands recreate France 1917 and the best special effects were hand painting flames on to every frame of film. So when you see planes flying in mad dogfights they are being flown by mad stunt pilots. Even the plane crashes are real with pilots getting broken necks and returning to their planes when they get bored of being trussed up.

Radical new filming techniques were invented for this film so that the actors could fly the planes with close up filming as they strafe the enemy.

Special Features include:

  • Grandeur in the Sky, Documentary.
  • Restoring the Power and Beauty of Wings, Documentary.
  • Video piece Dogfight!
  • 40-Page Booklet by critic Gina Telaroli.
  • and much more…

Utterly Brilliant.

wingsbanner1Available to Buy on Dual-Format Now.

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