Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"WINGS" Starring Clara Bow

Clara Bow was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 29th, 1907. She was an American actress, who rose to fame in the silent film era of the 1920s and became known around the world as "The It girl".

In 1927 she starred in Wings, a war picture largely rewritten to accommodate her, as she was Paramount's biggest star at the time.

Wings is a silent movie about World War I fighter pilots, directed by William Wellman and released by Paramount Pictures. And also starred Charles 'Buddy' Rogers and Richard Arlen, with Gary Cooper in a scene which helped launch his career in Hollywood.

Wings was completed at a cost of $2 million, a then unheard of amount of money for a film. The film was written by John Monk Saunders, Louis D. Lighton and Hope Loring, with an original orchestral score by John Stepan Zamecnik, which was uncredited.

Wings went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Picture and also won a second Academy Award for Engineering Effects. The original Paramount release was color tinted and had some sequences in an early widescreen process known as Magnascope. Some prints had synchronized sound effects and music, using the General Electric Kinegraphone (later RCA Photophone) process.

Wings was an immediate success, premiering on August 12th, 1927 at the Critereo Theatre in New York and playing 63 weeks before being moved to second-run theaters. One of the reasons for its resounding popularity was the public infatuation with aviation in the wake of Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight.

For many years, Wings was considered a "lost" film until a surviving print was found in the Cinémathèque Française film archive and quickly copied to safety film stock. It was again shown in theaters, including some with Wurlitzer pipe organs.

Clara Bow died on September 27th, 1965. For her contributions to the motion picture industry, she was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1994 she was honored with an image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

Here is the "Wings" movie summary at Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans.


Pat R. said...

Actresses today just don't have this timeless beauty.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Timeless beauty is a fact Pat. And no tatoos.

Davelandweb said...

And the vintage posters...what a lost art those are. Wow!

TokyoMagic! said...

I now want to see this movie! I assume that since it is a Paramount pic, that it is not ever shown on TCM's Silent Sundays? I am going to have to see if it's available for rental.

Anonymous said...

Wow, can't wait to show this post to my movie buff friend John Dziobko. Thank you, Ray.

Barry said...

Wings was on TCM as I made a DVD copy from their airing. It's a bit long for a silent film but the aerial combat scenes are amazing for the time.

Anonymous said...

The combat scenes are not 'amazing for their time' - they are just amazing. Period. And you should cite the TCM site, since your commentary is mostly taken straight from it.