Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

WINGS


HoldenIsHere
 Share

Recommended Posts

WINGS is a really good movie. Don't believe the negative Leonard Maltin review included on the movie's TCM entry.

It's a simple story that is very compelling. (Again don't believe the Maltin review)

The restored print that aired on TCM previously looks great.

The restoration process was discussed during that airing.

I presume that this was the same print that aired last night.

 

Supposedly Buddy Rogers was really drunk in the scene where his character is intoxicated (the scene with the bubbles).

According to Rogers, director William Wellman gave him champagne on the pretense to "relax" him but actually got him drunk to make the Folies Bergère scene more realistic. Rogers said that he had never drank alcohol prior to then.

 

tumblr_lthykiRUuT1qbxoi2o2_250.gif

 

 

wings-charles-buddy-rogers.jpg

wings1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw "Wings" a few months ago and promptly bought the dvd.

 

What struck me was the aerial footage. Pretty awesome camera work for 1927.

 

A classic in every definition of the word.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never seen this movie all the way through, and I hope it turns up on TCM On Demand (not streaming, which never works for me).  I feel as if TCM put the more interesting films on later (I barely made it through Dawn Patrol, one of my favorites), and put the SOS during prime time.  I like Sergeant York, but it's shown to death.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

WINGS is a really good movie. Don't believe the negative Leonard Maltin review included on the movie's TCM entry.

 

You can safely apply that sentiment to just about any movie that Leonard Maltin reviews.  Any correlation between the number of stars he awards and the actual quality of the film in question is purely coincidental.  WINGS, which is indeed a terrific movie, is but one of many hundreds of examples of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WINGS is a really good movie. Don't believe the negative Leonard Maltin review included on the movie's TCM entry.

 

You can safely apply that sentiment to just about any movie that Leonard Maltin reviews.  Any correlation between the number of stars he awards and the actual quality of the film in question is purely coincidental.  WINGS, which is indeed a terrific movie, is but one of many hundreds of examples of that.

I concur. I have enjoyed Maltin's work as a film historian, but as a movie reviewer....not so much.

 

I saw Wings for the first time last night, and couldn't have enjoyed it more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love WINGS but isn't nearly as good as THE BIG PARADE. Alas, some footage is missing. Originally 14 reels in it's Road Show engagements. It was later trimmed to 13 reels, which is the continuity we now have.  So we don't really know what was cut. Hopefully there was some indication that Clara Bow's Mary Preston character and Richard Arlen's David Armstrong actually met and knew each other. And he never meet Jack's parents, while David's are pivotal. And Jobyna Ralston's Sylvia Lewis who was the real love interest of the film for both young men, not Clara's character. barely in the movie, may have had a few other scenes. To me the ending of WINGS while good just doesn't make any sense at all. Why and how does Jack Powell (Buddy Rogers) end up with Mary? Just because Clara was the bigger Star? We pull for Mary sure, but Silvia isn't a bad girl at all and she has no one? What? Any man would have been thrilled to end up with a raving beauty like Jobyna Ralston. THE BIG PARADE has none of these perplexing liabilities, that's what makes it the far superior movie.

 

Buy the Blu-rays of WINGS and THE BIG PARADE from Paramount and Warner Home Video respectively. The DVD of WINGS lacks the two extra documentaries found on the Blu-ray edition. The DVD of THE BIG PARADE lacks the 54 Page illustrated booklet that is worth the purchase of the Blu-ray, for alone. With these two films finally on DVD and Blu-ray they are Essentials for any Silent or for that matter Classic Movie fan. 

 

I'm gratified that THE BIG PARADE is part of the World War 1 Festival, but like WINGS, it deserved a much better air-time. This is only the second time the restored version has been broadcast after last September's Premiere. I am disappointed that WHAT PRICE GLORY?  (1926) which debuted on TCM in November of 2011 is not part of the festival. John Ford's FOUR SONS (1928) is another picture that might have been included.

 

Want to mention a non- Silent here, I was blown away by Von Richthofen and Brown (1970). I film I have never heard of. Roger Coreman I think of as a director of silly trashy cheaply produced camp. This was anything but that. The attention to detail was impressive. Thank you TCM for airing this little known Minor-Masterpiece.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is NOT the restored version. Not even a restored version. If you buy the Blu-ray or DVD Paramount or in the U. K. Masters of Cinema your going to get sparkling quality from the 2011 restoration. You will get a recreation of the original the J. S. Zamecnik orchestral score. It also includes this Gaylord Carter Theater Organ score as an alternate track. Sadly, they did not spring for the Carl Davis score recorded for the Photoplay Productions edition in 1993. Still my favorite score for the film. I 'm very pleased that TCM finally picked up the new version last year, after many years of being stuck with the same worn old transfer. If you don't have the Blu-ray the two extra mini-documentaries on the disc alone make it worth the purchase.

 

There is nothing gay about either one of these characters. I suppose no one has ever kissed a best friend or their Father when they were dying? Please! This world today is nuts! It isn't even the first male to male kiss in the movie. That happens earlier when the French General is pinning medals on Jack, David and another man. Granted, the other man is slightly giddy.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There is nothing gay about either one of these characters..

 

You are correct.

I can see how someone could possibly come to the gay conclusion seeing the scene out of context, but the relationship between Jack and Dave is not a romantic one. 

The two men love each other, but it is not romantic love. 

 

Romantic love between men is something that is worthy of being depicted in film, but Jack and Dave in WINGS is not an example of this. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are correct.

I can see how someone could possibly come to the gay conclusion seeing the scene out of context, both the relationship between Jack and Dave is not a romantic one. 

The two men love each other, but it is not romantic love. 

 

Romantic love between men is something that is worthy of being depicted in film, but Jack and Dave in WINGS is not an example of this. 

I respectfully disagree. Directors couldn't really spell things out in those days, but Wellman used all the tools of his trade to make the point. In the scene I provided, it's in the music, in the way they hold each other, in the kiss. And in the cut to Clara Bow during the kiss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Huh, "It's all in the music?" I didn't even bother to look at the clip figuring it was the Gaylord Carter score, but looking at it now I have no clue where this music came from. It isn't the Carter, Davis, or original J. S. Zamecnik score. So I assume it was just dubbed in by someone. And there is no cut to Clara Bow, we don't see her again until the final scene. The photo in the locket is of Jobyna Ralston's Sylvia Lewis character, not Bow's Mary Preston.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Huh, "It's all in the music?" I didn't even bother to look at the clip figuring it was the Gaylord Carter score, but looking at it now I have no clue where this music came from. It isn't the Carter, Davis, or original J. S. Zamecnik score. So I assume it was just dubbed in by someone. And there is no cut to Clara Bow, we don't see her again until the final scene. The photo in the locket is of Jobyna Ralston's Sylvia Lewis character, not Bow's Mary Preston.

I don't mean in the specific music, I mean in the feel of the music. It's also in the way they touch each other. And the cut to the woman is at 2:10 -- sorry not Bow. These two men are in "love" with women, but it seems to me to be the love of Jack and Algernon for Gwendolen and Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest! The chemistry is between the men. A similar scene is in the opening of Bride of Frankenstein -- Shelley and Byron in one shot, poor Mary Shelley in another. A director's way of saying that whilst Shelley and Byron were carrying on, poor Mary was left out of the frame! They couldn't be as explicit in those days as Ang Lee and others were much later. This photo speaks volumes:

 

Wings.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Err, don't forget that Richard Arlen's David Armstrong when under the influence in a Paris cabaret carries off to bed with him a cute eager propositioning dancer. Possibly Ruth Taylor? Jack Powell fully intends to do the same with the luscious Arlette Marchal, but he is so drunk all he cares about are Bubbles! Now, never mind that Arlette's own bubbles are probably bigger, Clara's glittery dress producers all the bubbles he desires. But he doesn't even comprehend  it is the very same girl Mary Preston that he has known and dodged from back home for so long.

 

Anyway, THE BIG PARADE is on Friday night. Don't miss it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's no question that there's ambiguity here, as there was for all gay men in that period. Many even chased women. Even Oscar Wilde got married, and the men in Maurice tried to lead straight lives. But just look at the way Arlen fingers Rogers' hair! One of many clues. Of course, we'll never know for sure. 

 

I recorded The Big Parade the last time it was on, still haven't watched it, but hope to soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is nothing gay about either one of these characters. I suppose no one has ever kissed a best friend or their Father when they were dying? Please! This world today is nuts! It isn't even the first male to male kiss in the movie. That happens earlier when the French General is pinning medals on Jack, David and another man. Granted, the other man is slightly giddy.

 

This is obviously true, and if it weren't, you would've had the Catholic Church and every other guardian of 1920's "morality" howling for the heads of the filmmakers.  Funny how nobody at the time uttered a single indignant peep about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is nothing gay about either one of these characters. I suppose no one has ever kissed a best friend or their Father when they were dying? Please! This world today is nuts! It isn't even the first male to male kiss in the movie. That happens earlier when the French General is pinning medals on Jack, David and another man. Granted, the other man is slightly giddy.

 

This is obviously true, and if it weren't, you would've had the Catholic Church and every other guardian of 1920's "morality" howling for the heads of the filmmakers.  Funny how nobody at the time uttered a single indignant peep about it.

Not funny at all, that's how clever directors (and writers) got around the rules. That was the beauty of the language of cinema, before it got so explicit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is nothing gay about either one of these characters. I suppose no one has ever kissed a best friend or their Father when they were dying? Please! This world today is nuts! It isn't even the first male to male kiss in the movie. That happens earlier when the French General is pinning medals on Jack, David and another man. Granted, the other man is slightly giddy.

 

This is obviously true, and if it weren't, you would've had the Catholic Church and every other guardian of 1920's "morality" howling for the heads of the filmmakers.  Funny how nobody at the time uttered a single indignant peep about it.

 

Lo, Catholic Church must have had a field day with WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926) then. I'm not talking about Victor McLaglen's and Edmund Lowe's obvious profanities. Rather the soldiers repeatedly grabbing girls bottoms. One actually places a guy's hands there that she is dancing with on her own, because that's what she is used too and likes it.  And Lowe even kisses Phyllis Haver's breasts on camera. There are shots where ladies backsides are the only thing in the frame. Lowe pulling a hanky from out of the front of Dolores Del Rio's blouse as part of his magic trick and later tucking it back in from whence it came. Film was a blockbuster. Not on the scale of THE BIG PARADE, but it still broke numerous house records around the country.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lo, Catholic Church must have had a field day with WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926) then. I'm not talking about Victor McLaglen's and Edmund Lowe's obvious profanities. Rather the soldiers repeatedly gabbing girls bottoms, one actually places a guy's hands there she is dancing with on her own, because that's what she is used too.  And Lowe even kisses Phyllis Haver's breasts on camera. There are shots where ladies backsides are the only thing in the frame. Lowe pulling a hanky from out of the front of Dolores Del Rio's blouse as part of his magic trick and later tucking it back in from whence it came. Film was a blockbuster. Not on the scale of THE BIG PARADE, but it still broke numerous house records around the country.

Well, that was before the code! And what about the "Turn on the Heat" number in Sunny Side Up? All those palm trees becoming **** at the sight of the dancing Eskimo girls! There's a great line toward the end of "I'm No Angel," when the old judge leaves Tira's boudoir, and shakes hands with her. Mae says something like, "oh, even your hand is limp."

 

Talk about censorship!  I couldn't type the word "E R E C T!" We can make fun of the Hays Codes, but we've got a code right here!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is nothing gay about either one of these characters. I suppose no one has ever kissed a best friend or their Father when they were dying? Please! This world today is nuts! It isn't even the first male to male kiss in the movie. That happens earlier when the French General is pinning medals on Jack, David and another man. Granted, the other man is slightly giddy.

 

This is obviously true, and if it weren't, you would've had the Catholic Church and every other guardian of 1920's "morality" howling for the heads of the filmmakers.  Funny how nobody at the time uttered a single indignant peep about it.

Not funny at all, that's how clever directors (and writers) got around the rules. That was the beauty of the language of cinema, before it got so explicit.

 

Of course movies could get around the rules, but there were limits to that wink-winking that extended all the way up through the end of the Production Code.  You would never see interracial romantic scenes between whites and blacks, and you never saw any actual romantic scenes between same-sex couples, only parodies that were obviously comic, or scenes of male friendship bonding under emotional conditions, such as you had in Wings.  There was enough public sympathy for bootleggers in the age of prohibition to let the Volstead Act be ignored and even implicitly preached against on the screen, but there was no such sympathy for "race defiling" or "crimes against nature", which in the 1920's were taboos on the level of incest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I respectfully disagree. Directors couldn't really spell things out in those days, but Wellman used all the tools of his trade to make the point. In the scene I provided, it's in the music, in the way they hold each other, in the kiss.

 

The music accompanying the clip you posted is not the original score of WINGS.  

The 2012 restoration used the original orchestral score by J.S. Zamecnik. The Paramount restoration team retrieved the only known printed copy of this score from the Library of Congress.

During the scene where Dave dies, the tune of "My Buddy" is used in several moments. This song was a popular one among World War I veterans.

 

While directors did use techniques to present coded gay romances, William Wellman in WINGS was presenting a loving friendship between two men, not a romantic love story. The kiss is not a romantic kiss. Dave kisses his father before leaving for flight training in a similar way. 

 

Romantic love between two men is worthy of being presented, but I can't see that this was Wellman's intent in WINGS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Romantic love between two men is worthy of being presented, but I can't see that this was Wellman's intent in WINGS.

We'll never really know. Mrs. Buddy Rogers is still alive, maybe her husband shared something with her, though actors are not necessarily aware of the intent of the writers/directors. The fact is, the deathbed scene reads like a love scene; for example, that fingering of hair is a love, not a friendship image.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

I hope the version of WINGS that airs on TCM tonight as part of Day 1 of this year's 31 Days of Oscar is the 2012 restoration with the original orchestral score by J.S. Zamecnik, complete with sound effects like the ones that accompanied the original release of the movie.

 

Don't believe the negative Leonard Maltin review included on the movie's TCM entry.

WINGS is an extremely entertaining movie that tells a simple story in a very cinematically compelling way.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...