Last night, The Artist captured Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Do you know when the last silent film took home that Oscar? 1929 (the year of the first Academy Awards); Wings was the winner. I’ve been stumbling across this fact in the majority of Oscar coverage and, as luck would have it, a restored version of Wings was released this year on DVD.
Wings‘ plot is a twist on the familiar boy meets girl story. In Wings, a boy falls in love with a girl, but she is in love with someone else, but there is another girl who is in love with the first boy. It’s not important. Wings has something better than plot: World War I fighter pilot action. And no CGI. They mounted the cameras on planes for all the flight scenes. The director, William Wellman, was also a WWI fighter pilot and used his experiences to recreate action. It also has star power. The film stars one of the most famous actresses from the silent era, Clara Bow. It also features a very young Gary Cooper, but not for very long (I’ve said too much).