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4.6 out of 5 stars
Wings (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD)
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2012
I've been waiting for this for some time after seeing it years ago on Channel 4 in a silent classics season (included "The Birth of a Nation" and "Intolerance") When I watched it all those years ago (around 1990?) I was stunned by the story telling, the acting and the brilliant camera work. The flying sequences are still to this day some of the best I've ever seen on film.

The disc did not disappoint the transfer is superb, the soundtrack excellent and the movie itself every bit as good as I remember in fact it was better than I remembered. When you consider all the flying had to be done for real, then the aerial set pieces really are a joy to behold and truly breathtaking. 10/10!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2012
I too first saw this in Channel 4's silent season in the 80s and was bowled over by it. It's a sprawling epic about pilots in the First World War and has some of the most spectacular aerial sequences ever put on film. Spectacular because everything was done for real. The story revolves around an affecting love triangle although the dynamics may not be quite what they appear and some modern theorists have suggested a revised interpretation.

I've been waiting a long time for it to become available on disc and it doesn't disappoint in any way. The restoration and transfer are superb, even restoring some of the original hand-tinting (but done by a computer's hand these days). Don't expect a modern pin-sharp image even on blu-ray because 20s film stock was very grainy and the fashion of the time was for a softish glowing image. However once you get past all the initial gloopy sentimentality and the training camp slapstick (which is very broad to modern eyes) and everyone ships off to France the story notches up a few gears. The action sequences are spectacular and the three leads are very appealing. The ending is heartbreaking.

The blu-ray includes several short extra pieces on the original production and restoration of the film, its scoring and an in-depth look at the aerial stunt work. The stunt pilots in the 20s were a daring bunch unhampered by modern health and safety regulations and some of the anecdotes are astonishing. There are two music tracks to choose from - a newly-recorded orchestral score taken from the original cues written for the cinema bands of the time and a pipe organ transcription(!). There are also added sound effects which some people have objected to but which would certainly have been part of the original viewing experience on its first release.

This is a great classic of early cinema and well deserves this release.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2013
This all region bluray really shows the potential for silents when there is good source material and care, love and cash is added in.
The image clarity is a bit variable but generally good to remarkable. This is fantastic for the aerial action which is legendary.
The new sound track of orchestral score plus sound effects is in glorious full hd in 5.1 surround with mainly the sound effects utilizing the surround features. Although some have not liked the sound effects it is consistent with the original presentation, of high standard and there is the choice of more traditional alternate organ score.
Non-silent devotees might find a few scenes with the posh flyboy's family offputting with rather hammy acting but overall the acting is naturalistic with Clara Bow magnetic and very cute too.
The extra's are very informative and add to your appreciation of the feature and admiration of the cast and crew; particularly the male lead who after every scene flying the plane himself would get out of the cockpit, vomit and then fly off again for the next take.
The style of this movie is good old Hollywood hokum spliced with realistic scenes of warfare, stemming from the directors and many of the crews wartime experience, rather than an artistic classic silent but there's nothing wrong with that.
Here's hoping that more silents receive this level of presentation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2013
This is a totally resurrected masterpiece!.Having seen a version (included)with a organ accompaniment and another,with an excellent score ,by the great Carl Davis,I have considered this film to be, one of the better World War I movies of the Silent Era,very good,but not a masterpiece like "THE BIG PARADE"and "ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT",however, I have just changed my mind!.A totally wonderful job of restoration ,sound effects and musical adaptation of the original orchestral score,has just been carried out! .WINGS, Winner of the first ever Oscar ,for Best Film ,alongside SUNRISE(given an Oscar for "Supreme Artistic Achievement"),is now viewable as it originally would have been seen at its' premier.For those of us that have sat through and enjoyed crackly and well worn prints of this film ,this is no minor miracle!.Beautifully restored,to a longer 144 mins.,from an original negative print,this film is transformed from a very good ,but corny film,with great battle scenes(using squadrons of original World War I planes),into a very moving and stirring experience!.This is a must see for silent movie fans and all lovers of war films.With a debut appearance by Gary Cooper and brave committed flying performances by Charles Rogers and Richard Arlen + a charming and charismatic performance by Clara Bow.Also great value and Region Free!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2013
The restoration of Wings is a magnificent achievement. The film looks fresh and reveals the magnificent skill of its under-rated director. The score too is stirring and beautifully reproduced. The extras, however, virtually ignore Clara Bow. Yet she is such a vivid presence in the film. Concentrating instead of the technical aspects of aviation at the period (interesting up to a point), for film fans - and it's surely film fans who will buy this film - Clara Bow is the chief draw, or at least a major one.
Still, the film is splendid and so are its fabulous stars - enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2014
I bought the disk to see what Clara Bow was like. Needless to say it satisfied my curiosity even though her role wasn't the main focus of the film. What makes this film is the way it has been made. Forget about digital special effects, when you see a plane crash, you see an actual plane crash. Instead of a cast of thousands you get a cast of several thousands. What looks like toy tanks from the air are real tanks on the ground. If all that wasn't enough, the innovative way in which the images have been filmed simply beggars belief. Given that it is a war film with dog fights in the sky, the inclusion of special sound effects add an extra touch of realism absent from many action films of the silent era. Of course there are the usual overly dramatic scenes needed due to the absence of dialogue that slow the plot at times - as with all silent films, but that only serves to make the action scenes even more exciting. A film I must watch again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2013
My husband had wanted this film on DVD as soon as he had read that it had been remastered. It had not been available except for America and we do not have a multi region player. I was worried that this Spanish version would be badly dubbed until I discovered it is a silent movie. My husband was delighted and the film is perfect. The subtitles option just shows the Spanish translation of the printed dialogue so left off the film is as originally shown.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2014
One of the most impressive, dramatic, emotional, beautiful silent films I have ever seen. The live shots of such early warplanes is nothing less than astonishing. And the stars themselves piloted the stunts for the most part, with cameras mounted on the front of the plances: they had no choice as there was no CGI in those days.

The actors are beautiful and portray their emotional with great profundity -- another astonishing achievement as they do not have the aid of spoken dialogue.

A great achievement by the filmmakers, and kudos to Masters of Cinema for making it possible to see such a wonderful print of such a marvelous film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2012
At last this classic silent WW1 movie is now available on dvd and blu ray and it was the first movie to win best picture in the academy awards and this and "The artist" are the only two silent movies which have won best picture. The aerial sequences are brilliantly made in it's day and Richard Arlen and Charles Rogers done all the flying sequences by themselves. Also a young Gary Cooper appears in one scene which launched his career in Hollywood and if you haven't seen this silent classic, then it's well worth buying on dvd or blu ray.
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on 2 February 2013
OK this one is for (only?) the cineaste. Interested in cinema/history of cinema?
Picture/definition; well that's alright. Quite quite viewable; can't say more.
It's not re-mastered, I don't think, but it's quite well transferred onto DVD.
It's a S.American or Spanish DVD titled ALAS with Wings underneath.
You can watch it with Spanish sub-titles or not; you'll choose NO.
Then Ver Pellicula that is watch film and away it goes.
Sub titles are, of course, in the body of the film, asper silents.
Maybe a little slow by modern standards but hey if you got it you're
judging by facilities and standards of 1927.
Pre./Post/during WW1. Love story and planes in combat.
Nuff said - CLARA BOW is the girl! Gary Cooper; in
maybe his first film appearance gets a small part.
If you want to take in a little Spanish leave sub-titles on.
Thi is/was a very big production and the aerial dog-fights are
well done. 'Course you'll like Clara Bow - that's mandatory.
Welcome comments. Asper usual Amazon had this and other
selections.
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