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Wings (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD)
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SYNOPSIS: Forever granted a place in cinematic history by winning the first ever Academy Award for Best Picture in 1927 and the only silent film to do so, William Wellman's silent epic Wings is more than an Oscar winner, but an epic story of friendship with the type of thrilling action only practical effects can imagine...
Hometown best friends Jack (Charles 'Buddy' Rogers) and David (Richard Arlen) compete for the affection of a gorgeous dame (Jobyna Ralston), though Jack doesn't realise that girl next door Mary Preston (Clara Bow) has eyes for him as well. But World War I is soon upon them, so the boys are off to France to fight against the Germans. Meanwhile, Mary follows Jack into enemy lines as a nurse.
Wellman's epic drama combines the most spectacular of stunts with the most classical of melodrama, along with one of Bow's greatest performances and the screen debut of Gary Cooper. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this American classic in a beautiful new restoration on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as part of a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition.SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New high-definition 1080p presentation on the Blu-ray and progressive encode on the DVD
- Two optional scores: one by J. S. Zamecnik with sound effects by Ben Burtt, and the other by Gaylord Carter
- Three video documentary pieces on the film s production, restoration, and airplanes
- 48-PAGE BOOKLET containing a new and exclusive essay on the film by critic and filmmaker Gina Telaroli; an interview with William A. Wellman by Scott Eyman; an excerpt from Wellman s autobiography; and rare archival imagery
Clara Bow is mesmerising in this ahead-of-its-time air force drama --Empire Magazine
Long touted as a classic by cinema historians, and justifying almost every adjectival extravagance --Time Out Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Saw it on TV several years ago, and remembered how good the filming of the action shots was, especially for the time. This DVD didn't disappoint!Published 3 months ago by MR MERVYN ASKEW
First Oscar for best film says it all , no remake yet , can't find another Clara Bow .Published 3 months ago by Avon
What can one say? A worthy winner of the first Academy Award for best picture. Real aircraft, even a few from The Great War, not
CGI. And literally a cast of thousands. Read more
This film received an OSCAR for the best film for the year 1927. Its a CLASSIC. Great filmPublished 11 months ago by Peter Shipton