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William Wellman's eye-popping World War I aviation epic — the first Academy Award® winner for Best Picture — receives a stunning 4K digital restoration.
New digital restoration!
The first Best Picture Academy Award® winner, and the only silent to win the prize before last year's The Artist, William Wellman's Wings has long been considered a masterpiece of pre-sound cinema. Photographed with startling derring-do, the camera hurtling through battlefields and swooping through the skies — the aerial sequences are justly celebrated — Wings stars "It Girl" Clara Bow as a woman who becomes an ambulance driver in WWI to be close to her hometown beloved, a fighter pilot (Buddy Rogers) who seems to prefer his rival turned best friend (Richard Arlen) to any earthbound romance. (A then-unknown Gary Cooper also makes a vivid impression as Cadet White.) Once thought lost until a print turned up in the archives of the Cinémathèque française, Wellman's great epic has been painstakingly restored to mark the centenary of Paramount Studios, a stunning 4K project that includes authentic sound effects from the period, the film's original music score, colour tinting and a recreation of "Handschiegl" colour effects for flames and explosions. With its European attitude toward nudity (both male and female), its Abel Gance-like battle scenes, and its sheer bravado, Wings proves as bold and engrossing as its vaunted reputation suggests. "Long touted as a classic by cinema historians, and justifying almost every adjectival extravagance" (Time Out).