Wings is the first film to win Best Picture. Being a film buff, I’ve known this fact for many years. Only now have I decided to see the legendary winner for the first time. Since I don’t normally gravitate towards silent films. The very first Academy Awards presentation was held in the year 1927. When they were still fine-tuning the show. Not many people know why the ceremony was created. Most people assume the sole reason was to honor the best in cinema, but there’s a slightly less glamorous reason.
The other reason was to essentially bribe filmmakers with a trophy provided they continue to make high quality films. Whatever the reason, Wings set the standard for decades to come. Wings tells the story of two young men who enlist in the Air Force during World War I. Jack and David go through training and eventually experience combat. Wings features highly impressive aerial plane stunts for the time. Though the real star of the movie is “It” girl Clara Bow. She was the biggest sex symbol of the roaring 20’s. Her role as Mary, a woman in love with Jack who helps in the war, is very unforgettable.
Wings is full of firsts. It’s the first and only film of the Silent Era to win Best Picture. It was the first (but definitely not the last) war film to win an Oscar. Being a pre-Code Hollywood film, it does feature an early nude scene from Bow. It might even surprise you to know that it features the very first same-sex kiss in any movie. Luckily the film was recovered and fully restored. Though some people might have a hard time finding it. Wings is nearly a century old, but it still managed to elicit strong emotions from me and most importantly, remind me why I love cinema.