Wednesday, 18 January 2012

First Oscar winner Wings flies back onto big screen



First Oscar winner Wings flies back onto big screen

With The Artist sweeping all before it (and quite rightly too) with three Golden Globes and twelve - yes, 12 - BAFTA nominations my prediction that 2012 would be the year of the silent film looks to have been correct.  If The Artist can renew interest in silent cinema, as it certainly looks to have done, then it can only be a good thing.

And as The Artist looks a shoo-in for an Oscar or two what better time to re-release the last silent film to receive the Best Picture award, 1927's Wings starring Clara Bow.  Some lucky American cinemagoers will today get the opportunity to experience Wings on the big screen as Paramount Pictures celebrates its 100th anniversary.  Even better the newly-restored footage will be accompanied by a live in-house organ!

Hopefully something similar will take place on this side of the Pond at some point.  With the success of The Artist it is more than likely.  In the meantime, by way of compensation, Wings looks to be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 24th January.

Jack Powell (Charles Rogers) and Sylvia Lewis (Jobyna Ralston) in Wings.
Image courtesy of IMDb.com

Many people focus on Clara Bow in the film and perhaps rightly so as she was very much a sex-symbol of the time.  I must admit, though, to not being a huge fan of Miss Bow and particularly not in this film which also stars one of my favourite actresses of the 1920s, Jobyna Ralston, who is perhaps best known for starring opposite Harold Lloyd in six of his pictures from 1923 to 1927.  She's one of my vintage crushes, as it happens, and I think she deserves a post all of her own at some point in the future.

In the meantime I shall return to my Harold Lloyd collection and wait excitedly for further developments in the silent film revival that is definitely getting up a head of steam this year.  Hurrah for the silent black-and-white!

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