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Screens & Tech

'Wings': Made-in-SA Academy Award winner still thrills

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Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Clara Bow, and Richard Arden in a classic still of Wings, filmed in San Antonio.

"I hope we meet some Heinies," says David, a sweet and eager chauvinist awaiting his first foray. Just about everyone — including the enemy — in this production is fair-skinned and earnest. When David's machine gun jams, his predator, German ace Count von Kellermann, is chivalrous enough to abandon their duel for another day. A German American named Herman Schwimpf, whose thick accent makes him a comic butt, is welcome to serve as a mechanic, though not a pilot, when he flaunts a Stars-and-Stripes tattoo. The reason that red-blooded Americans are so intent on making German blood flow is never explained. The invention of artificial wings, barely a century ago, was a signal step in the evolution of the human species. Use of those wings for combat marked the atrophy of the human brain. •

★★★ ½ (out of 5 stars)

Wings (1927)
Dir. William A. Wellman; writ. Hope Loring, Louis D. Lighton, based on a story by John Monk Saunders; feat. Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Richard Arlen, Jobyna Ralston (NR)


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