Released in 1927, Directed by William Wellman

WINGS is a silent film about World War I fighter pilots, and was an immediate success, premiering on August 12, 1927 at the Criterion Theatre in New York and playing 63 weeks before being moved to second-run theaters. One of the reasons for its resounding popularity was the public infatuation with aviation in the wake of Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight.

The critical response was equally enthusiastic as the critic of the New York Times noted that the realism of the flying scenes was impressive. The film went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Picture at the first annual Academy Award ceremony in 1929.

William Wellman

About The Director

William Wellman was an American film director who began his career as an actor. During World War I, he joined the air wing of the French Foreign Legion, where he learned to fly. In France he served as a pilot with the Lafayette Flying Corps where he won his nickname “Wild Bill” due to his devil-may-care style in the air. In the spring of 1918 he was recruited by the U.S. Army Air Corps and taught combat fighting tactics to new pilots.