William A. Wellman, 1927
Friday Sep 21, at 8:15 pm at The King Center
Directed by: William A. Wellman
Live musical accompaniment by: The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
Director William A. Wellman had been a pilot in World War I, and Wings is the first of his two tributes to that experience (the other is his 1958 Lafayette Escadrille). The film is a romance, involving Clara Bow, Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen, but most of all its combat scenes in the air are still remarkable. Wings won the very first Oscar for Best Picture in 1929.
Special Guest: William Wellman Jr.
(1905- 1965) Yet one more movie star from Brooklyn, Bow began acting after winning a "Fame and Fortune" magazine contest in 1921. She rose to fame instantly as the “It girl” for her role in the 1927 film It, which meant sex appeal, and she radiated a darling vivaciousness. Her stardom didn’t last, though. While Bow had risen from serious childhood poverty, she did not live a happy life. She married and moved to Nevada, where her husband became Lt. Governor, and lived out her days in illness and misery.
Charles "Buddy" Rogers
(1904 - 1999) Rogers’s best film by far is Wings. Otherwise he had a middling career, for the public highlighted by his long marriage to Mary Pickford (from 1937 until her death in 1979) with whom he starred in the 1927 My Best Girl. In addition to acting, Rogers was also a Jazz musician who performed in motion pictures and radio. He recorded several records throughout the thirties. He served in the United States Navy as a flight training instructor during WWII.
(1899 - 1976) At his birth in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1899, Arlen was given the handle Sylvanus Richard Van Mattimore. He grew up to be a pilot (although he never flew in combat), a swimming coach and a sportswriter. He played in plenty of lesser films, but his best-known are Wings and Beggars of Life (1928) for director William Wellman, and Victor Fleming’s The Virginian (1929).