Paramount (1927) Director: William A. Wellman
Silent Film
2(II=picc).1(=ca).2(II=bcl).1 - 3322 - timp - perc(3) chimes/2 susp.cym/ch.cym/siz.cym/TD/2SD/cyms/tam-t/BD/tgl/xyl/vib/mar/glsp/3 tom-t/t.bells/wind machine/piano pin chimes/ratchet/brake drum - harp - strings (min

Commissioned by Photoplay Productions for Channel Four

First Performance
12.11.93, Odeon, Marble Arch, London: Carl Davis

Full score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Starring: Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rodgers, Richard Arlen Director: William A. Wellman Production Company: Paramount USA, 1927 Duration: 136 minutes Film Print: print tinted in accordance with original scripts available from Photoplay Productions (Film Speed: 24 frames per second) Premiere with Davis's score: 1993, London Film Festival 45 Players: 2(=picc).1(=ca).2(II=bcl).l - 3.3.2.ttuba.btuba - timp - perc(3) - harp - strings (mm Wings is an exhilarating action epic about war in the air which celebrates the bravery of early flyers. Written by one combat pilot (John Monk Saunders) and directed by another (William Wellman), the film was produced on a massive scale and needed the co-operation of the US government and its armed forces. The flying scenes have an epic grandeur - Wellman refused to stage them in the safety of the studio and sent his actors up in the charge of experienced pilots. He fought Paramount's executives to let him wait for visual effects such as clouds for the dogfights - and at the time he cost the company a fortune. It was a smash hit with the critics and the box office, winning the first Oscar for Best Film. Wings tells the story of two young men from the same town who join the Air Service during World War I. Rivals at first over a girl, they become comrades-in-arms and great friends. Decorated for their acts of bravery, their friendship ends in tragedy when one mistakes the other for the enemy and shoots him down. Carl Davis's symphonic score animates superbly the excitement of the film: the dramas of battle and love and breath-taking flying scenes.

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