Wings ★★★½

1927 and 1928 rival 1939 for the best year in movie history. Wings holds the distinction of winning the first Oscar, and while I wouldn't say it is the year's best film (SUNRISE, METROPOLIS, and UNDERWORLD are all masterpieces), it is a very good one. The aerial combat is still riveting and some of the effects hold up surprisingly well (I actually gasped at one moment towards the end of the film), and the love story is cute if meandering, with a delightful Clara Bow. Some of the personal elements go on too long (a comedic interlude with our drunken hero at a burlesque house is particularly interminable); at nearly two and a half hours a solid thirty minutes could have been trimmed easily to tighten things up. Still, this is well worth watching for those who assume silent movies are boring.