New thing #5: The First Oscar Winner

Before the 2012 Academy Awards I decided to see all of the best picture nominees. I did it again in 2013, and then again this year. My dad and I have made a tradition out of it.

With this year’s Oscars still fresh in my memory, I thought about how interesting it would be to watch the first ever Oscar best picture winner (back then it was called the Outstanding Picture award), which was:



Wings  (1927)

Starring Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, and Richard Arlen

A silent movie

…and a whopping 2 hours and 35 minutes!

What have I gotten myself into?

Short Synopsis/Review  ***Spoiler Alert***

Jack and David are both in love with Sylvia. Jack is friends with Mary, but Mary is secretly in love with Jack. Jack and David go off to war and become best friends and ace WW1 fighter pilots. I’m into it so far.


They fly around and shoot at German planes for most of the movie, and they are starting to lose me. It’s much, much too long. I almost fall asleep until the scene comes on where the soldiers are on leave in Paris, and Jack gets so drunk that he is hallucinating bubbles for 15 minutes. I’m back in.

At the end, David’s plane is shot down, but he manages to survive the crash and escape. He steals a German plane, and of course encounters Jack in the air, who doesn’t recognize him because he’s in a German plane! We all know where this is going.

Jack shoots down David, who survives the crash again, but he’s only got a few more minutes to live. After Jack realizes he shot down his best friend, they have a tearful (and slightly homoerotic) goodbye as David dies in Jack’s arms. I’m bummed. Jack returns home and realizes he really loved Mary all along, and Sylvia is left to mourn for David.  The End.

Watching this movie is a good example of why I’m doing this new things project. Even when I just feel like staying home on a rainy night and watching a movie, I’m still escaping my routine by picking something I would have never chosen otherwise.