It's official. The fully restored WINGS (1927) the First Best Picture Oscar Winner, will be released on DVD and Blu-ray at long last in just over two months! Set for
release on Januray 24th of 2012. It is now available for pre-order at Amazon.
Starring Clara Bow, Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen, and also featuring Haroldf Lloyd's beloved leading lady the lovely Jobyna Ralston. The William Wellman directed Epic Saga of the air has never before been officially available in DVD let alone Blu-ray format. ClassicFlix had broke the news yesterday with a press release. Today this appeared:
Paramount Home Entertainment Proudly Presents the Very First Best Picture Academy Award® Winner on Blu-ray™ and DVD for the First Time Ever - WINGS
Fully Restored, Breathtaking Epic Debuts on January 24, 2012 Featuring Brand New Enlightening Documentaries on the Film and its Restoration PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT WINGS Paramount Home Entertainment Proudly Presents the Very First Best Picture Academy Award(R) Winner WINGS On Blu-ray and DVD For The First Time Ever January 24, 2012. (PRNewsFoto/Paramount Home Entertainment) HOLLYWOOD, CA UNITED STATES
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Paramount Home
Entertainment kicks off the studio's centennial celebration in 2012 by releasing
the inaugural Best Picture Academy Award® winner WINGS for the first time ever
on Blu-ray™ and DVD January 24, 2012. Meticulously restored to give fans the
chance to view the visually stunning epic in pristine condition, the 1927 World
War I drama explores the devastating effects of war through the story of two men
who go off to battle and the woman they both leave behind. Featuring
groundbreaking aerial dogfights and epic battle sequences, WINGS is both a
cinematic spectacle and a compelling story of love and sacrifice that
effectively dramatizes the bitter wages of war. The historic piece of cinema
stars Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Richard Arlen, and also features
Gary Cooper in one of his first feature film roles.
The filming of WINGS was a major undertaking for Paramount Pictures when it began shooting in September of 1926. Because the studio planned to make the film a major roadshow feature, executives immediately cast the top film star of the day,
Clara Bow. However, director William Wellman wanted to cast lesser-known actors
around Bow and ultimately chose Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen, as well as the
unknown Gary Cooper in a small, but key role.
Because of the extraordinary demands of the epic, the studio reached out to the U.S. Army for assistance and the picture was made with the cooperation of the largest garrison of troops in the U.S. at the time in San Antonio, Texas. Large-scale
battlefields were built on more than five acres of land near the barracks and
thousands of real-life soldiers appeared in the massive ground sequences.
For the breathtaking aerial battles, groundbreaking new film techniques
were used to capture a sense of authenticity that audiences of the day had never
experienced before. In fact, WINGS was one of the first films in which the
actors actually went up in real planes and were able to activate the mounted
cameras themselves—a brave feat for the likes of Buddy Rogers, who had never
At a time when few films cost as much as $1 million, WINGS' budget soared to an extraordinary $2 million. But the investment paid off when the film opened and became a resounding hit, playing for over a year at its original New York engagement. And in 1929 WINGS became the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as a second Academy Award for Engineering Effects, now known as special effects.
Because the original negative was lost decades ago, contemporary audiences have only seen WINGS in a compromised form. The restoration process utilized a duplicate negative housed in the Paramount archive, but despite this being the best element available, the negative was beset by damage, including entire reels that were strafed with scratches and printed-in nitrate deterioration that was literally eating into the edges of the frames.
Using state-of-the-art digital tools normally used to create special effects, the film was meticulously restored frame-by-frame. Original tints and effects, such as colors that were embossed onto the film strip to give flames and explosions a fiery look, were also digitally recreated based on a detailed continuity script that still existed and tinting/toning guides from the period.
For this release, the film's original paper score was procured from the Library of Congress and recorded with a full orchestra.Like many silent film scores, the music was a combination of original composition, popular songs of the period and themes from classical music. Musicians with expertise in silent film music were chosen to recreate a truly orchestral experience.
In addition, Academy Award-winning sound designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and the outstanding team of sound engineers at Skywalker Sound added World War I sound effects as authentically as possible using library sounds from earlier eras to give viewers a true-to-the-period experience.
The WINGS Blu-ray includes the new documentaries "Wings: Grandeur in the Sky," which gives perspective on the remarkable cinematic achievements of William Wellman and his team of filmmakers; "Dogfight", which explores the history of early aeronautics; and "Restoring the Power and Beauty of Wings", which details the painstaking process of returning this monumental epic to its original glory.
The WINGS Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with a newly-restored
musical score by J.S. Zamecnik in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and an organ score by
Gaylord Carter in 2.0 Dolby Digital that Wings fans may be familiar with, as
well as French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. Disc contents are as
Wings: Grandeur in the Sky
Restoring the Power
and Beauty of Wings
The WINGS DVD is presented in full screen with a newly-restored musical score by J.S. Zamecnik in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and an organ score by Gaylord Carter in 2.0 Dolby Digital, as well as French and Spanish subtitles. The disc includes "Wings: Grandeur in the Sky."
About Paramount Home Entertainment
Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. PHE is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment products on behalf of various parties including: Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, Paramount Famous Productions, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS and PBS and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.
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