Sunday, February 6, 2011
The Winner Is... Silent Film: Wings (1927). It was the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and the only silent film ever to win Best Picture.
Wings (1927), Silent film about World War I fighter pilots, directed by William A. It was the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and the only silent film ever to win Best Picture. Cast: Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Richard Arlen. Gary Cooper appears in a scene which helped launch his career in Hollywood and also marked the beginning of his affair with Clara Bow.
In 1917, in a small town, Jack Powell works on his car, while daydreaming about airplanes. Jack names his car the "Shooting Star" while Mary Preston, paints a star on his car. Oblivious to Mary's feelings for him, Jack invites Sylvia Lewis, to join him on the first drive. Sylvia goes along, but she is in love with David Armstrong, who comes from a wealthy family. Later, when the United States enters World War I, Jack and David enlist in aviation school. Before they leave, Sylvia signs a picture of herself and puts it in a locket for David, but Jack thinks it is meant for him, she does not have the heart to tell him the truth. David, is hurt, but Sylvia explains that, although Jack has her picture, David has her heart. Jack almost forgets to say goodbye to Mary, but then runs back to tell her that she can use the car. During basic training, problems come between Jack and David, will they put their differences aside and become friends?
The air battles in this film I thought were amazing.
Comedian Max Linder, saw her on stage and thought she would be perfect for Hollywood, where she appeared in a number of his films. She also co-starred in, Humor Risk (1921), the lost comedy short film debut of the Marx Brothers. Soon director Hal Roach began to star the actress in one-reel comedies. She left the stage for the screen in 1922 when her mother's health began to decline and she needed to make more money to help pay the medical bills.
She starred with silent comedian Harold Lloyd in, Why Worry?(1923) and for the next five years appeared in six of Lloyd's films as his leading lady. It is for her onscreen chemistry with Lloyd that she is best remembered today. She would start the trend for romantic comedies with, Girl Shy.
Ralston co-starred with Richard Arlen, in the first Oscar-winning film, Wings (1927), with,Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, and Buddy Rogers. She would star in eleven more films . Her film career ended after when she became a mother. Her last talkie, Rough Waters (1930), with co star, Rin Tin Tin.