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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Oscar's 1st Best Picture, Wings Screening in LA

On Wednesday, January 18th the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive will premier a brand new digital restoration print of Wings complete with a live musical accompaniment by Clark Wilson on the Allen Theatre Organ.

Directed by William A. Wellman (Beau Geste, Battleground), Wings holds the distinction of being the very first Academy Award winner ever for Best Picture. The WWI saga stars Clara Bow (Hoop-La, It), Charles "Buddy" Rogers (My Best Girl, Safety in Numbers) and Richard Arlen (Alice in Wonderland, 1933), and features a very young and then unknown Gary Cooper. The success of the film isn’t so much about the standard love triangle created by the three main stars, but the drama of the pilots as they battle it out amongst the Germans in the sky. Of course the two rivals ultimately become good friends, as tragedy waits for one of them and the girl for the other.

The special Academy presentation is part of an ongoing celebration of Paramount Pictures' 100th anniversary. With honor and prestige in mind, Paramount has pulled out all the stops in order to restore the studio’s earliest great achievement, Wings, the official first Best Picture Oscar winner. A groundbreaking film for its time, the visually stunning tale will return to the big screen in a vibrant and meticulously restored print that will include original color tints and recreate the “Handschiegl” color process used for some of the visual effects (which earned the film a second Academy Award).

With a live organ accompaniment providing an authentic atmosphere in which to experience an an old fashioned silent movie, and the added bonus of "Paramount’s Movie Milestones: A Centennial Celebration," an exhibition of photographs, posters, design sketches and personal correspondence highlighting some of Paramount’s most celebrated films and filmmakers over the past 100 years, you better be sure to arrive early in order to experience everything the evening has to offer. For just $5 (are you kidding me?) for general admission and $3 for Academy members and students it’s a price you can’t beat for the best gift you can get yourself this holiday season.

Frankly, the price seems outrageously inexpensive, so don’t hesitate and use the image above as a link to get your tickets now. Doors open at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 18th with the film starting at 7:30 p.m. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is located at 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 90211. Tickets are on sale now at the Academy Box Office, or you can order tickets online now.

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