I read that while making Wings, the studio was worried because she had a constant string of men in and out of her hotel room at all hours of the night. Just one look at Bow looking devastatingly cute in her army uniform, and you can see why men just flocked to her! Bow was not known for being a modest girl. Those flappers were rebels, and Bow was no different. Her beau Gary Cooper was in Wings in a short cameo, and it is totally obvious why Bow had such a serious thing for Cooper. He was so handsome, tall and striking.
Wings also turned me on to Buddy Rogers! Talk about adorable! He looked so young and naive at the beginning of the film, but by the end he had a hardened haunted look that only war brings. He gave such a wonderful performance as a boy looking for adventure and glory who comes home both proud and heavy hearted. I tried to do a little digging on the actor, to find out more about him, but I came up kind of empty. I looked for more of his films and found that many aren't available, TCM doesn't have him slated anywhere in the near future, and biographical information on him is almost non-existent. I did find out that he was married to Mary Pickford, and I know that Lillian Gish mentions him in her autobiography. If I find out any more, I will post it!
The silent film affected me much more than I anticipated. The war sequences were done so very well. It was the first pre-code war film I had ever scene, and the battles sequences (unhindered by the code) really portrayed the horrors of WWI. Many pre-code films did have anti-war sympathies, but not Wings. I think the director, Wellman, tried to take a realistic approach to war more so than choosing sides. The blood, violence and death scenes were incredibly poignant. I had to remember to breathe during the dog fights. The film is not without humor. When Buddy Rogers is drunk and seeing bubbles everywhere, I couldn't help but laugh.
So, If you haven't seen Wings yet. I think it should top your list, not only because of it's cinematic history, but just to discover the true magic of silent cinema! I just read that this movie was filmed int he same county where I was born, Bexar County, TX! Awesome!