This is the very first film, and the only silent film, to win best Oscar. It beat out some great films like Sunrise, The Last Command, The Crowd, Metropolis but does this make it a bad movie? I don't think so even though the other films, I believe, are better . Wings is is a great film that has some excellent aerial battles. The director, William Wellman, was part of the famous Lafayette Flying Corps so his heart was truly in this film. Wings is about 2 rivals who grew up together and the girl they both end up loving, played by Clara Bow. The boys go to war and become friends especially when a new mate dies soon after they meet him(played by Gary Cooper that catapulted him to stardom). The melodrama is secondary to the war that was very fresh to everyone since it ended only 9 years before. They often show the aerial and land battles in documentaries since so little was filmed during the actual war. This film is worth seeing.
2. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY-1941
Talk about a big upset that now makes many critics deride this film, unfairly in my book. Why? This is the year of Citizen Kane, arguable the greatest film ever made( I believe it is better than The Godfather). It also is the year of The Maltese Falcon, The Little Foxes, Suspicion, Meet John Doe and The Lady Eve. Does this make How Green Was My Valley a crappy movie? Not in my books and I really like this film. It stars a young Roddy McDowall who is part of this family of miners led by the patriarch, Donald Crisp. The daughter is the beautiful Maureen O’Hara who loves the local preacher played by Walter Pidgeon. Their lives are shown around this the Welsh village that unites families because of the mines. John Ford directed this film with a gentle hand since he loved his heritage and it shows. One has to look at this film on its own not that it beat out all the other films.
3. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY-1953
This film has an all star cast set just before and during the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Burt Lancaster is a Sergeant in the army who is having a lusty affair with Deborah Kerr, the wife of his Captain. You see them famously make out on the beach while the waves crash about them. You have the soldiers in the barracks from the brutal bullet-headed Ernest Borgnine who bullies everyone but especially Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra. The climax of the film is the bombing which was really well done for this time. Once again, this film won over the likes of Shane, Roman Holiday, Stalag 17, The Bandwagon and The Big Heat. This film is excellent even if one thinks it should not have won and should be seen , once again, on its own merit. Frank Sinatra won an Oscar and rebuilt his career from the ashes due to this film.
So which 3 would you choose?