From unprecedented aerial stunts to being the only silent film to win an Oscar for best picture and even a Fayetteville connection, 1927's Wings has a lot going on. This Sunday, in honor of the World War I centenary, moviegoers can experience a screening of the film with live accompaniment from the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.
University of Arkansas film professor Frank Scheide explains that Wings was groundbreaking not only for its technical ingenuity, but also because it gave Americans at home a real understanding of WWI combat.
"It's a special kind of epic," he says. "It gives you a sense of what it must have been like, the adrenaline rush... the horrors of war and then how these people dealt with that experience afterwards."
Wings also has a local connection. Screenwriter Louis Lighton grew up in Fayetteville and graduated from the UA. He went on to work on more than 70 films and, as Sheide says, became a "major Hollywood player" in the mid-20th Century. Photographs and papers from Lighton's family are available now through the UA Library's Special Collections Department.
The free screening is Nov. 11, Armistice Day, at 2 p.m. at the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center on the UA campus.