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PHE Press Release: Wings (Blu-ray)


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 15 2011 - 04:42 AM


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PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT PROUDLY PRESENTS THE VERY FIRST BEST PICTURE ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER
ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER



WINGS


Fully Restored, Breathtaking Epic Debuts on January 24, 2012 Featuring Brand New Enlightening Documentaries on the Film and its Restoration


HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. – Paramount Home Entertainment kicks off the studio’s centennial celebration in 2012 by releasing the inaugural Best Picture Academy Award® winner WINGS for the first time ever on Blu-ray™ and DVD January 24, 2012.  Meticulously restored to give fans the chance to view the visually stunning epic in pristine condition, the 1927 World War I drama explores the devastating effects of war through the story of two men who go off to battle and the woman they both leave behind.  Featuring groundbreaking aerial dogfights and epic battle sequences, WINGS is both a cinematic spectacle and a compelling story of love and sacrifice that effectively dramatizes the bitter wages of war.  The historic piece of cinema stars Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Richard Arlen, and also features Gary Cooper in one of his first feature film roles.

The filming of WINGS was a major undertaking for Paramount Pictures when it began shooting in September of 1926.  Because the studio planned to make the film a major roadshow feature, executives immediately cast the top film star of the day, Clara Bow.  However, director William Wellman wanted to cast lesser-known actors around Bow and ultimately chose Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen, as well as the unknown Gary Cooper in a small, but key role. 


Because of the extraordinary demands of the epic, the studio reached out to the U.S. Army for assistance and the picture was made with the cooperation of the largest garrison of troops in the U.S. at the time in San Antonio, Texas.  Large-scale battlefields were built on more than five acres of land near the barracks and thousands of real-life soldiers appeared in the massive ground sequences. 

For the breathtaking aerial battles, groundbreaking new film techniques were used to capture a sense of authenticity that audiences of the day had never experienced before.  In fact, WINGS was one of the first films in which the actors actually went up in real planes and were able to activate the mounted cameras themselves—a brave feat for the likes of Buddy Rogers, who had never flown before. 

At a time when few films cost as much as $1 million, WINGS’ budget soared to an extraordinary $2 million.  But the investment paid off when the film opened and became a resounding hit, playing for over a year at its original New York engagement.  And in 1929 WINGS became the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as a second Academy Award for Engineering Effects, now known as special effects.

Because the original negative was lost decades ago, contemporary audiences have only seen WINGS in a compromised form.  The restoration process utilized a duplicate negative housed in the Paramount archive, but despite this being the best element available, the negative was beset by damage, including entire reels that were strafed with scratches and printed-in nitrate deterioration that was literally eating into the edges of the frames.  Using state-of-the-art digital tools normally used to create special effects, the film was meticulously restored frame-by-frame.  Original tints and effects, such as colors that were embossed onto the film strip to give flames and explosions a fiery look, were also digitally recreated based on a detailed continuity script that still existed and tinting/toning guides from the period.

For this release, the film’s original paper score was procured from the Library of Congress and recorded with a full orchestra.  Like many silent film scores, the music was a combination of original composition, popular songs of the period and themes from classical music.   Musicians with expertise in silent film music were chosen to recreate a truly orchestral experience.  

In addition, Academy Award-winning sound designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and the outstanding team of sound engineers at Skywalker Sound added World War I sound effects as authentically as possible using library sounds from earlier eras to give viewers a true-to-the-period experience.

The WINGS Blu-ray includes the new documentaries “Wings: Grandeur in the Sky,” which gives perspective on the remarkable cinematic achievements of William Wellman and his team of filmmakers; “Dogfight”, which explores the history of early aeronautics; and “Restoring the Power and Beauty of Wings”, which details the painstaking process of returning this monumental epic to its original glory. 


WINGS Blu-ray

The WINGS Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with a newly-restored musical score by J.S. Zamecnik in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and an organ score by Gaylord Carter in 2.0 Dolby Digital that Wings fans may be familiar with, as well as French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.   Disc contents are as follows:

·         Wings: Grandeur in the Sky

·         Dogfight!

·         Restoring the Power and Beauty of Wings


WINGS DVD

The WINGS DVD is presented in full screen with a newly-restored musical score by J.S. Zamecnik in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and an organ score by Gaylord Carter in 2.0 Dolby Digital, as well as French and Spanish subtitles.   The disc includes “Wings: Grandeur in the Sky.”


About Paramount Home Entertainment   

Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.  PPC is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands.  PHE is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment products on behalf of various parties including: Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, Paramount Famous Productions, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS and PBS and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.


 

WINGS

Street date:                            January 24, 2012

Suggested Retail Price:           $29.99 U.S. (Blu-ray)

                                                $24.99 U.S. (DVD)

Runtime:                                 144 minutes

U.S. Rating:                            Not Rated

Canadian Rating:                   PG


Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Jon Hertzberg

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Posted November 15 2011 - 04:49 AM

Sounds like a stunning package. About time!

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   dana martin

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Posted November 15 2011 - 05:42 AM

oh dear lord, please let that be the coverart, simply stunning wait ing for the new year to get here now. thank you Paramount  Posted Image


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#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted November 15 2011 - 06:03 AM

Ron Smith let it be known that this was in the works during my interview with him. Here is the snippet where he mentions this title (and some pleasing information about more good stuff coming - though the titles had to be redacted Posted Image )


HTF:   So, before I get to Breakfast at Tiffany’s in particular, is there anything on your short list?  Is there anything that you can do to satiate the, the rabid online community as far as requested titles?


Ron:    Well, you know, [this popular title] has always been my favorite from the time I was a kid, so I’ve always been tickled to work on it.  It was pretty exciting and we’ve reached back into our library where I’m just finishing up [another highly request HTF title] right now.


HTF:   Wonderful news.


Ron:    And Wings - our department has been working with the Academy and a whole group of people to get that film done. And also Raiders of the Lost Ark.  We have done some preservation/restoration work on Raiders just ’cause – And that’s not the actual work we did on it was really, had nothing to do with Blu‑ray, because that’s really up to Lucas Films, Spielberg and Paramount.  We did it actually [because] we wanted to make a print.  You know, we wanted to be able to make a print of the film and we wanted to also be able to have a digital cinema version.  We basically had the desire to show that in a movie theater.


Click here for the full interview.


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#5 of 13 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted November 15 2011 - 09:20 AM

Cannot wait

In addition, Academy Award-winning sound designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and the outstanding team of sound engineers at Skywalker Sound added World War I sound effects as authentically as possible using library sounds from earlier eras to give viewers a true-to-the-period experience.

Fantastic news
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#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted November 15 2011 - 01:53 PM

Ron Smith brought us Breakfast at Tiffany's, African Queen and the Ten Commandments, so you know this is going to be a great release and I'm thrilled that a studio is going that far back in their catalog for a Blu-ray release.  Thanks and kudo's Paramount!



Bring on Indy!



#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted November 15 2011 - 01:56 PM

Oh man.  Never seen it (I'm slightly embarrassed to say), but I'm in for this!



#8 of 13 ONLINE   ahollis

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Posted November 15 2011 - 02:56 PM



Originally Posted by Chas in CT 

Oh man.  Never seen it (I'm slightly embarrassed to say), but I'm in for this!



I think you will really like it.  It is one of my favorite early films.  Clara Bow is outstanding in the film.  I am really looking forward to this one.


"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#9 of 13 OFFLINE   jaaguir

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Posted November 16 2011 - 03:36 AM

According to the press release, Paramount has really gone to town for this one. They seem to be doing whatever is needed for all their classic releases, actually. The quality makes up for the small quantity. Kudos to Paramount. This release has made me take their blu-ray releasing efforts even more seriously. I have already pre-ordered.

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted January 22 2012 - 05:33 PM

Win one of three copies of Wings on Blu-ray!  To enter just send an email to contest 'at' hometheaterforum.com with Wings in the subject line.  Include your HTF member name along with actual name and address in the email.  Contest closes at 11:59 PM PT on Friday 1/27.  Winners must be able to provide a US or Canadian shipping address, be a HTF member in good standing and over 18.  Good luck!


Here are some images and video from Wings.  Please note that these are NOT screen caps:


Restoring Wings:

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#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted January 31 2012 - 03:35 PM

To Adam (or anyone else who knows) - When and where will the winners be announced?

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted January 31 2012 - 04:34 PM



Originally Posted by Mike*HTF 

To Adam (or anyone else who knows) -
When and where will the winners be announced?



Sorry Mike, so many Wings threads.  I announced them here: http://www.hometheat...amount-pictures  We have 4 other contests going on right now: http://www.hometheat...urrent-contests




#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted January 31 2012 - 06:03 PM

Thanks Adam.