Oscar Movies: I Wanted Wings (1941)–Special Effects


Shot on location at Randolph and Kelly Fields near San Antonio, Texas, with the cooperation of the Army Air Corps, Paramount’s war film is an agit-prop salute to that branch.
Mitchel Leisen’s film follows the lives of three young men, as they train in an aviation school hoping to earn their wings and be commissioned in the Air Corps.
They include wealthy playboy Jeff Young (Ray Milland), college athlete Tom Cassidy (Wayne Morris), and car mechanic Al Ludlow (William Holden)
As the production company arrived at Randolph Field at the same time as a new cohort of cadets, the filmmakers are able to match the three fictional airmen with the training pace of the real-life student-pilots.
Some of the aerial sequences are stunningly, and the wizardry of the special effects is impressive for the times. But the movie is bogged down by superfluous romantic subplots involving a photographer, played by Constance Moore, and a blonde siren, Veronica Lake in her screen debut (with the famous hairdo over one eye) who complicate the boys’ lives.
Used as a recruitment tool, “I Wanted Wings” is credited with being responsible for the increased enlistment in the Air Force.
Oscar Awards: 1
Special Effects: Fraciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings, photographic; Louis mesenkop, sound.
Ray Milland
William Holden
Wayne Morris
Brian Donlevy
Constance Moore
Veronica Lake
Harry Davenport
Phil Brown
Edward Fielding
Willard Robertson
Richard Lane
Addison Richards
Hobart Cavanaugh
Douglas Aylesworth
John Trent
Archie Twitchell
Richard Webb
John Hiestand
Produced by Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Directed by Mitchell Leisen.
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum, Lieut. Beirne Lay, Jr. and Sig Herzig.
Based on a story by Eleanore Griffin and Frank Wead from the book I Wanted Wings, by Beirne Lay, Jr.
Release date: March 26, 1941