16 April 2008

Buddy's the Man

Interesting article in today's Los Angeles Times comparing the two movies which were honored in 1929 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It was the occasion of the first Academy Awards recognizing films made in the 1927-1928 period. "Sunrise" was honored for its unique and artistic production, and "Wings" as best production.

I did not realize that there has been some kind of feud about which movie should really be recognized all these years later as the better film. "Wings," of course, appears in all the books as the first film to win the Best Picture award (not yet known as the "Oscar").

I've long been a fan of both films: "Sunrise" because it was directed by F.W. Murnau; and "Wings" because if features hottie Charles "Buddy" Rogers. (As good a reason as any.)

"Wings" is a fantastic film with aerial battles, Clara Bow, the French, etc. but give me Buddy Rogers in a uniform any day and -- Yowza!

Rogers (pictured here from the 1930 film "Young Eagles") was about as hot as you could get back in the days of silent pictures. I mean, look at him!

I came this close to meeting him some time in the late 1980s when I was attending a function at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He was a guest of honor (or, maybe, just an honored guest) and was in a wheelchair -- he would have been in his mid-80s. His entourage was all over him and I couldn't have gotten near him -- which is really sad, 'cause I would have loved to tell him how hot he was back then (although I am sure he knew).

You can read about the film feud here.

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