William A. Wellman
Director, Actor
William A. Wellman
William Augustus Wellman was an American film director. Although Wellman began his film career as an actor, he worked on over 80 films, as director, producer and consultant but most often as a director, notable for his work in crime, adventure and action genre films, often focusing on aviation themes, a particular passion. He also directed several well regarded satirical comedies.
Biography
William A. Wellman's personal information overview.
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News
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Festival Lumière 2011 : Lyon éclaire le patrimoine cinéphilique - ECRAN NOIR
Google News - over 5 years
Rétrospective de William Wellman, cinéaste de l'âge d'or du cinéma hollywoodien qui a abordé aussi bien le western que la comédie, le film de gangster... - Focus sur Roger Corman, cinéaste et producteur américain et qui a lancé les carrières,
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Festival Lumière : «avec Depardieu, on s'attend à tout» - Libé Lyon
Google News - over 5 years
Autres cinémas mis en lumière : ceux de William Wellman, Roger Corman ou encore les chefs d'œuvre Yakuza. Pour cette 3 e édition, le Festival Lumière invite beaucoup de professionnels de la restauration de films, de la vente des droits,
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Leonardo DiCaprio Won't Lead 'A Star Is Born'; Beyoncé's Pregnancy Pushes Back ... - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The story was first made as a drama by William Wellman in 1937, but truly became legendary when it became a musical in 1954 starring Judy Garland and directed by George Cukor. In 1976, Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson tried to repeat that
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'The Artist': Can a silent flick speak to Oscar today? - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
William Wellman's 1937 rendition starring Fredric March and Janet Gaynor scored seven bids, including best picture, director, actor and actress. George Cukor's 1954 classic earned six bids, including nominations for James Mason and Judy Garland,
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Christian Bale Considers Spike Lee's 'Oldboy,' 'A Star Is Born' & New Michael ... - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The familiar story about a wide-eyed girl dreaming of stardom who finds a helping hand from a washed out, alcoholic older leading man was first made as a drama by William Wellman in 1937, but truly became legendary when it became a musical in 1954
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Park along Texas, Mexico border sees boost from partnership - Reuters
Google News - over 5 years
Big Bend National Park Superintendent William Wellman said the reopening would ease research and restoration projects that have to be conducted on both sides of the river. "It's made it much harder," Wellman said of the closing
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Empire of Fools - Dissident Voice
Google News - over 5 years
In William Wellman's riveting 1943 drama “The Ox Bow Incident“, we find parallels to many illegal and immoral acts committed by those who are supposed to 'Lead Us'. In the film, a rancher is 'supposedly' murdered
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Ann Dvorak one unforgettable 'girlie' on TCM's Summer Under The Star Aug. 9 - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
A apparent forerunner to Friday Night Lights, College Coach, directed by William Wellman (who then years later would direct The Ox-Bow Incident) presents a surprisingly realistic look at just how obsessed some people get with local sports
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Movies and Film Series July 29 — Aug. 4 - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
Saturday offers a James Cagney double feature: William Wellman's 1931 “The Public Enemy” with Roy Del Ruth's cynical 1931 comedy “Blonde Crazy.” On Sunday Clara Bow visits a gay cabaret in Greenwich Village in John Francis Dillon's 1932 “Call Her
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This Week On DVD/BD: A Double Dose of John Belushi on Blu - The Morton Report
Google News - over 5 years
Finally this week, Warner Archive adds six films starring Clark Gable to their MOD collection, including William Wellman's Across The Wide Missouri, Victor Fleming's Adventure, Mervyn LeRoy's Any Number Can Play, Jack Conway's The Hucksters,
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Der letzte Befehl - DVD Palace
Google News - over 5 years
... Fred Kennedy, Roy Kennedy, Jack Pennick, Charles Seel, Jan Stine, William Wellman Jr. Der Blu-ray-Transfer von DER LETZTE BEFEHL besitzt das Bildformat 1,66:1, was bedeutet, dass das Bild rechts und links kleine schwarze Balken beinhaltet
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A baker's dozen: interesting people at the Silent Film Festival - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
William Wellman Jr: the son of the Academy Award winning director has already written one book about his Father, The Man And His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture. He'll be signing books on Friday
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Screwball Comedy 'Nothing Sacred' In Enfield - Hartford Courant
Google News - over 5 years
William Wellman's film — written by Ben Hecht, who got uncredited help from Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman, Ring Lardner Jr., Budd Schulberg and David O. Selznick — will be shown Monday at 1 pm at Rave Enfield, inside the Westfield Shoppingtown mall at
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Highlights of the upcoming San Francisco Silent Film Festival - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
... books after the "Laugh-O-Grams from Disney" program; and William Wellman Jr., son of the multiple Academy Award winning director, as he signs copies on Friday of The Man and His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture
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Spaghetti Western? Yes please! - Creative Loafing Atlanta
Google News - over 5 years
This is as true of the works of John Ford, Howard Hawks, and William Wellman as it is of the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, and the (post) modern masterpieces directed by Leone's leading "man with no name," Clint Eastwood himself
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Robert Mitchum saddles up - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
Equally unusual was the series' title film, William Wellman's 1954 "Track of the Cat," which featured Mitchum as a born troublemaker, a full-bearded terror in a remote ranching family seething with rivalries and discontent. One of Mitchum's best films
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of William A. Wellman
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1975
    Age 78
    William Wellman died in 1975 of leukemia.
    More Details Hide Details He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered at sea. His widow, Dorothy Wellman, died on September 16, 2009, in Brentwood, California, at the age of 95. Notes Bibliography
  • 1973
    Age 76
    Several filmmakers have examined Wellman's career. Richard Schickel devoted an episode of his PBS series The Men Who Made the Movies to Wellman in 1973, and in 1996, Todd Robinson made the feature-length documentary Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick.
    More Details Hide Details The Academy Archive preserved "G.I. Joe" and the Academy Award Winning film "Wings," both by Wellman. Wellman revealed near the end of his life that he had married a French woman named Renee during his time in The Lafayette Flying Corps. She was killed in a bombing raid during the war. He was married four times in the U.S.: Dorothy starred in Wellman's 1933 film Wild Boys of The Road and had seven children with Wellman, including actors Michael Wellman, William Wellman Jr., Maggie Wellman, and Cissy Wellman. His daughter Kathleen "Kitty" Wellman married actor James Franciscus, although they later divorced. His first daughter is Patty Wellman, and he had a third son, Tim Wellman. William Wellman, Jr. wrote two books about his father, The Man And His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture (2006), and Wild Bill Wellman - Hollywood Rebel (2015). Wellman Jr. has been a guest-host on Turner Classic Movies to introduce films made by his father.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1952
    Age 55
    Regarding actors, Wellman stated in a 1952 interview, "Movie stardom isn't about acting ability - it's personality and temperament," and added, "I once directed Clara Bow.
    More Details Hide Details She was mad and crazy but what a personality!" Wings led to several firsts in filmmaking including newly invented camera mounts that could be secured to plane fuselages and motor-driven cameras to shoot actors while flying as the cameramen ducked out of frame in their cockpits. Star Richard Arlen had some flying experience but co-star Buddy Rogers had to learn to fly for the film, as stunt pilots could not be used during close-up shots. Towers up to a hundred feet tall were used to shoot low-flying planes and battle action on the ground. During the filming of Beggars for Life, a silent film starring Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen and Louise Brooks, sound was added to Beery's introductory scene at the behest of Paramount Studio. Wellman reportedly hung a microphone from a broom so Beery could walk and talk within the scene, avoiding the static shot required for early sound shoots.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1936
    Age 39
    He wrote the screenplay for two other films that he directed, and one film that he did not direct, 1936's The Last Gangster.
    More Details Hide Details He also wrote the story for A Star Is Born and received a story credit for both remakes in 1954 and 1976. Wellman initially worked fast, usually satisfied with a shot after one or two takes. And despite his reputation of not coddling his leading men and women, he coaxed Oscar-nominated performances from seven actors: Fredric March and Janet Gaynor (A Star Is Born), Brian Donlevy (Beau Geste), Robert Mitchum (The Story of G.I. Joe), James Whitmore (Battleground), and Jan Sterling and Claire Trevor (The High and Mighty).
  • 1927
    Age 30
    After directing a dozen low-budget 'horse opera' films (some of which he would rather forget), Wellman was hired by Paramount in 1927 to direct Wings, a major war drama dealing with fighter pilots during World War I that was highlighted by air combat and flight sequences.
    More Details Hide Details The film culminates with the epic Battle of Saint-Mihiel. In the 1st Academy Awards it was one of two films to win Best Picture (the other was Sunrise), although, due to tensions within the studio regarding time and budget overages, Wellman wasn't invited to the event. Wellman's other notable films include The Public Enemy (1931), the first version of A Star Is Born (1937), Nothing Sacred (1937), the 1939 version of Beau Geste starring Gary Cooper, Thunder Birds (1942), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), Lady of Burlesque (1943), The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), Battleground (1949) and two films starring and co-produced by John Wayne, Island in the Sky (1953) and The High and the Mighty (1954). While he was primarily a director, Wellman also produced ten films, one of them uncredited, all of which he also directed. His last film was Lafayette Escadrille (1958), which he produced, directed, wrote the story for and narrated.
    Wellman directed the 1927 film Wings, which became the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture at the 1st Academy Awards ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details Wellman's father, Arthur Gouverneur Wellman, was a New England Brahmin of English-Welsh-Scottish and Irish descent. William was a great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Puritan Thomas Wellman who immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1640. William was a great-great-great grandson of Francis Lewis of New York, one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence. His much beloved mother was an Irish immigrant named Cecilia McCarthy. Wellman was expelled from Newton High School in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts, for dropping a stink bomb on the principal's head. Ironically, his mother was a probation officer who was asked to address Congress on the subject of juvenile delinquency. Wellman worked as a salesman and then at a lumber yard, before ending up playing professional ice hockey, which is where he was first seen by Douglas Fairbanks, who suggested that with Wellman's good looks he could become a film actor.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1923
    Age 26
    The first films he was credited with directing were The Man Who Won and Second Hand Love, released on the same day in 1923.
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  • 1920
    Age 23
    Wellman made his uncredited directorial debut in 1920 at Fox with The Twins of Suffering Creek.
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  • 1918
    Age 21
    In September 1918 his book about French flight school and his eventful four months at the front, "Go Get 'Em!" (written by Wellman with the help of Eliot Harlow Robinson) was published.
    More Details Hide Details He joined the United States Army Air Service but too late to fly for America in the war. Stationed at Rockwell Field, San Diego, he taught combat tactics to new pilots. While in San Diego, Wellman would fly to Hollywood for the weekends in his Spad fighter, using Fairbanks' polo field in Bel Air as a landing strip. Fairbanks was fascinated with the true-life adventures of "Wild Bill" and promised to recommend him for a job in the movie business; he was responsible for Wellman being cast in the juvenile lead of The Knickerbocker Buckaroo (1919). Wellman was hired for the role of a young officer in Evangeline (1919), but was fired for slapping the leading lady, the actress Miriam Cooper, who happened to be the wife of director Raoul Walsh. Wellman hated being an actor, thinking it an "unmanly" profession, and was miserable watching himself on screen while learning the craft. He soon switched to working behind the camera, aiming to be a director, and progressed up the line as "a messenger boy, as an assistant cutter, an assistant property man, a property man, an assistant director, second unit director and eventually... director." His first assignment as an assistant director for Bernie Durning provided him with a work ethic that he adopted for future film work. One strict rule that Durning enforced was no fraternization with screen femme fatales, which almost immediately Wellman broke, leading to a confrontation and a thrashing from the director.
    Wellman's combat experience culminated in three recorded "kills", along with five probables, although he was ultimately shot down by German anti-aircraft fire on March 21, 1918.
    More Details Hide Details Wellman survived the crash but he walked with a pronounced limp for the rest of his life. Wellman's credits: Maréchal des Logis (Sergeant) Wellman received a medical discharge from the Foreign Legion and returned to the United States a few weeks later. He spoke at War Savings Stamp rallies in his French uniform.
  • 1917
    Age 20
    In World War I Wellman enlisted in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps as an ambulance driver. While in Paris, Wellman joined the French Foreign Legion and was assigned on December 3, 1917 as a fighter pilot and the first American to join N.87 escadrille in the Lafayette Flying Corps (not the sub-unit Lafayette Escadrille as usually stated), where he earned himself the nickname "Wild Bill" and received the Croix de Guerre with two palms. N.87, les Chats Noir (Black Cat Group) was stationed at Lunéville in the Alsace-Lorraine sector and was equipped with Nieuport 17 and later Nieuport 24 "pursuit" aircraft.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1896
    Born
    Born on February 29, 1896.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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