The Man and His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture

William Wild Bill Wellman was not Paramount Pictures first choice to direct the World War I epic Wings 1927 , but as a former aviator and war hero, he was the right choice Despite months waging epic battles of his own with studio executives, Wild Bill managed to finish the big budget war saga by inventing many of the techniques still used to film aerial battle scenes TWilliam Wild Bill Wellman was not Paramount Pictures first choice to direct the World War I epic Wings 1927 , but as a former aviator and war hero, he was the right choice Despite months waging epic battles of his own with studio executives, Wild Bill managed to finish the big budget war saga by inventing many of the techniques still used to film aerial battle scenes The film, starring Clara Bow, broke box office records and earned its studio the first Academy Award for Best Picture Considered by many to be the last great film of the silent era, Wings has been cited as a major influence on such directors as Martin Scorsese and Robert Redford Its director, who went on to direct the likes of John Wayne, James Cagney, and Gary Cooper, later earned an Oscar for writing one of Hollywood s most loved and often remade films, A Star is Born In this biography, the director s son, William Wellman Jr reveals the war hero, family man, occasional prankster, and underestimated visionary who changed Hollywood forever.Augmented with personal correspondence from Wellman s own World War I tour of duty as a fighter pilot, on set photographs from Wings and other classic Hollywood films, and anecdotes from the back lots of the early studio system, this unique work traces the way in which the first Best Picture s director used his own war experience to bring a war epic to the screen The versatile director also excelled at comedies such as Nothing Sacred 1937 , and had a lasting influence on the gangster genre with The Public Enemy 1931 , starring James Cagney With the recent release of Wellman s later aviation classics, Island in the Sky 1953 and The High and the Mighty 1954 , both starring John Wayne, Wellman is gaining renewed attention and appreciation from a new generation of film enthusiasts The book ends with a detailed Filmography of than 75 classic films directed by Wellman.
The Man and His Wings William A Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture William Wild Bill Wellman was not Paramount Pictures first choice to direct the World War I epic Wings but as a former aviator and war hero he was the right choice Despite months waging epic b

  • Title: The Man and His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture
  • Author: William Wellman Jr.
  • ISBN: 9780275985417
  • Page: 487
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Man and His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture”

    1. This is a son's loving tribute to his father, the maverick film maker William "Wild Bill" Wellman (1896-1975) who had also been a fighter pilot in the Lafayette Flying Corps during the First World War, experiencing combat with a French unit on the Western Front. What makes this story even more compelling is that parts of it are told by Wellman himself, who was always one to speak his mind.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *