Sunday, September 2, 2007

A William Wellman jag

After having watched William Wellman Jr.'s superb documentary on his father, Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick, I have been on something of a William Wellman jag lately. Wellmann, of course, directed Louise Brooks in Beggars of Life, not to mention Clara Bow in Wings - the first film to win an Academy Award.

I just saw Roxie Hart, the director's 1942 remake of Chicago with Ginger Roger's playing the title character. The film also featured Adolphe Menjou and a bunch of character actors I recognized. I liked the film, though I found it a little uneven at times. All in all, it's good and worth checking out. Right now I am watching A Star is Born (1937), Wellman's sparkling look at Hollywood then, (and now). Wellman co-wrote the story, and Dorothy Parker contributed to the screenplay. The film stars Janet Gaynor, Fredric March and Adolphe Menjou. If you haven't seen it, you must. It is really delightful, and something of a tear-jerker. It is a great film.

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