Wednesday, September 9, 2015

William Wellman blogathon starts tomorrow

The William Wellman blogathon starts tomorrow. Hosted by Now Voyaging, the blogathon runs September 10-13, and will feature nearly four dozen blogs from across the web covering many of the director's best known silent and sound films.

The Louise Brooks Society is participating, and will cover Wellman's Beggars of Life (1928), starring Louise Brooks. We'll be posting some amazing and little know material on this singular Louise Brooks film. See you tomorrow. . . .

William Augustus Wellman (February 29, 1896 – December 9, 1975) was an American film director. Although he began his film career as an actor, he went on to work on over 80 films, mostly as as director, and sometimes as a producer, screenwriter, and consultant.

His ouevre is notable for his work in crime, adventure and war films, with a handful focusing on aviation themes. He also directed several well-regarded satirical comedies.

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. His other best regarded silent film is Beggars of Life (1928).

Wellman's notable films include The Public Enemy (1931), Night Nurse (1931), the first version of A Star Is Born (1937) which he also wrote, Nothing Sacred (1937), the 1939 version of Beau Geste starring Gary Cooper, Roxie Hart (1942), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), Lady of Burlesque (1943), The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), The Iron Curtain (1948), Battleground (1949) and two films starring and co-produced by John Wayne, Island in the Sky (1953) and The High and the Mighty (1954).

Wellman managed to elicit Oscar-nominated performances from seven different 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).

In his career, however, Wellman won only a single Academy Award, for the story of A Star Is Born. He was nominated as best director three times, for A Star Is Born, Battleground and The High and Mighty, for which he was also nominated by the Directors Guild of America as best director. In 1973, the DGA honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Wellman also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Wellman is the subject of an outstanding biography, William Wellman: Hollywood Rebel, authored by his son, William Wellman Jr. The LBS has read it and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Please nominate the the 1928 film BEGGARS OF LIFE to the 2016 National Film Registry. It's easy. All you have to do is send an email to filmregistry@loc.gov     Read more about William Wellman on his Wikipedia page or IMDb page.


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