William Wellman - Rotten Tomatoes

William Wellman



A one-time juvenile petty criminal and hockey player, William Wellman went on to serve in the French Foreign Legion and later became a World War I air ace. Having lived a life that seemingly could only have come out of a movie, Wellman entered pictures after an accidental meeting with Douglas Fairbanks Sr., after accidentally landing his barnstorming plane on the latter's estate. Between 1920 and 1923, he rose from bit actor to studio gofer to director. After a stint in westerns, Wellman was chosen in 1927 to direct Wings, a major drama dealing with pilots during World War I that was highlighted by air combat and flight sequences that remain impressive over 60 years later. The movie earned the first Academy Award ever given for Best Picture, and Wellman's career was made. In the '30s, he proved adept at handling a variety of subjects, including the violent and controversial The Public Enemy, the original version of A Star Is Born, and the viciously satirical Nothing Sacred. Wellman's '40s work was similarly distinguished, and included The Ox-Bow Incident, The Story of G.I. Joe, and the Battle of the Bulge re-enactment Battleground, broken up by the occasional comedy such as Lady of Burlesque. Wellman's best work of the '50s was done in association with John Wayne, in Island in the Sky and The High and the Mighty, both about aviation. His final film was Lafayette Escadrille, about the unit in which Wellman had flown during World War I. Wellman's films, whether comedies or dramas, are usually vehicles for their male leads (or, in the case of Lady of Burlesque, the heroine) to successfully chew up the scenery as actors, and present themselves as bold--if occasionally fatally flawed--figures, often wrestling with personal demons that they don't fully understand themselves.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Reaching For The Sun
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet Men With Wings
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet Woman Trap
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet Chinatown Nights
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet Darby's Rangers
  • Director
1958
No Score Yet Lafayette Escadrille
  • Producer
  • Director
1958
No Score Yet Goodbye, My Lady
  • Director
1956
No Score Yet Blood Alley
  • Director
1955
No Score Yet Ring of Fear
  • Director
1954
25% The High and the Mighty
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Track of the Cat
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Island in the Sky
  • Director
1953
No Score Yet My Man and I
  • Director
1952
No Score Yet It's a Big Country
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Across the Wide Missouri
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Westward the Women
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet The Next Voice You Hear
  • Director
1950
No Score Yet The Happy Years
  • Director
1950
100% Battleground
  • Director
1949
No Score Yet The Iron Curtain
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet Yellow Sky
  • Director
1948
50% Magic Town
  • Director
1947
No Score Yet Gallant Journey
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1946
77% The Story of G.I. Joe
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet Buffalo Bill
  • Director
1944
94% The Ox-Bow Incident
  • Director
1943
60% Lady of Burlesque
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet Thunder Birds
  • Director
1942
No Score Yet The Great Man's Lady
  • Director
  • Producer
1942
89% Roxie Hart
  • Director
1942
No Score Yet The Light That Failed
  • Producer
  • Director
1939
100% Beau Geste
  • Producer
  • Director
1939
100% Nothing Sacred
  • Director
1937
100% A Star Is Born
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1937
No Score Yet Small Town Girl (One Horse Town)
  • Director
1936
No Score Yet Robin Hood Of El Dorado
  • Director
1936
No Score Yet Call of the Wild
  • Director
1935
No Score Yet Stingaree
  • Director
1934
No Score Yet The President Vanishes
  • Director
1934
No Score Yet College Coach (Football Coach )
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet Female
  • Director
1933
88% Wild Boys of the Road (Dangerous Days)
  • Director
1933
75% Heroes for Sale
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet Central Airport
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet Frisco Jenny
  • Reporter
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet Midnight Mary
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet The Conquerors
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet The Purchase Price
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet So Big
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet The Hatchet Man
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet Love Is A Racket
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet Star Witness
  • Director
  • Company Workman
1931
86% Night Nurse
  • Director
1931
100% The Public Enemy
  • Director
1931
No Score Yet Other Men's Women
  • Director
1931
No Score Yet Safe in Hell
  • Director
1931
No Score Yet Maybe It's Love
  • Director
1930
No Score Yet Young Eagles
  • Director
1930
No Score Yet The Man I Love
  • Director
1929
No Score Yet Beggars of Life
  • Director
1928
95% Wings
  • A Doughboy
  • Director
1927
No Score Yet The Boob
  • Director
1926
No Score Yet You Never Know Women
  • Director
1926

Quotes from William Wellman's Characters

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