Format I Own: Digital (pdf)
Acquired on Saturday, September 21st, 2019
The extraordinary life—the first—of the legendary, undercelebrated Hollywood director known in his day as “Wild Bill” (and he was!) Wellman, whose eighty-two movies (six of them uncredited), many of them iconic; many of them sharp, cold, brutal; others poetic, moving; all of them a lesson in close-up art, ranged from adventure and gangster pictures to comedies, aviation, romances, westerns, and searing social dramas.
Among his iconic pictures: the pioneering World War I epic Wings (winner of the first Academy Award for best picture), Public Enemy (the toughest gangster picture of them all), Nothing Sacred, the original A Star Is Born, Beggars of Life, The Call of the Wild, The Ox-Bow Incident, Battleground, The High and the Mighty…
David O. Selznick called him “one of the motion pictures’ greatest craftsmen.”
Robert Redford described him as “feisty, independent, self-taught, and self-made. He stood his ground and fought his battles for artistic integrity, never wavering, always clear in his film sense.”
Wellman directed Hollywood’s biggest stars for three decades, including Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, and Clint Eastwood. It was said he directed “like a general trying to break out of a beachhead.” He made pictures with such noted producers as Darryl F. Zanuck, Nunnally Johnson, Jesse Lasky, and David O. Selznick.
Here is a revealing, boisterous portrait of the handsome, tough-talking, hard-drinking, uncompromising maverick (he called himself a “crazy bastard”)—juvenile delinquent; professional ice-hockey player as a kid; World War I flying ace at twenty-one in the Lafayette Flying Corps (the Lafayette Escadrille), crashing more than six planes (“We only had four instruments, none of which worked. And no parachutes . . . Greatest goddamn acrobatics you ever saw in your life”)—whose own life story was more adventurous and more unpredictable than anything in the movies. Wellman was a wing-walking stunt pilot in barnstorming air shows, recipient of the Croix de Guerre with two Gold Palm Leaves and five United States citations; a bad actor but good studio messenger at Goldwyn Pictures who worked his way up from assistant cutter; married to five women, among them Marjorie Crawford, aviatrix and polo player; silent picture star Helene Chadwick; and Dorothy Coonan, Busby Berkeley dancer, actress, and mother of his seven children.
Irene Mayer Selznick, daughter of Louis B. Mayer, called Wellman “a terror, a shoot-up-the-town fellow, trying to be a great big masculine I-don’t-know-what. David had a real weakness for him. I didn’t share it.” Yet she believed enough in Wellman’s vision and cowritten script about Hollywood to persuade her husband to produce A Star Is Born, which Wellman directed.
After he took over directing Tarzan Escapes at MGM, Wellman went to Louis B. Mayer and asked to make another Tarzan picture on his own.
“What are you talking about? It’s beneath your dignity,” said Mayer.
“To hell with that,” said Wellman, “I haven’t got any dignity.”
Now William Wellman, Jr., drawing on his father’s unpublished letters, diaries, and unfinished memoir, gives us the first full portrait of the man—boy, flyer, husband, father, director, artist. Here is a portrait of a profoundly American spirit and visionary, a man’s man who was able to put into cinematic storytelling the most subtle and fulsome of feeling, a man feared, respected, and loved.
Mudpix Magazine Demo 1 Now Available
MUDPIX MAGAZINE – DEMO 1 has been released and it is now available for downloading. It’s absolutely free and will give you an idea of what to expect in the premium issues. This issue is 290 pages and is 71.7MB in file size. This demo issue features photography by David Thrift that was shot on Lake Harding, and West Point Lake during the weekend before Labor Day 2019. Use the following links below to download or preview this magazine: DOWNLOAD your copy now, or Preview On Issuu If You Would Like Before Downloading.
MUDPIX MAGAZINE Issue #1 Is Available To Purchase For Just $24.00 At Gumroad. Get Your PDF Copy Today.
The first official issue of MUDPIX MAGAZINE has been released and is available for purchase. Head over to the Home page for info on how to purchase your copy on Gumroad, or click here to jump straight over to MUDPIX MAGAZINE’s Gumroad creator’s page for more info and to purchase your digital pdf copy today. It contains over 750 photos shot by David Thrift on Lake Harding and West Point Lake in Alabama and Georgia, is 792 pages and 162MB.