William A. Wellman - News Poster


The Crowd Doesn’t Just Roar, It Thinks: Warner Bros.’ All-Talking Revolution

“Iconic” is a gassy word for a masterwork of unquestioned approval. But it also describes compositions that actually resemble icons in their form and function, “stiff” by inviolate standards embodied in, say, Howard Hawks characters moving fluidly in and out of the frame. Whenever I watch William A. Wellman’s 1933 talkie Wild Boys of the Road, these standards—themselves rigid and unhelpful to understanding—fall away. An entire canonical order based on naturalism withers. To summon reality vivid enough for the 1930s—during which 250,000 minors left home in hopeless pursuit of the job that wasn’t—Wellman inserts whispering quietude between explosions, cesuras that seem to last aeons. The film’s gestating silences dominate the rather intrusive New Deal evangelism imposed by executive order from the studio. Amid Warner Bros.’ ballyhooing of a freshly-minted American president, they were unconsciously embracing the wrecking-ball approach to a failed capitalist system. That is,
See full article at MUBI »

The Star Witness

Veteran William Wellman directed this pre-Code thriller that puts an average New York family at odds with a pack of ruthless gangsters. It’s a 1931 tale of drive-by shootings, witness intimidation and child kidnapping — just one year later, movies about child kidnappings were banned, after the tragedy of the Lindbergh baby. Walter Huston is the rather ruthless District Attorney, and the ex-vaudeville funny man Chic Sale plays an old codger that shows his family what Good Americanism really means — the show could serve as a surly critique of what passes for law and order and good citizenship now.

The Star Witness


The Warner Archive Collection

1931 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 68 min. / Street Date March 12, 2019 / available through the WBshop / 19.99

Starring: Walter Huston, Charles ‘Chic’ Sale, Frances Starr, Grant Mitchell, Sally Blane, Edward J. Nugent, Dickie Moore, Nat Pendleton, George Ernest, Russell Hopton, Allan Lane.

Cinematography: James Van Trees

Film Editor:
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Walter Huston in The Star Witness (1931) Available on DVD From Warner Archives

Great news for fans of Walter Huston! The Star Witness (1931) is currently available on DVD From Warner Archives. Ordering information can be found Here

The Star Witness is a gripping crime thriller by way of courtroom drama in this early talkie directed by cinema titan “Wild BillWilliam A. Wellman. The Leeds family have just sat down for dinner with Abby’s father, Civil War veteran Grandpa Summerill (Charles `Chic’ Sale) when shots are fired outside, down the street. Gangster Maxey Campo has gunned down two men in cold blood and he makes his getaway through the Leeds’ family house, assaulting feisty Grandpa along the way. Crusading District Attorney Whitlock (Walter Huston) is elated at first, having an entire family of witnesses ready to do their civic duty and testify against the racketeers running rampant in the city. Maxey, however, isn’t finished with the Leeds and unleashes his forces
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Can ‘A Star Is Born’ make Oscars history as first film to win Best Picture without directing Or editing nominations?

  • Gold Derby
Can ‘A Star Is Born’ make Oscars history as first film to win Best Picture without directing Or editing nominations?
When the 2019 Oscar nominations were announced, one-time Best Picture front-runner “A Star Is Born” was hit with two major snubs: Best Director for Bradley Cooper and Best Film Editing for Jay Cassidy. Of course, it’s still possible to win Best Picture without one of these two nominations — just ask “Argo” (snubbed for directing in 2012) and “Birdman” (shunned in editing in 2014). No film has ever won Best Picture without either a directing Or an editing bid. Can “A Star Is Born” make Oscars history by becoming the very first?

SEELady Gaga’s heart will go on: ‘Shallow’ may be the 1st soundtrack song to win top Grammy since ‘Titanic’ anthem

The good news for Warner Bros’ drama musical is that is was still nominated in eight categories: Best Picture, Best Actress (Lady Gaga), Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Elliott), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing
See full article at Gold Derby »

Bradley Cooper’s Original ‘A Star Is Born’ Script Had an Ending Even More Faithful to the 1937 Original

Bradley Cooper’s Original ‘A Star Is Born’ Script Had an Ending Even More Faithful to the 1937 Original
[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “A Star Is Born.”]

Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” ends as all iterations of the classic love story end: The male star takes his own life so the skyrocketing career of the woman he loves won’t suffer from his personal issues. Cooper stuck to the basic template originally used by William A. Wellman and his co-screenwriters for the 1937 version of “A Star Is Born,” but the director originally intended to be much more faithful to the first movie, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March.

As part of Variety’s Lady Gaga cover story, Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich revealed the first script he read for Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” ended the same way Wellman’s original did. The 1937 film ends with March’s Norman Maine taking his life by drowning himself in the Pacific Ocean. The new film, written by Cooper, Eric Roth,
See full article at Indiewire »

Review: The Disarming Beauty of "A Star Is Born"

  • MUBI
A Star Is Born, the latest remake of William A. Wellman's 1937 film, as well as Bradley Cooper's directorial debut, stars Cooper as Jackson Maine, a rockstar hanging to life by a thread simultaneously led closer to rock bottom by alcoholism and drug addiction. One rough night in drunken stupor, Jackson stumbles into a drag bar and watches as Ally (Lady Gaga) performs an exuberant cover of Édith Piaf's "La vie en rose." Her heavily-made up face, veiled in red spotlight, distorts her unwanted features and overshadows a modest life as a restaurant server. Dusk approaches as the pair leaves together, ending up in a secluded parking lot. Seclusion causes the masks to come off, and at once the pair realize that they—singer-songwriters of preternatural talent, capable of conjuring hit records from thin air—are perfect for each other.Their fates are thus locked together and sealed:
See full article at MUBI »

“I was not an overnight sensation”: "A Star is Born" and the American Dream

  • MUBI
Frank Pierson's 1976 A Star Is BornLate in the night, early into their tumultuous romance, Kris Kristofferson’s John Norman Howard rescues Barbra Streisand’s Esther Hoffman from a crowd of fans and sycophants she’s just floored with a breath-taking rendition of "The Woman in The Moon" and "I Believe in Love." It’s a pivotal juncture that marks Esther’s ascent to fame, her star finally welcomed into the entertainment industry. Hands on the wheel of a roaring Ferrari, Kristofferson gives Streisand a proud smile, then looks at the city’s skyline and drives away: “it’s all yours baby, everything you want—your own piece of the American Dream.”Frank Pierson’s is the first version of A Star is Born to make explicit reference to the myth that underpins an eight-decades-old series of remakes. To be sure, the American Dream lingers all throughout the first two installments,
See full article at MUBI »

‘A Star is Born’ Review – Second Opinion

  • Nerdly
Stars: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Anthony Ramos, Dave Chappelle | Written by Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters | Directed by Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born is the fourth iteration of the beloved source material of the classic rags to riches story. At one stage reportedly through the last decade of development, it was a passion project for Clint Eastwood to helm with any eye for Beyonce in the leading actress role. Ultimately, Eastwood chose the road of Jersey Boys to mixed response and the queen of music continued to solidify herself as the biggest star on the planet. Fast-forward to 2017 and understudy to Eastwood, Bradley Cooper takes the directors chair for his directorial debut and the leading actor role with the somewhat sceptical choice of Lady Gaga taking the incredibly ardent and monumental task of leading actress.

The end result? A majestic and empowering venture
See full article at Nerdly »

The Differences between the Four Versions of ‘A Star Is Born’, Explained

Bradley Cooper’s new adaptation of A Star Is Born is now in theaters, and while it feels fresh and new, the film also hews to the same plot beats of previous movies. Cooper’s film is the fourth version of A Star Is Born. The story originally came to the big screen in William A. Wellman’s 1937 movie, which starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. The first remake came along in 1954, directed by George Cukor and starring Judy Garland and James Mason. Give it another twenty years or so, and you’ve got another adaptation, this time …
See full article at Collider.com »

Review: Bradley Cooper's 'A Star is Born' is Soulful Artistic Expression

Co-written and directed by actor Bradley Cooper, 2018's A Star is Born is the third remake of William A. Wellman's 1937 film, which earned seven Academy Award nominations at the time. George Cukor's 1954 adaptation, starring Judy Garland and James Mason, was nominated for six. And the 1976 version, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, earned four. Between the three films, only two Oscars were won: Best Writing (Original Story) in 1938 and Best Original Song in 1977. As producer, director, screenwriter, and star, Cooper is following in Streisand’s footsteps and, if history is any indication, his directorial debut will earn several award nominations, and deservedly so. Not only is Cooper's A Star is Born the premiere of a filmmaker with a unique voice but it solidifies Lady Gaga as the preeminent entertainer of the day. In this new take on a timeless love story, Cooper (of Silver Linings Playbook and Guardians of the Galaxy
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

‘A Star Is Born’: How Does the Music in the Previous Films Stack Up?

  • Variety
‘A Star Is Born’: How Does the Music in the Previous Films Stack Up?
Hollywood’s allure, insatiable ambition, and the price of fame are at the center of one of the most oft-told stories in show-biz history: “A Star Is Born.” The latest edition, with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, is the fourth to be made, and the third to be music-centric. Variety has already written many articles about that one, which is released today — read Owen Gleiberman’s review here — but how do the previous renditions stack up?


Producer David O. Selznick’s original rendering won Oscars for its cinematography and its original story. While the story was written by director William A. Wellman and novelist Robert Carson, many of its sharpest and most cutting lines are believed to have been penned by famed writer Dorothy Parker and husband Alan Campbell (who were nominated in a separate Oscar category but didn’t win).

Janet Gaynor played Esther Blodgett-turned-Vicki Lester, a starry-eyed
See full article at Variety »

Soundtracking: "A Star is Born (1954)"

Chris Feil's weekly look at music in the movies will be revisiting all of the musical remakes of A Star is Born in coming weeks. Here is 1954 and Judy Garland...

Musicals are known for their required suspension of disbelief, the fact that we must buy into a reality where people simply burst into song. But the legacy of A Star is Born has its own kind of suspension of disbelief: the notion that whatever legendary songstress that leads each version is some undiscovered talent. George Cukor’s 1954 version (the first to properly musicalize the story birthed in William A. Wellman’s 1937 original) requires the greatest leap. But there are few cinematic superstars in history as immediately convincing in their gifts as Judy Garland.

Casting such a powerhouse as a woefully undiscovered talent is absurd on paper, as if the film exists in some fantasy land where maybe she’s never
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Venom’ To Course Throughout The World With $175M Debut As Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga’s ‘A Star Is Born’ Tunes Up For Long Tour

  • Deadline
It has been awhile since there’s been a superhero movie, so Sony/Tencent’s Venom based on the Marvel property arrives with enough anticipation this frame to drive its opening weekend to an estimated $160 million-$175 million global start, with the domestic box office headed toward an October opening record of $60M-$65M at 4,250 theaters plus Imax. The latter would best the month’s current record-holder, Warner BrosGravity, which opened to $55.7M in 2013.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros launches its awards-season darling A Star Is Born, directed by, co-produced, co-written and starring Bradley Cooper alongside Lady Gaga in her first feature-leading role. It marks the fourth version of the movie after the 1937 William A. Wellman movie, the 1954 Judy Garland-James Mason musical, and the 1976 Barbra Streisand-Kris Kristofferson film which was a huge hit in its day, racking up $80M (unadjusted for inflation), the third-highest-grossing theatrical release that year.
See full article at Deadline »

Toronto: Correspondences #4 — The Disarming Beauty of "A Star Is Born"

  • MUBI
The Notebook is covering Tiff with an on-going correspondence between critics Kelley Dong and Daniel Kasman.Dear Danny, The best secrets encountered in the cinema are those which are so subliminal that sometimes one does not immediately realize the preciousness of what has been given, nor recognize that any gift was offered at all— but still I leave the theatre totally changed. The meanings of these surreptitious moments can be tricky to articulate without airy hyperbole—we call this "hype." I risk this all to tell you about A Star is Born, an uneven work of startling sincerity and disarming beauty. The third remake of William A. Wellman's 1937 film, Bradley Cooper stars in his directorial debut as Jackson Maine, a rockstar hanging to life by a thread and simultaneously led closer to rock bottom by alcoholism and drug addiction. One rough night in drunken stupor, Jackson stumbles into a
See full article at MUBI »

Oscar Voters Are Sure to Go Gaga for Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born’

  • Variety
Oscar Voters Are Sure to Go Gaga for Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born’
It might seem like an impossible feat, but with his version of “A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper both puts a fresh spin on a decades-old movie staple and transcends its very place in cinema history by fixing the story, turning a classic role, finally, into a tragic figure you actually care about.

For that and many more reasons (like a field that isn’t as competitive as usual), the lead actor Oscar race might be over and done with. Cooper is that good as the kind-hearted but haunted Jackson Maine, and the screenplay — from Cooper, Will Fetters, and Oscar winner Eric Roth — finely tunes his story, serving the character far better than any previous version of the tale has for Fredric March and James Mason’s Norman Maine, or Kris Kristofferson’s John Norman Howard.

That you can get two paragraphs into spelling out the virtues of this film
See full article at Variety »

Venice 2018: Bradley Cooper's 'A Star is Born' is Cheesy Yet Lovable

Sometimes a little cheesiness is just what we need. A Star is Born is the third remake of the classic 1937 film directed by William A. Wellman. This new version is another contemporary update, focusing the story on two musicians who fall in love. Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut and stars in A Star is Born as alcoholic musician Jackson Maine. He randomly meets and falls for a young woman named Ally, played by real-life popstar Lady Gaga, originally known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. This movie is so incredibly cheesy, and cliche, and surface level in every way, yet it's also so enjoyable, and so catchy, and so charming. The singing makes it all worth it, even though the rest of it is only okay. But audiences are going to fall head over heels for this epic love story, no doubt, because sometimes a little cheesiness isn't so bad.
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Oscars: Venice Plants Flag to Start Festival Season

  • Variety
Oscars: Venice Plants Flag to Start Festival Season
With Damien Chazelle’s “First Man” set for an Aug. 29 opening-night bow at the Venice Film Festival, this year’s film awards season is ready for liftoff. The 75th annual Biennale will kick off months of festival premieres after studios and filmmakers spent the summer jockeying for position, zeroing in on the right strategy for launching their Oscar hopefuls.

Films such as “Gravity,” “Birdman,” “Spotlight” and “La La Land” began their journeys in Venice, as did last year’s best picture victor, “The Shape of Water.” This year, the Lido will again host an early look at much of the season’s landscape.

Chief among the world premieres might be Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga, the third remake of William A. Wellman’s 1937 classic. Curiously, though, the film will not be screening in competition. And Warner Bros. has opted out of a presence for the
See full article at Variety »

Venice 2018. Lineup

Non-FictionThe programme for the 2018 edition of the Venice Film Festival has been unveiled, and includes new films from Tsai Ming-liang, Frederick Wiseman, Sergei Loznitsa, Olivier Assayas, the Coen Brothers, and many more.COMPETITIONFirst Man (Damien Chazelle)The Mountain (Rick Alverson)Non-Fiction (Olivier Assayas)The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard)The Ballad of Buster ScruggsVox Lux (Brady Corbet)Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)22 July (Paul Greengrass)Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino)Werk ohne autor (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent)The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)Peterloo (Mike Leigh)Capri-revolution (Mario Martone)What You Gonna Do When the World's On Fire? (Roberto Minervini)Sunset (László Nemes)Frères ennemis (David Oeloffen)Where Life is Born (Carlos Reygadas)At Eternity's Gate (Julian Schnabel)Acusada (Gonzalo Tobal)Killing (Shinya Tsukamoto)Out Of COMPETITIONFeaturesThe Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles)They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (Morgan Neville)L'amica geniale (Saverio Costanzo)Il diario di angela - noi
See full article at MUBI »

Bradley Cooper's 'A Star Is Born' to have world premiere at Venice Film Festival

Bradley Cooper's 'A Star Is Born' to have world premiere at Venice Film Festival
The film will screen out-of-competition on Friday August 31.

A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut starring Cooper and Lady Gaga, will have its world premiere out-of-competition at the 75th Venice International Film Festival (August 29 – September 8).

The film, co-written and produced by Cooper, will screen on Friday August 31 in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Venice Lido.

Featuring original songs performed by Cooper and Gaga, the musical drama is a remake of William A. Wellman’s 1937 film of the same name; it was previously remade in 1954 and 1976.

The love story follows musician Jackson Maine (Cooper
See full article at ScreenDaily »

A Star Is Born Trailer: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Hit It Big

A Star Is Born Trailer: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Hit It Big
The first trailer for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's remake of A Star Is Born is here. Cooper has been one of the top actors in Hollywood for several years, earning himself four Oscar nominations along the way, and Lady Gaga has been dominating the music world for more than a decade. Now, the two are pairing up and both taking on something very different creatively in their new take on A Star is Born. This first trailer paints an emotional, dramatic and musical picture of what could be positioned as an awards season contender.

Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut with the remake. Lady Gaga, on the other hand, stars in her first feature as an actress. She's acted previously in shows like American Horror Story, but this movie is going to ride or die based on her talents. This is also a big movie for Cooper to
See full article at MovieWeb »
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Credited With |  External Sites

Recently Viewed