This fascinating and lively film, originally conceived as a loving tribute by a son to his father, brings back to the spotlight a director recently neglected by film history.
William "Wild Bill" A. Wellman may not be as familiar to audiences as his peers John Ford, Frank Capra and Howard Hawks, but many of the movies which he directed stand out as popularly acknowledged classics in the history of Hollywood filmmaking. In a career of only thirty-five years, Wellman directed more than seventy-six films, won thirty-four Academy Award nominations (including four for Best Picture and three for Best Director) and was honored with the D. W. Griffith Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Directors Guild. Wings (the first and only silent movie to win a Best Picture Oscar), Public Enemy, A Star Is Born (1937), Beau Geste, The Ox Bow Incident and Nothing Sacred are among the fun, exciting, involving and affecting movies made by one of Hollywood's greatest and wildest masters.
In addition to captivating film clips which are sure to stimulate a demand for Wellman's features at video outlets, this affectionate look at the maverick, Wild Bill, is spiced with tales of his influence on American filmmaking and rambunctious adventures, told in awe by the likes of Clint Eastwood, Robert Mitchum, Martin Scorsese and Robert Redford. His Hollywood career began the day he landed his plane on Douglas Fairbank's front lawn to ask for a job, and his style was exemplified by the away he expressed his opinion of a script by burying a producer's desk with horse manure and setting the offending script atop it.
These are the exploits of a man who spoke his mind, stood up for his vision and relished the thrill of acting accordingly. These tales are the heart of a loving tribute, to an unjustly neglected figure from the movies' Golden Age. Wild Bill is a fascinating look at a talented and intriguing man. -- Hilary Hart