William A. Wellman

  • William A. Wellman – Safe in Hell (1931)

    Drama1931-1940CrimeUSAWilliam A. Wellman

    Sought by the New Orleans police for accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a woman flees New Orleans for a Caribbean island. Surrounded by lecherous criminals, she awaits the return of her fiancé and seems to be holding her own until the treachery of the local police chief leaves her but one choice to gain her freedom.Read More »

  • William A. Wellman – Lilly Turner (1933)

    William A. Wellman1931-1940ClassicsDramaUSA

    Lilly Turner (1933) provided a bravura role for star Ruth Chatterton, and another opportunity to display her versatility. Lilly is a hard-luck dame with lousy taste in men. First she marries a no-good bounder who promises her the world, but instead turns her into a cootch dancer in a carnival. Then she finds out her “husband” already has a wife. Left alone and pregnant, Lilly marries an alcoholic pal (Frank McHugh), and the couple joins a traveling medicine show. Things go from bad to worse when a psychotic strongman in the show develops an obsession for her. When a genuine nice guy, played by Chatterton’s then-husband George Brent, comes into her dreary life, Lilly tries to grab some happiness. But it may be too late.Read More »

  • William A. Wellman – Beggars of Life [+commentaries] (1928)

    William A. Wellman1921-1930DramaQueer Cinema(s)SilentUSA

    After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal a car in their attempt to escape the police, and reach Canada.Read More »

  • William A. Wellman – So Big! (1932)

    William A. Wellman1931-1940DramaRomanceUSA

    Selina lived well until her father Simeon died. Her aunts sold the estate and put her in a boarding school. As an adult she wants to be a teacher in farming country. She falls in love with and marries Pervus, a Dutch farmer she has been tutoring. When he dies her hopes lie with their son Dirk, who disappoints her by giving up architecture for stock brokerage. Her new hope is Roelfe, the son of her former boardinghouse keeper and a sculptor. Dirk falls in love with Dallas O’Mara, whom Selina hopes will be the inspiration for her son’s salvation.Read More »

  • William A. Wellman – Yellow Sky (1948)

    USA1941-1950ActionWesternWilliam A. Wellman

    A band of bank robbers on the run from a posse flee into the desert. Near death from lack of water they stumble into what appears to be a ghost town, only to discover an old prospector and his granddaughter living there. The robbers discover that the old man has been mining gold and set out to make a quick fortune by robbing the pair. Their plan runs foul when the gang leader, Stretch, falls for the granddaughter, which sets off a showdown between the entire gang.Read More »

  • William A. Wellman – Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

    1931-1940AdventureDramaUSAWilliam A. Wellman

    At the bottom of the depression, Tom’s mother has been out of work for months when Ed’s father loses his job. Not to burden their parents, the two high school sophomore’s decide to hop the freights and look for work. Wherever they go, there are many other kids just like them, so Tom, Ed and now Sally stick together. They camp in places like ‘Sewer City’ as long as they can until the local authorities run them off. They travel all over the mid west and when they get to New York, Ed thinks that they may finally find work.Read More »

  • William A. Wellman – Westward the Women (1951)

    Drama1951-1960USAWesternWilliam A. Wellman

    In a time when “The West” pretty much ends in Texas and only California is slowly being populated by the white men, there’s a severe lack of women among the workers on Roy Whitman’s farm in the California Valley. So he goes back east to Chicago to recruit 150 women willing to become wives for his employees. From the candidates he selects 138 who seem able to survive a months long journey across “The Great American Desert” and the Rocky Mountains.Read More »

  • William A. Wellman – Beggars of Life (1928)

    1921-1930DramaQueer Cinema(s)SilentUSAWilliam A. Wellman


    The Louise Brooks Society: wrote:
    Beggars of Life is a terse drama about a girl (Louise Brooks) dressed as a boy who flees the law after killing her abusive stepfather. With the help of a young hobo, she rides the rails through a male dominated underworld in which danger is close at hand.

    Kevin Brownlow wrote:
    Beggars of Life, with Louise Brooks and Richard Arlen, is a story of tramps, by the hobo writer Jim Tully. The customary freshness and unstudied casualness of most American silent films is replaced here by a dignified, carefully studied style, suggestive of the European cinema, and indicating a conscious striving toward artistry.Read More »

  • William A. Wellman – The Public Enemy (1931)

    1931-1940CrimeFilm NoirUSAWilliam A. Wellman


    A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster’s accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.Read More »

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