I am pleased to announce the publication of my first book,
The Man and His WINGS: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture
The book is an adventure story filled with action, romance, humor, comradeship, tragedy, and triumph, that chronicles the early life of my father, his days as a juvenile delinquent, his military service as a decorated fighter pilot in World War I, (in the famous Lafayette Flying Corps), and his trials and tribulations in the Hollywood jungles on the way to directing "WINGS", the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the "Star Wars" of its generation. The book boasts 66 photographs -- many never before seen-- and Wellman's heart-wrenching, history-packed letters he wrote from France during World War I.
Wellman went on to direct the films "Public Enemy", "Call of the Wild", "Beau Geste", "Nothing Sacred", and the original "A Star Is Born", "The Ox-Bow Incident", "Battleground", and "The High and the Mighty", among many others.
The foreword for the book was contributed by Robert Redford, who writes, "Maverick is a worn term that has been batted around and has described many people over time. For me, William Welllman most authentically fits this description. Feisty, independent, self-taught, and self-made, he earned his stripes as a seeker and adventurer, sure of his passions and his own mind, and not to be trifled with by the authorities who were inherited or never saw the realities of hand-to-hand conflict or earned their way through the experience of real living."
Autographed Book $35.00
(Regular retail price online and at bookstores is $49.95)
Early reviews of the book include:
"Wild Bill Wellman was one of a kind, and so is this chonicle of his life and adventures leading up to the making of "Wings." I was especially touched by his letters home from France during World War I; now I understand a bit more about the young heroes he depicted on screen." -- Leonard Maltin, Film Critic and Historian
"I've been studying and researching Wild Bill Wellman for more than 30 years, so take my word for it -- it will take something pretty spectacular to top Bill Wellman Jr.'s effort as the best film book of the year." -- John Gallagher, The National Board of Review
"Wellman's letters from France in World War I are a great discovery and add much to his rip-roaring tale of the early movies." -- Kevin Brownlow, Author of "Mary Pickford, Rediscovered" and "The Parade's Gone By..."
"The story of William Wellman is the story of a great adventurer who became a great director. "The Man and His .Wings" documents both halves of the equation, with an unprecedented intimacy, fueled by Wellman's correspondence from the airfields of France during World War I, and his own oral histories and unpublished manuscripts..." -- Scott Eyman, Author of "Lion of Hollywood" and "Print The Legend"
For an autographed book with autographed 8x10 photo choose photo from the Merchandise page here.
Autographed Book and Photo $40.00
Read an excerpt from the book here
Book is also available for purchase through: