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Howard Hawks Overview:

Legendary director, Howard Hawks, was born Howard Winchester Hawks on May 30, 1896 in Goshen, IN. Hawks died at the age of 81 on Dec 26, 1977 in Palm Springs, CA and was cremated and his ashes scattered in desert near Calimesa CA.


Howard Hawks was a rugged, outdoorsy type. He made John Wayne westerns (effectively celebrating the Wayne persona) and strongly characterized action dramas boiling with atmosphere and featuring gutsy women and virile male camaraderie. Hawks 'featured' the nitty gritty of life: his characters are always letting their hair down to tremendous effect. Hawks also made screwball comedies that are riotous masterpieces. Women pursue and men steer clear of marriage, but Hawks gives his ladies the last laugh with almost all of the sharpest lines in the man-woman crossfire in his films.

A very tall, rangy man, Hawks served as an officer in the US Army Air Corps in his younger days, before becoming a designer in an aircraft factory. But he soon longed to return to the film business where he had briefly worked as a prop boy five years earlier. After using his own money to back an epic western (Custer's Last Stand/Bob Hampton of Placer), Hawks made contacts that enabled him to join the script department of Famous Payers-Lasky. He wrote his first screen story, Quicksands, in 1923. He started directing in 1926, but the Hawks classics really begin with the sound era.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Directors).



Although Hawks was nominated for one Oscar, he never won a competitive Academy Award. However he won one Honorary Oscar Award in 1974 , a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1941Best DirectorSergeant York (1941)N/ANominated

Academy Awards (Honorary Oscars)

1974Honorary Award, a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema


He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

Twentieth Century (1934, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Aug 14, 2019 From The Stop Button

Even with its way too abrupt finish, Twentieth Century is rare delight. Would it be more successful if the ending hadn’t wasted Carole Lombard? Yes, but also because it would’ve given lead John Barrymore more Lombard to act opposite and Barrymore’s best opposite Lombard. He’s... Read full article

Quote: on Filmmaking

By KC on Jan 13, 2019 From Classic Movies

Hawks with Lauren Bacall/ Image Source As we work on scenes, I always go back and say, "How would it be if it were directly opposite?" and sometimes it leads to very interesting things, because there is no particular reason that they have to run in a straight line--they can take a jog. -Howard Ha... Read full article

Only Angels Have Wings (1939, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Oct 17, 2018 From The Stop Button

The first forty-five minutes of Only Angels Have Wings is mostly continual present action. Jean Arthur arrives in a South American port town, looking around?followed by two possible ne?er-do-wells (Allyn Joslyn and Noah Beery Jr.)?and the film tracks her experience. Great direction from Hawks, beaut... Read full article

The Big Sleep (1946, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Sep 14, 2018 From The Stop Button

A lot goes unspoken in The Big Sleep. It?s very much set in a wartime Los Angeles, but there?s never much said about wartime conditions or Los Angeles. When private detective Humphrey Bogart goes around the city, investigating, he?s only ever encountering women (beautiful women at that, because dire... Read full article

For the love of

By Carol Martinheira on Feb 24, 2018 From The Old Hollywood Garden

For the love of On February 24, 2018 By CarolIn Uncategorized It?s Oscar season and my friends and fellow bloggers over at Once Upon a Blog, Paula?s Cinema Club and Outspoken and Freckled are hosting their annual 31 Days of Oscar blogathon. And before we g... Read full article

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Honorary Award Oscar 1974

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Howard Hawks on the
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Howard Hawks Facts
Cousin-in-law of Clark Gable.

Brother of William B. Hawks, brother-in-law of Bessie Love.

Is portrayed by Ivan Bonar in Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess (1983) (TV)

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