Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


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Howard Hawks

Howard Hawks

John Wayne gave the eulogy at his funeral.

Brian De Palma dedicated Scarface (1983), his remake of the 1932 film, to Hawks.

Quentin Tarantino said that Hawks' Rio Bravo (1959) may be his favorite movie of all time.

As of the 5th edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider), 11 of Hawks' films are included, second only to Alfred Hitchcock in abundance. The films are: Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Big Sky (1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Rio Bravo (1959).

Ashes scattered in the desert near Calimesa, California.



Attended Throop Polytechnic Institute (which later become the California Institute of Techonology) and the Phillips Academy (a prep school). Later studies engineering at Cornell University. His biographer, Todd McCarthy, wrote that his educational experiences were a very important factor in the formation of his studied character, which he brought to his films, as well as every other endeavor in his life.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945." Pages 446-451. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

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

Brother of Kenneth Hawks.

Brother-in-law of Mary Astor.

Brother-in-law of Eden Hartford.

Brother-in-law of producer Ned Tanen.

Cousin-in-law of Clark Gable.

Cousin-in-law of William Powell, brother-in-law of Douglas Shearer and Norma Shearer, son-in-law of Edith Shearer.

Despite his collaborations and associations with politically outspoken stars, such as the famously right-wing John Wayne or the left-wing Humphrey Bogart, Hawks himself remained resolutely apolitical throughout his life.

Directed 5 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Walter Brennan, Gary Cooper, Margaret Wycherly, Barbara Stanwyck and Arthur Hunnicutt. Cooper and Brennan won Oscars for their performances in one of Hawks' movies.

Directed three of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies: Bringing Up Baby (1938) at #14, His Girl Friday (1940) at #19 and Ball of Fire (1941) at #92.

Even though he was one of the most prolific directors of his generation, having directed 5 actors to Oscar nominations, he himself has only been nominated for an Academy Award once.

Frequently worked with William Faulkner. Faulkner wrote or co-wrote many of Hawks' films.

Hawks had said in interviews that he was supposed to direct the now-beloved Casablanca (1942) and Michael Curtiz was meant to direct Sergeant York (1941). However, the two directors had lunch together and Curtiz complained that he knew nothing about the "hill people", while Hawks was struggling to make this "musical comedy", so they switched films. Hawks said that he always considered "Casablanca" a musical comedy because of the number of singing scenes in the café, namely the "La Marseillaise" scene. Later, Hawks said that Curtiz shot the film "beautifully and the whole picture came out different because of the two people in it [Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman]. They made you believe something. When I saw Casablanca (1942) I liked it, but I never had any faith in my doing anything like that." (Source: "Who the Devil Made it..." by Peter Bogdanovich).

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