Howard Hawks

Howard Hawks

  • Highest Rated: 100% El Dorado (1967)
  • Lowest Rated: 50% A Song Is Born (1948)
  • Birthday: May 30, 1896
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • One of the great American film directors, Howard Hawks was a craftsman who made tight, lean pictures during the studio era. Not confined to a particular genre, his filmography provides outstanding and influential examples of a variety of movies. His style was non-obtrusive and no-nonsense, with telling images (he's famous for narratively significant cigarette lighting) and rapid-fire dialogue. Lines in his work were delivered overlapping each other, resulting in unnaturally quick-paced conversations that added tension and a sense of urgency to the stories. In addition to being a good screenwriter himself, he had a tendency to work with some of the era's best writers, including Ben Hecht, William Faulkner, and Jules Furthman. Born in the Midwest in 1896, Hawks moved to California during the earliest days of Hollywood. After studying mechanical engineering at Cornell and serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he went to work at Famous Players-Laskey and started his own independent productions. By 1924, he was running the story department at Paramount and directing silent films for Fox. But he really began to make his mark with the advent of sound; his first talking pictures included the aviator adventure The Dawn Patrol, the prison film The Criminal Code, and sea adventure Tiger Shark. In 1932, he made the historically important Scarface, which, in many ways, defined the standard of gangster films. In 1938, he made the exemplary screwball comedy Bringing up Baby starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. This quick-talking duo was one of Hawks' many star pairings involving a tough wise guy and smart-mouthed heroine; another good team was Carole Lombard and John Barrymore in the comedy Twentieth Century. Hawks also had a knack for helping to initiate the careers of major Hollywood stars. His 1939 macho adventure Only Angels Have Wings featured Rita Hayworth in a supporting role before she became a leading femme fatale. He made the romantic comedy touchstone His Girl Friday the following year, with Rosalind Russell as the embodiment of the smart-mouthed heroine. In 1944, the director helped start the career of newcomer Lauren Bacall by pairing her with Humphrey Bogart in the war romance To Have and Have Not. Their obvious chemistry and snappy repartee led to one of the most beloved screen duos in history, and to Hawks' 1946 mystery The Big Sleep. During the '40s, he made the powerful Western drama Red River with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. He also had a hand in launching the iconic stardom of Marilyn Monroewith the '50s comedy Monkey Business and the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In a response to the Western High Noon, Hawks teamed up again with Wayne for the revisionist Western Rio Bravo. As age caught up with him during the '60s, Hawks' career slowed down -- and so did the pace of his films. He received his first Oscar in 1974, an honorary award from the Academy before his death in Palm Springs, CA, in 1977.

Highest Rated Movies








No Score Yet Fazil Director 2010
No Score Yet Tintorera - Tiger Shark Director 1978
68% Rio Lobo Director Producer 1971
100% El Dorado Director Producer 1967
60% Red Line 7000 Producer Director 1965
64% Man's Favorite Sport? Producer Director 1964
67% Hatari! Producer Director 1962
100% Rio Bravo Producer Director 1959
78% Land of the Pharaohs Director Producer 1955
98% Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Actor Director Screenwriter 1953
No Score Yet O. Henry's Full House Director 1952
88% Monkey Business Director Off-screen voice in opening 1952
100% The Big Sky Director Producer 1952
89% The Thing from Another World Producer 1951
80% I Was a Male War Bride Director 1949
50% A Song Is Born Director 1948
No Score Yet Corvette K-225 Producer 1948
100% Red River Director Producer 1948
97% The Big Sleep Director Producer 1946
97% To Have and Have Not Producer Director 1944
80% Air Force Director 1943
80% The Outlaw Director 1943
86% Sergeant York Director Producer 1941
100% Ball of Fire Director 1941
98% His Girl Friday Producer Director 1940
100% Only Angels Have Wings Producer Director 1939
93% Bringing Up Baby Director Producer 1938
75% Test Pilot Screenwriter 1938
91% Come and Get It Director 1936
No Score Yet The Road to Glory Director 1936
100% Ceiling Zero Director 1936
92% Barbary Coast Director 1935
88% Twentieth Century Producer Director 1934
63% Viva Villa! Director 1934
No Score Yet Today We Live Producer Director 1933
No Score Yet Tiger Shark Director 1932
100% Scarface Screenwriter Man on Bed Man in Hospital Bed Producer Director 1932
80% The Crowd Roars Director 1932
No Score Yet The Criminal Code Director 1931
No Score Yet The Dawn Patrol (Flight Commander) Director Stunt Pilot Screenwriter 1930
No Score Yet A Girl in Every Port Director 1928
No Score Yet The Cradle Snatchers Director 1927
No Score Yet Paid To Love Director 1927
No Score Yet Fig Leaves Screenwriter Director 1926
No Score Yet 1925 Studio Tour Actor


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