Howard Hawks

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Scharphedin2
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Howard Hawks

#1 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:19 pm

Howard Hawks (1896-1977)

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I try to tell my story as simply as possible, with
the camera at eye level. I just imagine the way
the story should be told, and I do it. If it's a
scene that I don't want anybody to monkey with
or cut, I don't give them any way to cut it. If I
think that it's a little too long and the actors are
dawdling and I want to cut some of it out, I
make two angles so that I can cut it. That's
about all I can say about it. I like to tell it with
a simple scene. I don't want you to be conscious
that this is dramatic, because it throws it all off.



Filmography

The Road to Glory (1926)

Fig Leaves (1926)

The Cradle Snatchers (1927)

Paid to Love (1927)

A Girl in Every Port (1928)

Fazi (1928)

The Air Circus (1928)

Trent's Last Case (1929)

The Dawn Patrol (1930)

The Criminal Code (1931)

Scarface (1932) Universal (R1 & R2 UK)

The Crowd Roars (1932)

Tiger Shark (1932)

La Foule hurle (co-directed w. John Daumery, 1932)

Today We Live (1933)

Twentieth Century (1934) Columbia (R1)

Barbary Coast (1935) MGM (R1)

Ceiling Zero (1936)

The Road to Glory (1936)

Come and Get It (co-directed with William Wyler, 1936) MGM (R1)

Bringing Up Baby (1938) Warner Brothers (R1) Editions Montparnasse (R2 FR)

Only Angels Have Wings (1939) Columbia (R1 & R2 UK)

His Girl Friday (1940) Columbia (R1 & R2 UK)

Sergeant York (1941) Warner Brothers (R1)

Ball of Fire (1941) MGM (R1, coming May, 2007)

Air Force (1943) Warner Bros. (R1, part of WWII Collection 2 released June, 2007)

To Have and Have Not (1944) Warner Brothers (R1)

The Big Sleep (1946) Warner Bros. (R1)

Red River (1948) Red River (R1 & R2 UK)

A Song Is Born (1948)

I Was a Male War Bride (1949) 20th Century Fox (R1) Optimum (R2)

The Thing From Another World (1951) uncredited - produced by Hawks, and assisted Christian Nyby - Warner (R1 & R2 UK) Universal (R2 UK) Editions Montparnasse (R2 FR)

The Big Sky (1952) Editions Montparnasse (R2 FR)

Monkey Business (1952) 20th Century Fox (R1 & R2 UK)

O. Henry's Full House (segment "The Ransom of Red Chief", 1952) 20th Century Fox (R1)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) 20th Century Fox (R1 & R2 UK)

Land of the Pharaohs (1955) Warner Brothers (R1)

Rio Bravo (1959) Warner Brothers (R1)

Hatari! (1962) Paramount (R1 & R2 UK)

Man's Favorite Sport? (1964) Universal (R1)

Red Line 7000 (1965)

El Dorado (1966) Paramount (R1 & R2 UK)

Rio Lobo (1970) Paramount (R1)


Forum Discussions

Ball of Fire

The Big Sky

The Big Sky (screen caps and discussion of the Editions Montparnasse edition)

Bringing Up Baby

Gary Cooper: The Signature Collection (includes discussion on Sergeant York)

To Have and Have Not

Twentieth Century


Web Resources

Senses of Cinema


Books

Hawks on Hawks - Joseph McBride (Faber and Faber, 1996)

Howard Hawks - Joseph McBride (Prentice Hall, 1972)

Howard Hawks - Robin Wood (Wayne State University Press, 2006)

Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood - Todd McCarthy (Grove Press, 1997)

Howard Hawks: Interviews - Scott Breivold, editor (University Press of Mississippi, 2006))

Who the Devil Made It by Peter Bogdanovich (Ballantine Books, 1998) - includes more than 100 pages of interviews with Hawks.
Last edited by Scharphedin2 on Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hofmeister
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is it this late already?

#2 Post by Hofmeister » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:00 am

Yesterday I stumbled upon a film-related blog which introduced its subject with this first line:
Howard Hawks, in my not-so-humble-opinion, is the greatest director you have never heard of.
Never heard of Hawks? The blogger, one Gordon Dymowski, describes himself fittingly in these words:
I'm a slightly intellectual health policy wonk who lives in Chicago and who likes comics. Movies. Books. Pop Culture.
Ah yes. Slightly intellectual.
Reminds me of Barry Purves' famous story: After the success of his animated Shakespeare run-through NEXT, a TV producer offered him to do something along those lines featuring some other figure of cultural importance. When Purves suggested he'd like to tackle Hitchcock, the producer asked, "Who's Hitchcock?" (and it was not in jest).

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#3 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:14 am

Did he really equate Cary Grant and Bill Murray? :shock:

I love that the blogger is incapable of going into specific ideas about the film because he has none-- other than what appears to be things he heard his instructor say, which he then blindly attributes to the film without examination.

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#4 Post by david hare » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:21 am

Christ almighty.

is there any reason to continue with some assassination of this idiot?

Umm.. who cares?

Sorry but I am pissed off enough already with UDDA THANGS!!!


ARFFFF!!!!! :evil:

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#5 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:29 am

That's just like something Bill Murray would have said in his 1980s heyday.

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#6 Post by david hare » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:56 am

SSSS---unt!

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#7 Post by wpqx » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:28 am

I would add Viva Villa! to that list of his filmography, even if a large bulk of it was directed by Jack Conway. Hawks is certainly one of the all time greats, it would be nice if particularly some of his earlier films got a DVD release.

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#8 Post by mattkc » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:19 pm

wpqx wrote:Hawks is certainly one of the all time greats, it would be nice if particularly some of his earlier films got a DVD release.
Or some of his later masterpieces: The Big Sky (my favorite Hawks western) and Red Line 7000.

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#9 Post by wpqx » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:12 pm

I thought the Big Sky was on DVD? I got mine from TCM years ago and wasn't particularly impressed with it. I'd still probably put either El Dorado or Rio Bravo as my favorite Hawks western, agreed on Red Line though that needs to come out.

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#10 Post by tryavna » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:21 pm

wpqx wrote:I thought the Big Sky was on DVD? I got mine from TCM years ago and wasn't particularly impressed with it. I'd still probably put either El Dorado or Rio Bravo as my favorite Hawks western, agreed on Red Line though that needs to come out.
Editions Montparnasse released The Big Sky on an R2 DVD, but it's not yet been released on R1 -- and is a glaring omission. In my opinion, The Big Sky is a better movie than El Dorado, but not quite as sublime as either Red River or Rio Bravo. Of his Westerns, it's probably the clearest example of Hawks' interest in character(ization) over plot. It is also, of course, based on one of the greatest Western novels of all time -- one that transcends the genre.

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#11 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:46 pm

What do people think about Come and Get It? I saw it recently as I've been tying up Hawks-related odds and ends and was surprised at how much I liked it. For a bastard production, the final product was pretty great.

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#12 Post by mattkc » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:03 pm

tryavna wrote:Editions Montparnasse released The Big Sky on an R2 DVD, but it's not yet been released on R1
Based on the Beaver grabs, the quality is rather poor. This really deserves a good R1 release. Masterpiece it is, and quite a bit different from his other Westerns (all of which I think are sublime - with the exception of Rio Lobo).

EDIT: Sorry, this was already discussed in the Editions Montparnasse thread.
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#13 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:08 pm

A moderator needs to add McCarthy's book on Hawks, the Grey Fox of Hollywood, to the first post. It's an essential read for anyone interested in the man and his films.

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#14 Post by david hare » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:29 pm

The Ed Mont Big Sky is very bad - hideous contrast boosting and nasty EE and unacceptable compression, but was a desperation buy until Warner does something about it. At least the (OOP?) two disc SE version of the Ed Mont (it was released in one of their Gala boxes, like Top Hat and Ambersons back when) has the longer full print, with additional footage only available in 16mm re inserted by Bill Krohn especially for EM.

There is nothing to stop Warner also releasing it as an optional full version as the 16mm (inferior quality but still) print is readily accessible.

Having had the great pleasure of viewing a marvellous almost complete Hawks retro in Sydney back in circa 1970 (when TV and other 16mm prints were bountiful) I think a Warner upmteem title box set of 30s Hawks would be a real treat. I recently got the French disc of Ceiling Zero, still a doozy (and their print is pretty good.) Warner should, on the strength of boots from TCM be able to assemble a really snazzy box of 30 to 36 Hawks including

Dawn Patrol
Criminal Code
The Crowd Roars (another unrecognized beauty with Ann Dvorak and Cagney, Niven Busch Screenplay!!!!)
Tiger Shark
Today we Live
Viva Villa
Ceiling Zero
The Road to Glory and
Come and Get It (another codirectional movie with Wyler.)

Hawks strikes me as one of the old pantheon who is in fact not nearly as thoroughly accounted for on DVD as say Lang or Hitchcock.

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#15 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:39 pm

Come and Get It is out on DVD from MGM in R1.

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#16 Post by Jonathan S » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:35 am

Mike Schlesinger of Sony has recently said they hope to release The Criminal Code(it's a Columbia film).

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#17 Post by david hare » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:05 am

Aha! My copy is from TCM (I think) but I'm never sure of traders' title provenances. It's a beaut! The movie and the print!

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#18 Post by wpqx » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:09 pm

Well Hawks was a bit of a journeyman filmmaker worked with nearly every major studio so a complete boxed set is probably not possible, because getting movie studios to agree on things like this is about as easy as peace in the middle east. I have a recording of The Crowd Roars via TCM somewhere in my attic and until that gets on DVD that'll be the only way I'll probably see it. I'm at least glad that his Scarface was finally released as a stand alone DVD.

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#19 Post by tryavna » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:34 pm

Jonathan S wrote:Mike Schlesinger of Sony has recently said they hope to release The Criminal Code(it's a Columbia film).
That's probably my favorite of Hawks' pre-Bringing Up Baby works. (It inches ahead of both Scarface and Twentieth Century in terms of my own enjoyment.) I also love the way Bogdanovich uses a clip from it in Targets -- especially the way Karloff rolls his eyes and says "I know" when Boggy says "That's Howard Hawks" in the movie.

I saw The Crowd Roars for the first time a couple of months ago and was somewhat disappointed with it. Then again, it often takes me several viewings to actually like some of Hawks' early- and mid-1930s work. Is anyone else like that? I found that I immediately adored just about every one of Hawks' movies from 1938 on, but that immediate connection just isn't there with the earlier stuff. Quite odd, I"ve always thought, but there it is. (Perhaps for the same reason, I've never cared a great deal for Come and Get It; it's fun and doesn't really show the seams of the two directors' work, but it still doesn't quite cohere for me.)

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#20 Post by vivahawks » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:11 pm

tryavna wrote:Then again, it often takes me several viewings to actually like some of Hawks' early- and mid-1930s work. Is anyone else like that? I found that I immediately adored just about every one of Hawks' movies from 1938 on, but that immediate connection just isn't there with the earlier stuff. Quite odd, I"ve always thought, but there it is. (Perhaps for the same reason, I've never cared a great deal for Come and Get It; it's fun and doesn't really show the seams of the two directors' work, but it still doesn't quite cohere for me.)
When I first saw pre-38 Hawks I was a little disconcerted as well (and to me he's one of the two or three greatest directors). Now I think what threw me off is the much more neurotic tone in these movies, which often move towards conventionally melodramatic male hysteria (ie Tiger Shark, The Road to Glory, The Dawn Patrol) and are much more ambivalent about the heroes' professional impassivity, which edges much closer to irresponsibility (especially in Road to Glory and Ceiling Zero); they're much less "cooler" films, in several senses, and it was only after I saw several that I started to "get" them. The early films still a mixed bag in my opinion, and to some extent seem to be Hawks working stuff out of his system and figuring out what's a "Hawks film", but they're still fascinating--besides the obvious landmarks like Scarface and Twentieth Century, Ceiling Zero is one of my favorites and Hawks' best flying movie imo.

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#21 Post by david hare » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:58 pm

So is Dawn Patrol. And there's then the wonderful resonance of Richard Bathelmess returning to the sublime Only Angels Have Wings nine years later.

You're certainly right about an edginess of tone in the earlier movies. Isn't this in part a consequence of the generally faster pacing of action movies then? The pacing of some of Hawks' early thirties movies like Ceiling Zero makes, say Warner programmers like Roy del Ruth et al look sluggish. There are also more quasi suicidal "sacrificial" deaths in action during this period as well - right up to Only Angels again.

One of the great regulars with Hawks in the later part of his career is the great Jules Furthman (also one fo the great writers for Sternberg of course) who is able to effortlessly provide Hawks - indeed from Only Angels onwards - with the characters and situations he could endlessly turn over and re-work in film after film. The earlier movies don't have that tonal "stability" (Im struggling for a word here because I like the 30s pictures overall so much) that a primary co-screenwriter might have provided.

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#22 Post by vivahawks » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:34 am

That's an interesting point about the general pace of early 30s action--I hadn't thought of it before, but it seems that Walsh, Rowland Brown, LeRoy, Wellman, etc move as fast, if not more, than Hawks but don't quite have the same tone. They're all directors more innately comfortable with those melodramatic suicide/sacrifice stories, whereas Hawks' edge comes from the fact that he can't quite put that material (which he still seems to believe in at this stage) together with his sense of a "cooler" masculinity. And you're certainly right about Furthman's importance in solidifying Hawks' tone: Sternberg is obviously a genius, but I probably like Docks of New York and Shanghai Express best in large part for Furthman's scripts, and anyone who can be a central voice for both Nightmare Alley and Rio Bravo, say, deserves all the praise he can get.

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#23 Post by tryavna » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:47 am

Very interesting conversation, guys. And I think you've hit the nail on the head regarding pacing, edginess, and tone of the early 1930s work. I also have to confess that I have much the same problem with "pre-Code" Hollywood films in general: I generally have to grow to like them on a case-by-case basis, as I'm not predisposed to immediately love them as so many members of this forum are. I believe this is just a personality issue and says more about me than about the films themselves. I guess I simply prefer the more laconic pacing of Hawks' work from 1938-39 onwards, which is as Richard Schickel once pointed out "the special glory" of his mature films.

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#24 Post by vivahawks » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:02 pm

I feel pretty much the same way about pre-Code; when it's great it's great, but in general it isn't any more compelling than non-Hollywood and post-Code 30s movies. It might be a personality issue, as you say, but that cuts both ways; I think that sometimes the enthusiasm for pre-Code verges on a condescending, "oh, they knew about sex/sadism/fill-in-the-blank all along too" kind of attitude, though obviously there are many other sophisticated and intelligent reasons for admiring them.

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Re: Howard Hawks

#25 Post by sevenarts » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:51 am

I now have reviews up of Twentieth Century - this really blew me away with how fun it is - and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I'm getting ready to go on a real big Hawks kick now, catching up on lots of his stuff that I haven't seen yet.

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