Howard Hawks

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Matt
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Re: Howard Hawks

#76 Post by Matt » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:01 pm

The script for Rio Lobo was even written by a woman, which might have something to do with its perceived progressiveness.

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domino harvey
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Re: Howard Hawks

#77 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:04 pm

Though Hawks' films are usually sexually progressive to some degree, depending on how on-board you are with the Hawksian Woman trope. The gal good enough to hang with the guys is often the most prized character of all in a Hawks film

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Re: Howard Hawks

#78 Post by Iamhere » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:15 pm

Hawks wrote most of his films but credited others. I even heard some were credited under different names for his daughter. In regards to El Dorado and Rio lobo they were compiled of lost scenes he written with others for rio bravo. It was always an idea of his i suppose.

But one can't ignore the race issues he puts into the film, which seem to go un noticed while other youthful films of the time made it more of an issue of different races being together sexually.

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Matt
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Re: Howard Hawks

#79 Post by Matt » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:30 pm

Iamhere wrote:Hawks wrote most of his films but credited others. I even heard some were credited under different names for his daughter. In regards to El Dorado and Rio lobo they were compiled of lost scenes he written with others for rio bravo. It was always an idea of his i suppose.
From what crackpot website did you get these ideas? He had a healthy input into his scripts, more so than many studio directors, but no, he did not write his own scripts and give credit to others.

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domino harvey
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Re: Howard Hawks

#80 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:37 pm

Just checked Todd McCarthy's book-- Hawks brought in the credited author explicitly to reconfigure his past hits into a new film and then rewrote a great deal of dialog on-set, but the credit author spent four months writing the script, not Hawks

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Re: Howard Hawks

#81 Post by Iamhere » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:39 pm

Interviews...some interviews done by Joesph McBride who interviewed him for a long time and written great books on the matter.
I'll try to re-find the interview about the case of B.h. McCampbell.


here is one that talks about his writting process briefly: http://books.google.com/books?id=WMxmjw ... ks&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

there is much more, I'll get latter. But I'm going to bed.

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Re: Howard Hawks

#82 Post by Iamhere » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:43 pm

http://parallax-view.org/2011/08/09/you ... terviewed/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


"I was producing for about 15 directors and 80 writers over there.
I had fun when we wrote Rio Bravo. My daughter was getting interested, and she had one good idea about throwing dynamite. I said, “Look, I’ll write the story and give you a credit and it’ll save me money on income tax and you’ll get enough to buy a new house.” So she’s listed as the writer.

That’s B.H. McCampbell?!

Yes! (Laughter) Barbara [Hawks) McCampbell! But I used to work with a kid who was beginning writing, and pay him five or ten thousand dollars for the writing, and I'd rewrite it myself. And if it was something I didn't want to do, I'd sell it. I could charge off the guy, I didn't get credit for being a writer and you could charge those things off."

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Matt
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Re: Howard Hawks

#83 Post by Matt » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:55 pm

Yes, B.H. McCampbell is a pseudonym of Barbara Hawks and has credit for the short story Rio Bravo is based on. The story may never have been published, I'm not sure, so as with most Hawksiana, it's difficult to confirm or deny his tall tales. But the screenwriters were Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett, two major screenwriting talents who most certainly did not need Hawks ghostwriting them.

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Re: Howard Hawks

#84 Post by Iamhere » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:58 pm

he told them along with most writers of his what to write or what to fit in, then he revised.... what I'm getting at is that these ideas and characters mostly came from Hawks himself. It's too big of a part to have been fully invented by another writer.

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Matt
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Re: Howard Hawks

#85 Post by Matt » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:01 pm

Matt wrote:He had a healthy input into his scripts, more so than many studio directors, but no, he did not write his own scripts and give credit to others.

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Matt
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Re: Howard Hawks

#86 Post by Matt » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:07 pm

Just for the hell of it, I checked Short Story Index and WorldCat for anything ever published by a B.H. McCampbell and found nothing. As much as Hawks loved to stretch the truth and had little patience with interviewers quizzing him about his past, I would be inclined to believe that he gave his daughter a story credit on Rio Bravo so that she could buy a house.

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Gregory
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Re: Howard Hawks

#87 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:28 pm

Matt wrote:Yes, B.H. McCampbell is a pseudonym of Barbara Hawks and has credit for the short story Rio Bravo is based on. The story may never have been published, I'm not sure, so as with most Hawksiana, it's difficult to confirm or deny his tall tales. But the screenwriters were Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett, two major screenwriting talents who most certainly did not need Hawks ghostwriting them.
I believe the story was not actually written as a story let alone published. Warner Bros. legal department never saw it, at least, and the credit was to "an unpublished story." It wasn't the basis for the whole story of Rio Bravo, just the one scene toward the end with the dynamite, and maybe a couple other minor ideas. Hawks describes the "story" in Hawks on Hawks as "an idea that she thought would be good, so I paid her for the story" (my emphasis). As McCarthy points out, the dynamite throwing idea was already used in Gunga Din (which Hawks had been fired from many years earlier), so it could have been a case of Hawks stealing from himself, using an idea, and giving Barbara credit.
Or maybe Faulkner came up with the dynamite tossing idea for Gunga Din. After all, he could write an exhaust pipe gag that would really make you think.

Iamhere, most of the actual writing of Rio Bravo was done by Brackett based on long sessions of brainstorming and revision along with Furthman and Hawks, described in the McCarthy biography.

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Matt
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Re: Howard Hawks

#88 Post by Matt » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:54 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't have the Todd McCarthy bio handy, it might have saved me some work and irritation by referencing it. I think for now the bio stands as the definitive record of Hawks' career, not the many interviews Hawks did in the 1970s. Among Ford, Hawks, and Welles in their later years, it's almost as if they were having a contest to see who could be the greatest curmudgeonly fabulist in Hollywood.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Howard Hawks

#89 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:19 pm

Sweet Jesus, the COMPLETE Howard Hawks at MoMI!

All presented in 35mm (except for one title to be shown in archival 16mm), and it opens September 7 with a double feature of "To Have and Have Not" and "Rio Bravo," the latter of which is a RESTORED 35mm PRINT! (Hopefully a sign of a new Blu-Ray reissue to replace the old, out-of-print one that didn't look so hot.)

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Re: Howard Hawks

#90 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:24 pm

As far as I know, Trent's Last Case is the only one from that selection that's not circulating so that should be the priority -- very tempted to go up for the day myself

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hearthesilence
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Re: Howard Hawks

#91 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:40 pm

MoMI's actually out of the way for me, and I'm not even in town in September, but I would definitely make the trek for at least one of these. (And I guess see the Breaking Bad exhibit going on, might as well get the most out of your ticket since museum admission is included.)

shaky
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Re: Howard Hawks

#92 Post by shaky » Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:29 pm

I see that RED LINE 7000 is up for free for Amazon Prime subscribers. Would someone with that service see what aspect ratio the film is shown in?

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domino harvey
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Re: Howard Hawks

#93 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:51 pm

It's Academy

Image

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Re: Howard Hawks

#94 Post by jvdsq » Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:40 am

Ball of Fire is a long-time favorite film of mine. This is one of the few films from that time period (to my knowledge) in which the current slang plays such a big part. Some of the expressions are still used, while others were new to me.

I love Barbara Stanwyck's performance in her first scene (the Drum Boogie number). This was followed by the Match Boogie performance, which was quite unusual.

Gary Cooper was charming as the bumbling professor who falls hard for Stanwyck's character, not knowing her true reason for hiding out in the home of these professors.

Thank you, Mr. Hawks, for directing such a great film!

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bottled spider
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Re: Howard Hawks

#95 Post by bottled spider » Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:46 pm

I haven't really warmed to classic screwball comedies so far, but Ball of Fire won me over entirely. Probably because I like Cooper and Stanwyck so much better than the principals of other major screwball titles. Or perhaps it's because the personality of Cooper's character means repartee is less central to the film than a Grant/Hepburn comedy.

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Re: Howard Hawks

#96 Post by Paniolo » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:05 pm

I always considered "Rio Bravo" to be a classic, solid Western. I realize Barbara Hawks wrote it. Just wondered where the "McCampbell" name came up as the credit she chose/used. My initials are "B. H. McCampbell" and am writing a book about a railroad conductor's gun--after he was arrested for robbing trains!

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mizo
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Re: Howard Hawks

#97 Post by mizo » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:48 am

Just watched Monkey Business for the first time earlier and thought I'd share some thoughts about it, hopefully to start a discussion. Spoilers follow, etc.

My response to the film falls somewhere between the two prevailing camps of opinion (where one hails it as an underrated masterpiece, and the other ranks it among Hawks’ worst films). Certainly, there are a few serious miscalculations in it – Ginger Rogers’ performance as her character’s young self is pitched so high and with so little nuance it does grate, and there are long stretches, particularly the boardroom scene, that hammer an already-not-too-funny premise deep into the ground – but at least a considerable chunk of the film has a pretty decent sense of tone. I had a sinking feeling moving into the third act (which, if you start with the boardroom scene, really feels like a fourth act tossed in to stretch the denouement for all its worth) that it was going to degenerate into a mess, but the pile-up of absurd situations is juggled with a relatively sure hand. I’d even say Cary Grant’s “scalping” scene was one of the best in the movie. Still, it’s hard to escape how unnecessary it all feels. All these comic set pieces seem to have been stuffed into the film, which had been winding down, in order to artificially inflate its back end, and while, in true Hawksian fashion, it never becomes boring, I can’t help but feel the movie would’ve made a better impression without them. It would have allowed me to focus more on the really interesting note of melancholy that underlies some of the earlier sequences, something that mostly surfaces when the film directly faces the grim question of whether Grant and Rogers still love each other. With the exploration of that question understood as the film’s central goal, the main plot point of a youth potion actually doesn’t seem quite so absurd (monkey intervention notwithstanding), as it allows us to observe precisely the ways in which the two have grown apart.

The opening scene, where Rogers tries gently to nudge her husband out of the stupor caused by his vexation over problems at work, is pitched at a really unusual level. Grant isn’t playing “absent-minded genius” so much as “genius afflicted with a degenerative brain condition,” and Rogers seems less like she’s doting on him and more like she’s sincerely worried about his mental state. The ultra-low-key, intimate nature of this scene deflates most of the humor from it, so for a minute, it really feels like a peek into the daily routine of a couple whose ordinary life has been destroyed by a disease that has trapped one of them mentally in his own world. Of course, within a minute or two, Grant returns to his normal self, and this introduction is revealed to have been a ruse. Yet, that dynamic (one individual in their own world, the other on the outside) hangs over the film – or at least the first couple acts – and imbues some truly ridiculous set pieces with a surprising degree of pathos. Most poignant is the extended sequence where, on childlike Ginger Rogers’ prompting, her and Grant go to spend a night in the same bridal suite they stayed in on their wedding night. She seems to be reliving that night – embarrassed in front of the hotel staff, anxious about her new husband seeing her in her nightgown, terrified about what her mother must be thinking – while he’s totally baffled. While the ordinary expectation would be for the audience to be placed in Grant’s corner, and for the woman’s hysterical antics to register as merely amusing, in actual fact, his comical inaptitude for dealing with her mania (at one point he starts noting on a paper how much time she’s spent changing in the bathroom, muttering to himself, “A complete reversal of her usual behavior…”) totally changes that order. It’s so pronounced that, when a poor choice of words gets him thrown out of the room, the image of Grant stuck outside, a piece of fabric on his pajamas caught in the door so he can’t move, crystallizes into a summation of his total incapability of dealing on a human level with a person that, chemical changes and all, is still his wife. He even comes close to verbalizing this problem later on when he decides to get rid of the formula (ostensibly because the sudden return to youth is so traumatic, but it hardly seems unwarranted to attribute it partly to a fear of facing how much they’ve both changed), though of course the admission is disguised by a very self-serving perspective: “You don’t love me anymore,” “You think more of Hank Entwistle than me,” etc.

For Rogers’ part, she’s not without her own suspicions, though they don’t tend to be treated as seriously by the film, which typically paints her, outside of her chemically-induced episodes, as the dutiful, long-suffering spouse. Actually, even the impression of suffering is minimized by her general optimism, a tendency which does rather flatten out her character (in this respect, too, Rogers’ performance leaves much to be desired), though it allows Grant’s failings to seem even more troubling by comparison. The final scene, which shows the couple’s idyllic reconciliation, therefore struck me as pretty unconvincing. It recalled a moment shortly after the illusion of Grant’s sickness in the opening is dispelled to reveal the fairly serene and mutually loving nature of their real home life. After Hugh Marlowe’s character takes Grant to task for preventing his wife from attending a dance, Grant proves he can still please her by reminding her of a night they spent together during their honeymoon, and suggesting they try to reenact it. We don’t witness this, of course, but the reenactment we do witness (of their wedding night) goes so spectacularly wrong, it’s hard to retroactively accept that they could have managed to connect in the same way they were once able to. Perhaps they had a perfectly nice night this time, but judging by Grant’s total mystification later when she reverts back to the younger woman he knew back then, with him still at his present age, it seems like something has definitely been lost. It all hearkens back to that first scene again, when Grant spontaneously muses, “It’s queer about people. Through no fault of their own, they get older. Something happens to them. I’m thinking of the human race as a whole, a pretty sad group.” This is an alarmingly pessimistic perspective on aging, and the credibility the film lends it during what are ostensibly the main comic set pieces of its first two acts makes the ultimate happy resolution pretty hard to swallow.

This more serious consideration of aging and the decline of the couple’s marriage was, without question, the most interesting part of the film for me, so it was very disappointing that it was totally pushed to the side to make room for the largely farcical final act (wherein both take the formula, removing the dynamic I discussed from the equation). Otherwise, the whole experience was nowhere near the disaster it’s been made out to be. The supporting cast is pretty strong. Monroe is funny in a mostly nothing role, though the scene with her and Grant in the car gave her more bite than I’d expect from your typical “dumb blonde” character – particularly when she vocally expresses disdain for Grant’s choice of music, and then curses it when he admits it reminds him of his wife. Hugh Marlowe has a lot of fun being a total prick. And while I definitely prefer him in less antagonistic roles, I’m not sure it’s possible to ever dislike a Charles Coburn performance. So the film’s got all that, and some really gorgeous photography to boot!

I’d love to hear any other takes on the movie, even if they boil down to a total lambasting. I’m also relieved to find that Rivette’s cursory defense of Hawks in one essay (I believe it went something like, “One need only look at Monkey Business for ample evidence of his genius”) was not quite as absurd as the status typically afforded the film in Hawks’ oeuvre had led me to believe.

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domino harvey
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Re: Howard Hawks

#98 Post by domino harvey » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:56 pm

From Twitter (spoilers for the Big Sleep)
SpoilerShow
Image

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Howard Hawks

#99 Post by Rayon Vert » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:11 pm

Fantastic. :) I usually don't even try to understand the plot details (!), but I'll save that for my next rewatch.

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Re: Howard Hawks

#100 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:16 pm

SpoilerShow
No one wanted to do General Sternwood. :cry:

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