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Howard Hawks (1896–1977)

Author of His Girl Friday [1940 film]

99+ Works 3,030 Members 47 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Howard Hawks, an American producer, writer, and director, grew up in California, studied engineering, and served in the Army Air Corps during World War I. For 45 years he made movies in all of the standard Hollywood genres: popular "screwball comedies" like His Girl Friday (1940) and Bringing Up show more Baby (1938), westerns like Red River (1948) and Rio Bravo (1959), musicals like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), gangster films like Scarface (1932), adventure films like To Have and Have Not (1944), and private-eye melodramas like The Big Sleep (1946). These were not run-of-the-mill movies, however, for Hawks infused them with his own style and themes. He tended to use a symmetrical structure and sparse dialogue, depending on concrete visual images to reveal character in action. Although he worked with some of the best writers in Hollywood (Ben Hecht, Jules Furthman, and William Faulkner, for example), he allowed his actors to add or alter lines, believing that improvisation improved the verisimilitude of a film. Hawks received only one Academy Award nomination in his career, for Sergeant York (1941), but he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy in 1975. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Howard Hawks

Works by Howard Hawks

His Girl Friday [1940 film] (1940) — Producer/Director — 288 copies
The Big Sleep [1946 film] (1946) — Director — 266 copies
Rio Bravo [1959 film] (1959) — Director — 224 copies
Bringing Up Baby [1938 film] (1938) — Director — 211 copies
To Have and Have Not [1944 film] (1944) — Director — 189 copies
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes [1953 film] (1953) — Director — 175 copies
El Dorado [1966 film] (1966) — Director — 156 copies
Red River [1948 film] (1948) — Producer/Director — 139 copies
Hatari! [1962 film] (1962) — Director — 115 copies
Hawks on Hawks (1972) 105 copies
Rio Lobo [1970 film] (1970) — Director — 85 copies
The Thing from Another World [1951 film] (1951) — Uncredited director — 77 copies
Sergeant York [1941 film] (1941) — Director — 71 copies
Monkey Business [1952 film] (1952) — Director — 69 copies
Only Angels Have Wings [1939 film] (1939) — Director & Producer — 58 copies
I Was a Male War Bride [1949 film] (1949) — Director — 57 copies
Scarface [1932 film] (1932) — Director — 56 copies
The Outlaw [1943 film] (1943) — Director — 51 copies
Ball of Fire [1941 film] (1941) — Director — 48 copies
Man's Favorite Sport? [1964 film] (1964) — Director — 29 copies
Twentieth Century [1934 film] (1934) — Director — 27 copies
O. Henry's Full House [1952 film] (1952) — Director — 24 copies
AMC Movies: Cary Grant Hollywood Classics — Director — 15 copies
Air Force [1943 film] (1943) — Director — 15 copies
The Big Sky [1952 film] — Director — 13 copies
The Dawn Patrol [1938 film] (2007) — Writer — 11 copies
Howard Hawks: Interviews (2006) 10 copies
Marilyn Monroe: The Diamond Collection [DVD set] (2001) — Director; Director — 10 copies
A Song is Born [1948 film] (1948) — Director — 9 copies
Land of the Pharaohs [1955 film] (1955) — Director — 9 copies
Come and Get It [1936 film] (1936) — Director — 8 copies
Grant & Hope: Comedy Collection (2008) — Director — 8 copies
50 Movies: The Fabulous Forties (2012) — Director — 8 copies
Classic Comedies Collection (2005) — Director — 7 copies
Cary Grant Collector's Edition (2009) — Director — 6 copies
El Dorado [and] Hatari! (Double Feature Video) (1962) — Director — 5 copies
The Criminal Code [1931 film] — Director — 4 copies
Barbary Coast [1935 film] (1935) 4 copies
Danny Kaye: The Goldwyn Years: 4 Films (2013) — Director — 4 copies
The Cary Grant Film Collection (6 Films) (2013) — Director — 3 copies
The Best of John Wayne (1992) — Director — 3 copies
Corvette K-225 [1943 film] — Director — 2 copies
5 Film Collection: John Wayne — Director — 2 copies
John Wayne Westerns Film Collection [5 films] (2015) — Director — 2 copies
The John Wayne Collection: 5 Films (2002) — Director — 2 copies
50 Movie Pack: Hollywood Legends — Director — 2 copies
Cary Grant 7-Movie Collection — Director — 2 copies
The Best of Marilyn — Director — 2 copies
The Dawn Patrol [1930 film] (2013) — Director — 2 copies
Red river 1 copy
The Front Page | His Girl Friday — Director — 1 copy
Classic Comedy Ten Movie Pack — Director — 1 copy
The Prizefighter and the Lady [1933 film] (2011) — Director — 1 copy

Associated Works


1930s (16) 1940s (33) 1950s (19) action (27) adventure (30) American cinema (19) black and white (22) Blu-ray (26) Cary Grant (53) cinema (24) classic (24) comedy (149) crime (18) drama (83) DVD (449) fiction (18) film (109) film noir (32) Howard Hawks (44) Humphrey Bogart (26) John Wayne (46) Lauren Bacall (27) Marilyn Monroe (23) movie (115) movies (76) musical (27) mystery (21) noir (20) romance (70) romantic comedy (17) science fiction (23) screwball (17) screwball comedy (30) thomson1000 (16) USA (18) VHS (33) Walter Brennan (19) western (117) Westerns (16) WWII (18)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Hawks, Howard
Legal name
Hawks, Howard Winchester
Date of death
Goshen, Indiana, USA
Cornell University
film director
Awards and honors
Hollywood Walk of Fame



B (Good).

A wanted nightclub singer hides out with old men writing an encyclopedia. It's a little too long, but pretty consistently delightful. The scenes between Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper are great.

(Jan. 2024)
comfypants | Jan 13, 2024 |
Loved watching all the greats of the time...Black and white...come together to make music on film. Cute plot, but you won't really care about it anyway.
TheLoisLevel | Jan 7, 2024 |
Howard Hawks fashioned Jules Furthman’s good screenplay into a true screen classic of male camaraderie and the women who love them, and must choose to accept it. Hawks had Martinique as the setting for “To Have and Have Not” but showed his preference for exotic locales much earlier by setting “Only Angels Have Wings” in the South American port of Barranca. It makes a colorful backdrop to an even more colorful story of what it is to be a man — according to Hawks.

The banana boats are coming in and Geoff (Cary Grant) is sending the mail out by plane in dangerous conditions in order to keep afloat his rag-tag outfit of pilots, who live dangerously and like it. They all wear guns but it’s the weather that’s more likely to take them down.

This is made clear early on when Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur) hits the port for a short layover and attracts the good-natured attention of a couple of Geoff’s pilots, one of whom will go down in flames just a few hours later. It is only then that Bonnie, already attracted to Geoff, will get a glimpse of real men and what their world is like.

Hawks puts a spotlight on the suspicion men who've been with a woman or two often harbor towards every female in a telling scene when Bonnie takes a memento from the fallen pilot’s belongings and Geoff scoffs at her greed. Only moments later when she gives it to the young Mexican girl who adored him does he give Bonnie a few points, and then only in surprise.

Arthur is terrific here trying not to let her emotions show so she can live in Geoff’s world. When a new pilot with a checkered past shows up (silent film star Richard Barthelmess), with Geoff’s old flame in tow (young Rita Hayworth), Bonnie realizes just how serious Geoff is about never asking anything of a woman. There is a ton of male adventure filling the screen in the meantime.

There are dangerous flights with nitro, and daring flights for doctors; Hawks even allows a female into the act with some accidental gunplay. Arthur eventually breaks under the stress, of course, because Hawks is filming a world long ago and far away, where men were men, and women weren’t. I’ve never met a guy who doesn't love this film and perhaps that’s why. Hawks adds his own spin on the romantic touch with the flip of a coin.

Grant is great here and Arthur sparkles. The rest of the cast is excellent, with Thomas Mitchell especially memorable as Geoff’s best friend. Any male who wants to hang out in a bar with their pals and not talk about what every man already knows by virtue of their kind, will love this one. You'll wish there were a few girls like Arthur still out there too. Just a fantastic look at good men, jaded about women, but still needing them. Another film masterpiece from director Howard Hawks.
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Matt_Ransom | 1 other review | Nov 27, 2023 |
Howard Hawks produced this exciting picture in that genre of sci-fi which developed in the late forties and continued through the 1950s. Directed by Christian Nyby with an atmospheric score from Dimitri Tiomkin, this is about as much fun as you can have at the movies. Charles Lederer was credited with the script, but pals of Hawks, Ben Hecht and William Faulkner have been rumored over the years to have worked on it in collaboration with Hawks himself. The constant UFO sightings which enveloped not only America, but the entire globe after the atomic bomb was unleashed is deftly played upon in fine style, with a reminder to always be vigilant in watching the skies!

When something crashes into the Arctic ice, Captain Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) and his crew are sent by the US Air Force to help the scientific research team already stationed there. Before he can have too much 1950s innocent fun with Nikki (Margaret Sheridan) he’s convinced what has landed may be more than just a plane. Their flight reveals a large circular object like nothing on earth, and Hendry’s reporter pal, Scotty (Douglas Spencer), knows he has the biggest story of all time. Getting clearance to send it might be another thing, however, as the saucer explodes, revealing a survivor.

The thrill of such a discovery makes for exciting viewing, and once they bring the visitor back to the research station in a block of ice, things only get better. A misplaced electric blanket, a severed arm that it is more vegetable than human, and that one pompous scientific nitwit who thinks studying their discovery is more important than their own survival ratchets up the fun. Hendry gets orders from above more in line with science than common sense and knows they’ve got to destroy it to stay alive.

Along the way there’s a little romance, some suspense during calls too close for comfort, and finally a real plan which might work. Strangely enough, being bait for an 8-foot tall vegetable man who would look like Matt Dillon if they could get close enough, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The windy cold and snowy Arctic weather are used to good effect and it all adds up to great fun for the viewer. The final scene is especially enjoyable. Curling up on the couch with your wife or sweetheart and a big bowl of popcorn is highly recommended. A real classic, miles better than the blood and gore modern re-make.
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Matt_Ransom | 1 other review | Nov 24, 2023 |



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