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Film_Fatale

The films of the amazing Howard Hawks

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I was recording the Howard Hawks episode of *The Men Who Made the Movies* and I thought to myself, "I should look for the Howard Hawks thread in the Film and Filmmakers forum" to see what Hawks movies were most admired by other TCM viewers.

 

Much to my surprise, I couldn't find a Howard Hawks thread, even after going back 15 or 20 pages. So, let's try and get one going. B-)

 

He was an amazingly versatile filmmaker, good with almost anything that he touched from screwball comedy to westerns and gangster movies. Some of the movies he directed that I admire most include *Only Angels Have Wings*, *Ball of Fire*, *Bringing Up Baby*, *Scarface*, *To Have and Have Not*, *Red River* and *The Big Sky*. And I'll even admit that *Land of the Pharaohs* is high on my guilty-pleasure list.

 

What films by Howard Hawks do you admire most? What do you like best about his films?

 

HawksArthur.jpg

 

Hawks with Jean Arthur

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*_My Fav Howard Hawks Films:_*

 

Scarface (1932)

Twentieth Century (1934)

Barbary Coast

To Have and Have Not

The Big Sleep

The Outlaw (1943) (I read somewhere he directed this film, but was Uncredited!)

Red River

Monkey Business

Land of the Pharaohs

Only Angels Have Wings

Bringing up Baby

The Thing from Another World AKA The Thing (1951)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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Howard Hawks amazed me early into my adventure into American film. He direction was way way ahead of it's time. I often find him to be very good in all types of genres as well. My favorites are(in order:

 

1. The Big Sleep

2. His Girl Friday

3. Scarface

 

I think he is very underrated. He will always be my favorite American director. Does anyone know where i can get some biographies on him or are there any movies about him? I missed that show about him, and quite frankly wasn't even aware of the show. I wish i had TCM here at school in Alabama, but we aren't given that luxury here. I just have my netflix.

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Above and beyond anything else he did, I love *His Girl Friday*. I noticed earlier this year that on the "Movies you watch over and over" thread, this movie showed up on almost every person's list. It is also on almost everyone's favorite movies list. That is really something.

 

*Ball of Fire* is next for me. It is an absolute favorite.

 

I think that Hawks is shown at his best when directing a group of actors, rather than one on one scenes. This is what I most appreciate in my two favorites listed above, A Song is Born, and also in Only Angels Have Wings. His artistry is most apparent when three, four, five or more people are all talking to one another, or not talking, as the case may be. Take time to watch the scene in Ball of Fire in which the old professors sit at the table singing "Genevieve" - This may be my favorite movie scene of all time- each actor gets some time, and Hawks allows real action and emotion to "spontaneously" happen. He had a real grasp of human psychology, I don't think many biographers or critics notice this quality in his movies. He is able to suggest real intimacy when his characters finally do get a minute alone. The juxtaposition of free for all and intimate moments is quite satisfying.

 

This leads me to the other reason I like Hawks- I like the sound of his films. I like the rat-a-tat-tat of staccato voices, I also like the whispered speech of a character that doesn't know he's being listened to. When you put a movie together made up of scenes like that, it's like listening to the best jazz ever.

 

I did watch the Howard Hawks entry in The Men Who Made the Movies, but I was distracted by my daughter a few tiimes. He was pretty laconic, and didn't say a lot about himself.

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> *Ball of Fire* is next for me. It is an absolute favorite.

>

 

I like *Ball of Fire* soooo MUCH! So glad they finally re-issued the DVD, I hated it when it was totally OOP.

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I agree. I have also had many really horrible copies of His Girl Friday. One in which the sound suddenly exploded out of the TV halfway through the movie.

 

Who's your favorite professor? I mean after Gary? :)

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Who's your favorite professor? I mean after Gary? :)

 

Gosh that's almost as hard for me as picking one of the 7 dwarfs. I'd have to say it's a tie I guess between the S.Z. Sakall character and Oskar Homolka's.

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I love Oscar Homolka! I like how he changes the mood of that singing scene when he starts humming the graduation type song....oh, what is that song called? I can't remember. Anyway, he is my favorite- but really they are a team and should almost be considered one character.....

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> {quote:title=rohanaka wrote:}{quote}

> what is that song called?

>

> Pomp and Circumstance????

 

That could be the one, but I'm terrible with song titles. :(

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Is THAT what they played in *Ball of Fire* ? Funny, for some reason I don't remember that scene very well, but I NEVER forget the polka-dancin' scene!

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graduation type song (that's what threw me off track) :-)

 

It's been a long time since I saw that movie...let me give it some more thought.....

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I just listened to it - and I STILL don't know what it's called!

 

It's because of my public school education- no Latin taught anymore.....

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no Latin taught

 

Is it Latin??? I think so too, but it's hard to tell. I wish we could get closed caption and see for sure what the lyrics are and maybe look it up that way.

 

I do recognize the tune....this will be bugging me for a while now too. :-)

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In the meantime...while the music wheels are turning in the background or my mind...

 

Film Fatale--I looked up a list of Hawks' films....just to see what ones I may know. I only recently started paying attention to some of these directors names...the longer I hang out in here, the more aware of such things I become. So I was surprised to see so many movies of such a wide variety "types" on his list. Although I had not seen all of them, I recognized most of the titles... He wasn't one to be pigeonholed it seems...

 

Sgt York is my favorite for sure.

 

Have also enjoyed: ( in no particular order)

 

Rio Bravo, El Dorado, I Was a Male War Bride, Ball of Fire (obviously), His Girl Friday, Only Angels Have Wings (although I did not know this was the name of this film until a few weeks ago) Bringing Up Baby (though I probably would say this is my least favorite among those I've seen)

 

I believeI have also seen Rio Lobo and The Big Sky...but memory fades with time...so can't say with too much certainty.

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*The Big Sky* is a good western, and an underrated one imho. It is not on DVD, but you may be able to catch it on TCM from time to time.

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