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Overview for Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks

Howard Hawks


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Also Known As: Howard Winchester Hawks Died: December 26, 1977
Born: May 30, 1896 Cause of Death: complications from broken hip after tripping over dog
Birth Place: Goshen, Indiana, USA Profession: Director ... director producer screenwriter cutter casting director racecar driver property boy assistant director story editor plane designer pilot


Viewed as a competent director of successful genre pictures at the height of his career, Howard Hawks later came to be recognized as one of the greatest American filmmakers of the Hollywood studio era. After receiving his start in silent movies, Hawks worked in nearly every film genre imaginable, and collaborated with the greatest acting and writing talent of the day. "Scarface" (1932), scripted by Ben Hecht, set the standard for the gangster film, while the Cary Grant vehicles "Bringing Up Baby" (1938) and "His Girl Friday" (1940), as well as the Carole Lombard classic "Twentieth Century" (1934) became three of the most often imitated screwball comedies of all time. The wartime biopic "Sergeant York" (1941) earned Gary Cooper an Oscar and the drama "To Have and Have Not" (1944) introduced the world to the onscreen combo of Bogie and Bacall. Hawks worked with the likes of literary legend William Faulkner on the film noir "The Big Sleep" (1946) and forever altered the genre of science fiction with his terrifying production of "The Thing from Another World" (1951). The director boosted the careers of such screen icons as Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953) and reunited time and again with favored screenwriter Leigh Brackett on projects like the influential John Wayne Western "Rio Bravo" (1959). Telling his stories in a deceptively straightforward manner that belied the subtle artistry of his work, Hawks produced rousing adventures in which men were bound together by adversity, and raucous comedies, wherein the male's orderly world was hilariously undone by the free-spirited, sharp-tongued woman. Finally acknowledged for his contributions to film with an honorary Academy Award late in life, Hawks was more importantly recognized as a master craftsman by such auteur directors as Peter Bogdanovich, Brian de Palma and John Carpenter, whose admiration of Hawks exposed new generations to the varied works of the long undervalued filmmaker.

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