Documentary about Howard Hughes, focusing on his career and relationships in Hollywood.
Elvin Ralph Coon Iii
Shannon Davis Forsyth
Carl H Lindahl
Mary Jane Morrison
Stanley M Ottenstein
John R Savka
Gary W Stockdale
Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies
Born in Houston, Texas December 24, 1905, Hughes enjoyed a privileged upbringing. But it was less than idyllic. The troubles of his parents (a womanizing father and a mother with a germ phobia) would impact Hughes for years to come. By 18, he was orphaned and poised to inherit a multi-million dollar estate. When he voiced an interest in moving to California to get into the movie business, Hughes' remaining family (trustees of his estate) had a condition - he had to get married first. And so a marriage to socialite Ella Rice was arranged. The couple moved to Los Angeles, where Hughes set Rice up in a hotel and basically abandoned her while he focused solely on his career.
His first film was an unreleasable flop. But Hughes' second film, Everybody's Acting (1926) under his newly formed Caddo Productions, more than doubled his investment. And his third film, Two Arabian Knights (1927) won the first Academy Award for Direction (Comedy) for Lewis Milestone. Then came the film that really launched Hughes' career as a producer -- Hell's Angels (1930). The aerial adventure, featuring high-flying stunts (many performed by Hughes himself) and miniature special effects, put Hughes in the role of hands-on producer. He fired two directors before taking over the job himself. He also had an eye for casting -- Hell's Angels propelled Jean Harlow into the spotlight.
On the heels of Hell's Angels' success came controversy with Hughes' next picture -- Scarface (1932). The uncompromising gangster story received a harsh reaction from the Motion Picture distributors, who demanded the violence be toned down. The release was delayed for two years. And during this time, Hughes lost interest in Hollywood. After 1932, he didn't make a film for a decade. Hughes instead focused on flying. He broke several air speed records, including the records for cross-country, transatlantic and round-the-world flight times.
But no matter what Hughes' other interests, he always found time for romance. Between 1931 and 1933 he was linked to over 50 actresses and debutantes. He also fell into a serious affair with former Ziegfeld Girl Billie Dove. Hughes paid Dove's husband $325,000 to divorce her. He sent his own wife back to Houston. Their almost inevitable divorce was settled for just over a million dollars. But, as would become a pattern for Hughes, he could not be faithful. Dove discovered his philandering and left him. During his non-Hollywood years, Hughes continued to date actresses. He proposed marriage to both Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn. He dated sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine. And he was seen around town with numerous other glamour girls -- Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Yvonne De Carlo and even Bette Davis among them.
Producer: Robert Dalrymple, Carl H. Lindahl, Theone Masoner
Director: Christian Sebaldt
Screenplay: Mary Jane Morrison, Barbara Romen, Jeremy Geltzer
Cinematography: Mark Ritchie, Christian Sebaldt
Film Editing: Phil Coulloudon
Music: Nigel Holton
Cast: Janet Leigh, Leonard Maltin, Jane Russell, Pat Broeske, Sally Forrest.
BW&C-55m. Closed captioning.
by Stephanie Thames