Howard Hawks
Film director
Howard Hawks
Howard Winchester Hawks was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era. He is popular for his films from a wide range of genres such as Scarface, Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Thing from Another World (1951), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and Rio Bravo (1959).
Biography
Howard Hawks's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Howard Hawks
News
News abour Howard Hawks from around the web
Forget gold, TCM strikes platinum, blonde that is, with Carole Lombard Aug. 28 - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
He also had familiar tie to Hollywood, being second cousins with Howard Hawks and cousin-in-law to Mary Astor. Lombard was married twice. Her first marriage was to William Powell, some sixteen-years her senior, from 1931-1933
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Carole Lombard Movie Schedule: MR. AND MRS. SMITH, VIGIL IN THE NIGHT, IN NAME ... - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Dir: Howard Hawks. Cast: John Barrymore, Carole Lombard, Walter Connolly. BW-91 mins. 6:15 PM TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942) A troupe of squabbling actors joins the Polish underground to dupe the Nazis. Dir: Ernst Lubitsch. Cast: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny,
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Book review: 'Raoul Walsh,' by Marilyn Ann Moss - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
He is hardly a forgotten figure among film historians, yet many cineastes, steeped in the works of John Ford, Howard Hawks, George Stevens and other American masters, will probably draw a blank when confronted with the name Raoul Walsh
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Movie Listings for Aug. 26-Sept. 1
NYTimes - over 5 years
Movies Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/movies . ‘Amigo’ (R, 2:08, in English, Tagalog and Spanish) Though it is set in a Philippine village around 1900, this tale of counter-insurgency, democratic
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Say hello to this showing of 'Scarface' - San Francisco Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
Starring Al Pacino in one of his signature (and most outlandish) performances, this modern remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks gangster move tells the story of a Cuban immigrant who rises to the top of a cocaine empire through innate smarts and
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Collider Attends the SCARFACE Blu-Ray Party - Collider.com
Google News - over 5 years
The Q&A, with Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia, F. Murray Abraham and producer Martin Bregman covered the whole of the film's history, ranging from discussion of the original 1932 Howard Hawks film, to the poor critical reception upon release, ... - -
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Free film series on American director Howard Hawks starts this fall - Southwest Riverside News Network
Google News - over 5 years
By SWRNN Staff, on August 15, 2011, at 11:57 am “A good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes,” American film director Howard Hawks supposedly said. A free film series focusing on works by Hawks begins Sept. 16, courtesy of Mt. San Jacinto
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Hawks in Flight - New Yorker (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The treasure of the Internet today is as good as a movie in print: a 1976 interview with the director Howard Hawks (he was eighty years old at the time), by Kathleen Murphy and Richard T. Jameson, which originally appeared in Movietone News and is now
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Ann Dvorak Pt.3: SCARFACE, Warner Bros. Leading Lady, But Never a Star - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Ann Dvorak's best-remembered film is probably the 1932 Scarface, starring Paul Muni, directed by Howard Hawks, produced by Howard Hughes, and released by United Artists. What was that experience like for her? Making Scarface must have been a very
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A Mild-Mannered Maniac
NYTimes - over 5 years
In the small bookstore of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris, a wall of shelves is devoted to works by and about the great auteurs -- monographs, coffee-table tomes, DVDs. The pantheon of world cinema is too large for the available space, so the masters are arrayed in double rows, one behind the other. In order to browse, you must dig and
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Ben Mankiewicz warms to role as ASO host - NorthFulton.com
Google News - over 5 years
MANKIEWICZ: I was just talking with my father about another great director who worked well in many genres – Howard Hawks. And it is true of Curtiz. Some people are just good storytellers. You give them the components – the plot – and then let them tell
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The Greatest Hollywood Director You May Never Have Heard Of - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
That name may sound familiar to some of us, but today it's less recognized than (certainly) John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock, and perhaps even Howard Hawks and George Cukor. Both Wyler's quiet, unobtrusive style and our own inability to associate him
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Spaghetti Western? Yes please! - Creative Loafing Atlanta
Google News - over 5 years
This is as true of the works of John Ford, Howard Hawks, and William Wellman as it is of the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, and the (post) modern masterpieces directed by Leone's leading "man with no name," Clint Eastwood himself
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What's With the <i>New York Times</i> Movie Reviewers?!? - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
According to Ms. Dargis, this film was one step away from a Carole Lombard screwball comedy directed by Howard Hawks. Clearly, someone drank the Kool-Aid or some kind of liquid substance before seeing this film, that not being me
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Howard Hawks
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1977
    Age 80
    Hawks died on December 26, 1977, at the age of 81, from complications arising from a fall when he tripped over his dog several weeks earlier at his home in Palm Springs, California.
    More Details Hide Details He was working with his last protege discovery at the time, Larraine Zax. Hawks was a versatile director whose career includes comedies, dramas, gangster films, science fiction, film noir, and Westerns. Hawks's own functional definition of what constitutes a "good movie" is characteristic of his no-nonsense style: "Three great scenes, no bad ones." Hawks also defined a good director as "someone who doesn't annoy you." While Hawks was not sympathetic to feminism, he popularized the Hawksian woman archetype, which, according to Naomi Wise, has been cited as a prototype of the post-feminist movement. Orson Welles in an interview with Peter Bogdanovich said of Howard Hawks, in comparison with John Ford, that "Hawks is great prose; Ford is poetry." Despite Hawks's work in a variety of Hollywood genres, he still retained an independent sensibility. Film critic David Thomson wrote of Hawks: "Far from being the meek purveyor of Hollywood forms, he always chose to turn them upside down. To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep, ostensibly an adventure and a thriller, are really love stories. Rio Bravo, apparently a Western – everyone wears a cowboy hat – is a comedy conversation piece. The ostensible comedies are shot through with exposed emotions, with the subtlest views of the sex war, and with a wry acknowledgment of the incompatibility of men and women." David Boxwell argues that the filmmaker's body of work "has been accused of a historical and adolescent escapism, but Hawks' fans rejoice in his oeuvre's remarkable avoidance of Hollywood's religiosity, bathos, flag-waving, and sentimentality.
  • 1970
    Age 73
    He then made Rio Lobo, with Wayne in 1970.
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  • 1966
    Age 69
    In 1966, Hawks directed El Dorado, starring Wayne, Robert Mitchum and Caan, which was released the following year.
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  • 1965
    Age 68
    Hawks then returned to his childhood passion for car races with Red Line 7000 in 1965, featuring a young James Caan in his first leading role.
    More Details Hide Details Hawks's final two films were both Western remakes of Rio Bravo starring John Wayne.
  • 1964
    Age 67
    In 1964, Hawks made his final comedy, Man's Favorite Sport?, starring Rock Hudson (since Cary Grant felt he was too old for the role) and Paula Prentiss.
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  • 1962
    Age 65
    In 1962, Hawks made Hatari!, again with John Wayne, who plays a big-game hunter in Africa.
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  • 1959
    Age 62
    In 1959, Hawks worked with John Wayne in Rio Bravo, also starring Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan as four lawmen "defending the fort" of their local jail in which a local criminal is awaiting a trial while his family attempt to break him out.
    More Details Hide Details Film critic Robin Wood has said that if he "were asked to choose a film that would justify the existence of Hollywood... it would be Rio Bravo."
  • FIFTIES
  • 1955
    Age 58
    In 1955, Hawks shot a film atypical within the context of his other work, Land of the Pharaohs, which is a sword-and-sandal epic about ancient Egypt that stars Jack Hawkins and Joan Collins.
    More Details Hide Details The film was Hawks's final collaboration with longtime friend William Faulkner before the author's death.
  • 1953
    Age 56
    In 1953, Hawks made Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which featured Marilyn Monroe famously singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."
    More Details Hide Details The film starred Monroe and Jane Russell as two gold-digging, cabaret-performer best friends that many critics argue is the only female version of his celebrated "buddy film" genre that he made.
  • 1952
    Age 55
    Hawks's third film of 1952 was a contribution to the omnibus film O.
    More Details Hide Details Henry's Full House, which includes short stories by the writer O. Henry made by various directors. Hawks's short film The Ransom of Red Chief starred Fred Allen, Oscar Levant and Jeanne Crain.
    Later in 1952, Hawks work with Cary Grant for the fifth and final time in the screwball comedy Monkey Business, which also starred Marilyn Monroe and Ginger Rogers.
    More Details Hide Details Grant plays a scientist (reminiscent of his character in Bringing up Baby) who creates a formula that increases his vitality. Film critic John Belton called the film Hawks's "most organic comedy."
    He followed this with the 1952 western film The Big Sky, starring Kirk Douglas.
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  • 1951
    Age 54
    In 1951, Hawks produced, and some believe essentially directed, a science-fiction film, The Thing from Another World.
    More Details Hide Details Director John Carpenter stated: "And let's get the record straight. The movie was directed by Howard Hawks. Verifiably directed by Howard Hawks. He let his editor, Christian Nyby, take credit. But the kind of feeling between the male characters—the camaraderie, the group of men that has to fight off the evil—it's all pure Hawksian."
  • 1949
    Age 52
    In 1949, Hawks reteamed with Cary Grant in the screwball comedy I Was a Male War Bride, also starring Ann Sheridan.
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  • 1948
    Age 51
    In 1948, Hawks made Red River, an epic western reminiscent of Mutiny on the Bounty starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in his first film.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, Hawks remade his earlier film Ball of Fire as A Song Is Born, this time starring Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. This version follows the same plot but pays more attention to popular jazz music and includes such jazz legends as Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, and Benny Carter playing themselves.
  • FORTIES
  • 1946
    Age 49
    Hawks reteamed with the newlyweds in 1946 with The Big Sleep, based on the Philip Marlowe detective novel by Raymond Chandler.
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  • 1943
    Age 46
    After making the World War II film Air Force in 1943 starring John Garfield, Hawks did two films with real-life lovers Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
    More Details Hide Details To Have and Have Not, made in 1944, stars Bogart, Bacall and Walter Brennan and is based on a novel by Ernest Hemingway. Hawks was a close friend of Hemingway and made a bet with the author that he could make a good film out of Hemingway's "worst book." Hawks, William Faulkner and Jules Furthman collaborated on the script about an American fishing boat captain working out of French Martinique in the Caribbean and various situations of espionage after the Fall of France in 1940. Bogart and Bacall fell in love on the set of the film and married soon afterwards.
  • 1942
    Age 45
    He was nominated for Academy Award for Best Director in 1942 for Sergeant York, but he received his only Oscar in 1975 as an Honorary Award from the Academy.
    More Details Hide Details His films The Big Sleep, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, Red River, Rio Bravo, Scarface, Sergeant York, The Thing from Another World and Twentieth Century were rated "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and inducted into the National Film Registry. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was listed number 97 on the American Film Institute's AFI's 100 Years 100 Movies. On the AFI's AFI's 100 Years 100 Laughs Bringing Up Baby was listed number 14, His Girl Friday (1940) was listed number 19 and Ball of Fire (1941) was listed number 92. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Howard Hawks has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1708 Vine Street.
  • 1941
    Age 44
    Hawks completed initial shooting of the film in early 1941, but due to perfectionism and battles with the Hollywood Production Code, Hughes continued to re-shoot and re-edit the film until 1943, when it was finally released with Hawks uncredited as director.
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    In 1941, Hawks began work on the Howard Hughes-produced (and later directed) film The Outlaw, based on the life of Billy the Kid and starring Jane Russell.
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    This was the highest-grossing film of 1941 and won two Academy Awards (Best Actor and Best Editing), as well as earning Hawks his only nomination for Best Director.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, Hawks worked with Cooper again for Ball of Fire, which also starred Barbara Stanwyck. The film was written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett and is a playful take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Cooper plays a sheltered, intellectual linguist who is writing an encyclopedia with six other scientists, and hires street-wise Stanwyck to help them with modern slang terms.
    In 1941, Hawks made Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper as a pacifist farmer who becomes a decorated World War I soldier.
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  • 1940
    Age 43
    In 1940, Hawks returned to the screwball comedy genre with His Girl Friday, starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.
    More Details Hide Details The film was an adaptation of the hit Broadway play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, which had already been made into a film in 1931 and had also been reworked by the same screenwriters and transplanted to Rudyard Kipling's India for Gunga Din in 1939.
  • 1939
    Age 42
    Hawks followed this with the aviation drama Only Angels Have Wings, again starring Cary Grant and made in 1939 for Columbia Pictures.
    More Details Hide Details It also starred Jean Arthur, Thomas Mitchell, Rita Hayworth and Richard Barthelmess.
  • 1938
    Age 41
    In 1938, Hawks made the screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby for RKO Pictures.
    More Details Hide Details It starred Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn and has been called "the screwiest of the screwball comedies" by film critic Andrew Sarris. Grant plays a near-sighted paleontologist who suffers one humiliation after another due to the lovestruck socialite played by Hepburn. Bringing Up Baby was a box office flop when initially released and, subsequently, RKO fired Hawks due to extreme losses; however, the film has become regarded as one of Hawks's masterpieces.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1936
    Age 39
    Also in 1936, Hawks began filming Come and Get It, starring Edward Arnold, Joel McCrea, Frances Farmer and Walter Brennan.
    More Details Hide Details But he was fired by Samuel Goldwyn in the middle of shooting and the film was completed by William Wyler.
    In 1936, he made the aviation adventure Ceiling Zero with James Cagney and Pat O'Brien.
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  • 1935
    Age 38
    In 1935, Hawks made Barbary Coast with Edward G. Robinson and Miriam Hopkins.
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  • 1934
    Age 37
    In 1934, Hawks went to Columbia Pictures to make his first screwball comedy, Twentieth Century, starring John Barrymore and Hawks's distant cousin Carole Lombard.
    More Details Hide Details It was based on a stage play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur and, along with Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (released the same year), is considered to be the defining film of the screwball comedy genre.
  • 1933
    Age 36
    Today We Live (1933) In 1933, Hawks signed a three-picture deal at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, the first of which was Today We Live in 1933, starring Joan Crawford and Gary Cooper.
    More Details Hide Details This World War I film was based on a short story by author William Faulkner, with whom Hawks would remain friends for over 20 years. Hawks's next two films at MGM were the boxing drama The Prizefighter and the Lady and the bio-pic Viva Villa!, starring Wallace Beery as Mexican Revolutionary leader Pancho Villa. Studio interference on both films led Hawks to walk out on his MGM contract without completing either film himself.
  • 1932
    Age 35
    Tiger Shark (1932) Later in 1932, he directed Tiger Shark starring Edward G. Robinson as a tuna fisherman.
    More Details Hide Details In these early films, Hawks established the prototypical "Hawksian Man", which film critic Andrew Sarris described as "upheld by an instinctive professionalism." Tiger Shark demonstrated Hawks's ability to incorporate touches of humor into dramatic, tense, and even tragic story lines.
    The two men fought, negotiated and made compromises with the Hays Office for over a year, until the film was eventually released in 1932, after such other pivotal early gangster films as The Public Enemy and Little Caesar.
    More Details Hide Details Scarface was the first film in which Hawks worked with screenwriter Ben Hecht, who became a close friend and collaborator for 20 years. The Crowd Roars (1932)
  • 1930
    Age 33
    Hawks used real race car drivers in the film, including the 1930 Indianapolis 500 winner Billy Arnold.
    More Details Hide Details The film was released in March and became a hit.
    In 1930, Howard Hughes hired Hawks to direct Scarface, a gangster film loosely based on the life of Chicago mobster Al Capone.
    More Details Hide Details The film starred Paul Muni in the title role, with memorable supporting performances from George Raft, Boris Karloff, and Osgood Perkins. The film was completed in September 1931, but the censorship of the Hays Code prevented it from being released as Hawks and Hughes had originally intended.
    Hawks and Seton Miller worked on the script with Flavin for a month and filming began in September 1930.
    More Details Hide Details The film starred Walter Huston, Phillips Holmes, Constance Cummings and Boris Karloff. Huston plays a prison warden who wants to reform the conditions of the inmates and Holmes plays a wrongly convicted prisoner who learns about the "code" of not ratting on other inmates. Hawks called Huston "the greatest actor I ever worked with". Hawks also worked with his old friend James Wong Howe for the first time as a cinematographer. The film opened in January 1931 and was a hit. The film was banned in Chicago, though, and the experience of censorship which would continue in his next film project. Scarface (1932)
    Hughes eventually dropped the lawsuit in late 1930—he and Hawks had become good friends during the legal battle. In the film, Barthelmess and Fairbanks play two Royal Flying Corps pilots during World War I who deal with the pressure of wartime combat and constant death by drinking and fighting with their commanding officer. Filming was finished in late May 1930 and it premiered in July, setting a first-week box office record at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York.
    More Details Hide Details The film became one of the biggest hits of 1930. The Criminal Code (1931) Hawks did not get along with Warner Brothers executive Hal B. Wallis and his contract allowed him to be loaned out to other studios. Hawks took the opportunity to accept a directing offer from Harry Cohn at Columbia Pictures: The Criminal Code, based on a successful play by Martin Flavin.
    Shooting began in late February 1930, about the same time that Howard Hughes was finally finishing his epic World War I aviation epic Hell's Angels, which had been in production since September 1927.
    More Details Hide Details Shrewdly, Hawks began to hire many of the aviation experts and cameramen that had been employed by Hughes, including Elmer Dyer, Harry Reynolds and Ira Reed. When Hughes found out about the rival film, he did everything he could to sabotage The Dawn Patrol. He harassed Hawks and other studio personal, hired a spy that was quickly caught and finally sued First National for copyright infringement.
    On January 2, 1930, Hawks's brother Kenneth Hawks died while shooting the film Such Men Are Dangerous.
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    After several months of unemployment, Hawks renewed his career with his first sound film in 1930.
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  • 1929
    Age 32
    Kenneth's career as a director had been gathering momentum after his debut film Big Time in 1929.
    More Details Hide Details This sound film starred Lee Tracy and Mae Clarke and was an early example of the "fast-talking" sound films that would later become one of Howard Hawks's signatures. Such Men Are Dangerous was based on the life Alfred Lowenstein, a Belgian captain who either jumped or fell out of his plane in 1928. On January 2, Kenneth Hawks and his crew flew three aircraft (two with cameras, one with a stunt actor) over Santa Monica Bay when the two camera aircraft crashed into each other, killing 10 men. The crash was the first major on-set accident in Hollywood history and made national news. Mary Astor kept her distance from the Hawks family after Kenneth's death. The Dawn Patrol (1930) Hawks's first all sound film was The Dawn Patrol, based on an original story by John Monk Saunders and (unofficially) Hawks. Saunders was a flight instructor during World War I and had written Wings. He was considered one of the most talented writers in Hollywood and was often compared to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Accounts vary on who came up with the idea of the film, but Hawks and Saunders developed the story together and tried to sell it to several studios before First National agreed to produce it. Saunders received solo screen credit for the original story and won an Academy Award for Best Story in 1930. The screenplay was written by Hawks, Seton Miller and Dan Totheroh and starred Richard Barthelmess and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
    In October 1929, Hawks and Shearer had their first child, David Hawks.
    More Details Hide Details The Road to Glory (1926) Hawks's first film The Road to Glory was based on a 35-page treatment that Hawks wrote and is one of only two Hawks works that are lost films. The film starred May McAvoy as a young woman who is gradually going blind and tries to spare the two men in her life from the burden of her illness. The two men are her boyfriend Rockliffe Fellowes and her father Ford Sterling, with Leslie Fenton playing the greedy rich man whom she agrees to live with in order to get away from her father and lover. The film contained religious iconography and messages that would never again be seen in a Hawks film. It was shot from December 1925 to January 1926 and premiered in April. It received good reviews from film critics. In later interviews, Hawks said, "It didn't have any fun in it. It was pretty bad. I don't think anybody enjoyed it except a few critics." Hawks was dissatisfied with the film after being certain that dramatic films would establish his reputation, but realized what he had done wrong when Sol Wurtzel told Hawks, "Look, you've shown you can make a picture, but for God's sake, go out and make entertainment."
    Hawks's contract with Fox ended in May 1929 and he never again signed a long-term contract with a major studio but managed to remain an independent producer-director for the rest of his long career.
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  • 1928
    Age 31
    Hawks was married three times: to actress Athole Shearer, sister of Norma Shearer, from 1928–40; to socialite Slim Keith from 1941–49; and to actress Dee Hartford from 1953–60.
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    Hawks and Athole Shearer married on May 28, 1928 and they honeymooned in Hawaii.
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    Kenneth Hawks and Mary Astor eventually married in February 1928, while Bill Hawks and Bessie Love married in December 1929.
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  • 1927
    Age 30
    After Hawks's mother refused to allow medical treatment because of her Christian Science beliefs, Hawks's sister Grace died of tuberculosis on December 23, 1927.
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    She and Hawks began dating throughout 1927, which led Shearer to ask Ward for a divorce in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details Shearer had a young son with Ward named Peter. At the same time, Kenneth Hawks began dating actress Mary Astor, while Hawks's youngest brother Bill began dating actress Bessie Love.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1926
    Age 29
    In 1926, Hawks was introduced to Athole Shearer by his friend Victor Fleming, who was dating Athole's sister Norma Shearer at the time.
    More Details Hide Details Athole's first marriage to writer John Ward was unhappy.
    He also worked on the scripts for Honesty – The Best Policy in 1926 and Joseph von Sternberg's Underworld in 1927, famous for being one of the first gangster films.
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  • 1925
    Age 28
    In October 1925, Sol Wurtzel, William Fox's studio superintendent at the Fox Film Corporation, invited Hawks to join his company with the promise of letting Hawks direct.
    More Details Hide Details Over the next three years, Hawks directed his first eight films (six silent, two "talkies"). A few months after joining Fox, Kenneth Hawks was also hired and eventually became one of Fox's top production supervisors. Hawks reworked the scripts of most of the films he directed without always taking official credit for his work.
    In 1925, when Thalberg hesitated to follow through on his promise, Hawks broke his contract at MGM and left.
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  • 1924
    Age 27
    Hawks signed a new one-year contract with Famous-Players in the fall of 1924, though he broke his contract to become a story editor for Thalberg at MGM, having secured a promise from Thalberg that he would make him a director within a year.
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    Hawks worked on the scripts for all of the films produced, but had his first official screenplay credit in 1924 on Tiger Love.
    More Details Hide Details Hawks was the Story Editor at Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) for almost two years, occasionally editing such films as Heritage of the Desert.
  • 1923
    Age 26
    In 1923, Famous Players-Lasky president Jesse Lasky was looking for a new Production Editor in the story department of his studio and Thalberg suggested Hawks.
    More Details Hide Details Hawks accepted and was immediately put in charge of over forty productions, including several literary acquisitions by Joseph Conrad, Jack London and Zane Grey.
  • 1920
    Age 23
    Beginning in early 1920, Hawks lived in rented houses in Hollywood with the group of friends he was accumulating.
    More Details Hide Details This rowdy group of mostly macho, risk-taking men included his brother Kenneth Hawks, Victor Fleming, Jack Conway, Harold Rosson, Richard Rosson, Arthur Rosson and Eddie Sutherland. During this time, Hawks first met Irving Thalberg, the frail and sickly vice-President in charge of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Eventually many of the young men in this group would become successful at MGM under Thalberg. Hawks admired his intelligence and sense of story. Hawks also became friends with barn stormers and pioneer aviators at Rogers Airport in Los Angeles, getting to know men like Moye Stephens.
  • 1919
    Age 22
    After the War, Hawks was eager to return to Hollywood. His brother, Kenneth Hawks, who had also served in the Air Force, graduated from Yale University in 1919 and the two of them moved to Hollywood together to pursue their careers.
    More Details Hide Details They quickly made friends with Hollywood insider (and fellow Ivy Leaguer) Allan Dwan, but Hawks landed his first important job when he used his family's wealth to loan money to studio head Jack L. Warner. Warner quickly paid back the loan and hired Hawks as a producer to "oversee" the making of a new series of one-reel comedies starring the Italian comedian Monty Banks. Hawks later stated that he personally directed "three or four" of the shorts, though no documentation exists to confirm the claim. The films were profitable, but Hawks soon left to form his own production company, using his family's wealth and connections to secure financing. Associated Producers was a joint venture between Hawks, Allan Dwan, Marshall Neilan and director Allen Holubar, with a distribution deal with First National. The company made 14 films between 1920 and 1923, with eight directed by Neilan, three by Dwan and three by Holubar. More of a "boy's club" than a production company, the four men gradually drifted apart and went their separate ways in 1923, by which time Hawks had decided that he wanted to direct rather than produce.
  • 1918
    Age 21
    Bored by this work, Hawks attempted to secure a transfer during the first half of 1918 and was eventually sent to Fort Monroe, Virginia.
    More Details Hide Details The Armistice was signed in November of that year and Hawks was discharged as a Second Lieutenant without having seen active duty.
  • 1917
    Age 20
    Before Hawks was called for active duty, he took the opportunity to return to Hollywood and by the end of April 1917 was working on Cecil B. DeMille's The Little American.
    More Details Hide Details On this film he met and befriended the then 18-year-old slate boy James Wong Howe, who was to become one of Hollywood's most significant cinematographers. Hawks then worked on the Mary Pickford film The Little Princess, directed by Marshall Neilan. According to Hawks, Neilan did not show up to work one day, so the resourceful Hawks offered to direct a scene himself, to which Pickford consented. Hawks began directing at age 21 after he and cinematographer Charles Rosher filmed a double exposure dream sequence with Mary Pickford. Hawks worked with Pickford and Neilan again on Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley before joining the United States Army Air Service. Hawks's military records were destroyed in the 1973 Military Archive Fire, so the only account of his military service is his own. According to Hawks, he spent 15 weeks in basic training at the University of California in Berkeley where he was trained to be a squadron commander. When Pickford visited Hawks at basic training, his superior officers were so impressed by the appearance of the celebrity that they promoted him to flight instructor and sent him to Texas to teach new recruits.
    He returned to Cornell that September, leaving in April 1917 when the United States entered World War I.
    More Details Hide Details Like many college students who joined the armed services during the war, he received a degree in absentia in 1918.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1916
    Age 19
    While still breaking into the film industry in the summer of 1916, Hawks made an unsuccessful attempt to transfer to Stanford University.
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    Fleming went on to impress Dwan by quickly fixing both his car and a faulty film camera and by 1916 had worked his way up to the position of cinematographer.
    More Details Hide Details The meeting with Fleming led to Hawks's first job in the film industry, as a prop boy on the Douglas Fairbanks film In Again, Out Again (on which Fleming was employed as the cinematographer) for Famous Players-Lasky. According to Hawks, a new set needed to be built quickly when the studio's set designer was unavailable, so Hawks volunteered to do the job himself, much to Fairbanks's satisfaction. He was next employed as a prop boy and general assistant on an unspecified film directed by Cecil B. DeMille (Hawks never named the film in later interviews and DeMille made five films roughly in that time period).
    In 1916, Hawks' grandfather, C.W. Howard, bought him a Mercer race car and Hawks began racing and working on his new car during the summer vacation in California.
    More Details Hide Details It was at this time that Hawks first met Victor Fleming, allegedly when the two men raced on a dirt track and caused an accident. Fleming had been an auto mechanic and early aviator when his old friend Marshall Neilan recommended him to film director Allan Dwan as a good mechanic.
  • 1914
    Age 17
    In 1914, Hawks returned to Glendora and graduated from Pasadena High School that year.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, Hawks was accepted to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he majored in mechanical engineering and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. College friend Ray S. Ashbury remembered Hawks spending more of his time playing craps and drinking alcohol than studying, although Hawks was also known to be a voracious reader of popular American and English novels in college.
  • 1913
    Age 16
    Hawks finished his junior year of high school at Citrus Union High School in Glendora and was then sent to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire from 1913 to 1914; his family's wealth may have influenced his acceptance to the elite private school.
    More Details Hide Details While in New England, Hawks often attended the theatres in nearby Boston.
  • 1912
    Age 15
    But in 1912, the Hawks family moved to nearby Glendora, California, where Frank Hawks owned orange groves.
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  • 1911
    Age 14
    In 1911, Hawks's youngest sibling Helen died suddenly of food poisoning.
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  • 1910
    Age 13
    From 1910 to 1912, Hawks attended Pasadena High School.
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    Hawks was an average student at school and did not excel in sports, but by 1910 had discovered coaster racing, an early form of soapbox racing.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1906
    Age 9
    Between 1906 and 1909, the Hawks family began to spend more time in Pasadena, California during the cold Wisconsin winters in order to improve Helen Hawks's ill health.
    More Details Hide Details Gradually they began to spend only their summers in Wisconsin before permanently moving to Pasadena in 1910. The family settled in a house down the street from Throop Polytechnic Institute (which would eventually become California Institute of Technology), and the Hawks children began attending the school's Polytechnic Elementary School in 1907.
  • 1898
    Age 1
    In 1898, the family moved to Neenah, Wisconsin where Frank Hawks began working for his father-in-law's Howard Paper Company.
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  • 1896
    Born
    Born on May 30, 1896.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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