Howard Hawks is an American film director, producer and screenwriter.

He was among the most important and innovative filmmakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age, known for his social comedies, especially his ensemble films with many characters interacting with each other in a naturalistic setting.

Hawks’ later films include Scarface (1932), Red River (1948), and Rio Bravo (1959).

Who Is Howard Hawks?

Hawks was associated with “Hawksian” style. The concept of this style is that the characters are realistic behind their facades and behavior, but the situations are so over-the-top that they cannot be taken seriously.

In other words, Hawksian characters are not necessarily good or evil; they just behave in certain ways because that is how they feel at that moment.

Howard Hawks was born Howard Winfield Steuerman in Chicago on May 31, 1896.

His father was Jewish and his mother was Irish Catholic; neither parent had much money.

He began working as an office boy for several different department stores before he became an assistant animator at a Chicago advertising agency.

Hawks was known as a major film director during the period known historically as the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Here’s our video guide to the Golden Age of Hollywood:

Best Howard Hawks Movies

Let’s take a look at the top Howard Hawks films.

1. The Big Sleep (1946) 

The Big Sleep is a classic film noir that oozes with mystery, suspense, and intrigue.

Based on the novel by Raymond Chandler, the film follows private detective Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) as he investigates a series of interconnected crimes involving blackmail, murder, and the wealthy Sternwood family.

Bogart’s performance is impeccable as he effortlessly embodies the role of the tough, no-nonsense detective with a heart of gold.

   

His chemistry with co-star Lauren Bacall is electric, adding a layer of complexity to the already intricate plot.

Director Howard Hawks does a masterful job of keeping the audience guessing until the very end, as we are taken on a wild ride through the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles.

The film’s stunning black and white cinematography perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of the story.

The Big Sleep (1946)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - William Faulkner (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Rio Bravo (1959)

 

Rio Bravo is a classic western directed by the legendary Howard Hawks.

This film stars John Wayne as Sheriff John T. Chance, who is tasked with keeping his small Texas town safe from a powerful rancher and his gang of hired guns.

The film is a masterclass in tension building and character development.

Hawks expertly weaves together multiple plot threads, including a budding romance between Chance and a local hotel owner played by Angie Dickinson, and the struggle of a young gunman played by Ricky Nelson to prove his worth.

The cast is phenomenal, with Wayne delivering a performance that solidifies his status as a Hollywood icon.

Walter Brennan steals every scene he’s in as Chance’s loyal deputy, Stumpy, while Dean Martin delivers a surprisingly nuanced performance as a former drunk turned unlikely hero.

The action sequences are thrilling, with a standout shootout in the town’s jailhouse that is both intense and expertly choreographed.

But what sets Rio Bravo apart from other westerns of its era is its focus on character and relationships.

The film’s heart lies in the bond between Chance and his ragtag group of allies, who must work together to overcome overwhelming odds.

Rio Bravo (1959)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Wayne, Dean Martin, Rick Nelson (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - B.H. McCampbell (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Bringing Up Baby is an absolute delight from start to finish.

Starring the iconic duo of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, the film follows the misadventures of a hapless paleontologist and a free-spirited socialite as they search for a lost dinosaur bone while trying to care for a pet leopard named Baby.

The chemistry between Hepburn and Grant is electric, with their fast-paced banter and physical comedy making every scene a joy to watch.

The film’s zany plot is filled with hilarious mishaps and misunderstandings, as the two leads stumble their way through one outrageous situation after another.

The supporting cast is also fantastic, with standout performances from Charles Ruggles as a befuddled lawyer and May Robson as Hepburn’s no-nonsense aunt.

And of course, there’s the unforgettable Baby, whose mischievous antics provide some of the film’s biggest laughs.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Dudley Nichols (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

4. Scarface (1932)           

Scarface is a classic gangster film that delivers on all fronts.

Directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Howard Hughes, this movie is a perfect example of how crime dramas should be made.

The film follows the rise of Tony Camonte, played brilliantly by Paul Muni, who is a ruthless and ambitious gangster who will stop at nothing to become the kingpin of the city’s underworld.

   

Camonte’s character is complex and multifaceted, and Muni’s portrayal of him is nothing short of stunning.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with George Raft delivering a standout performance as Camonte’s right-hand man, and Ann Dvorak as the loyal and fiery girlfriend.

The chemistry between the characters is palpable, and the tension throughout the film is expertly crafted.

The film’s action sequences are also noteworthy, with intense shootouts and thrilling car chases that keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Additionally, the film’s themes of power, corruption, and greed are still relevant and resonate with audiences today.

Scarface (1932)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Paul Muni, George Raft, Boris Karloff (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Howard Hawks (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. His Girl Friday (1940)

His Girl Friday is a witty and fast-paced screwball comedy that showcases the undeniable chemistry between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.

The film, directed by Howard Hawks, is a clever adaptation of the play “The Front Page” by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.

The story centers around newspaper editor Walter Burns (Grant), who will do anything to keep his ex-wife and star reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell) from leaving the newspaper business and marrying her new fiancé.

The dialogue is sharp, the characters are quirky, and the plot twists are unexpected.

The film’s standout performance is undoubtedly Russell’s portrayal of Hildy, a smart and sassy journalist who is not afraid to stand up to her ex-husband and the men in the newsroom.

Grant is also at his charming best, delivering his lines with impeccable timing and adding just the right amount of cheeky humor to his character.

His Girl Friday
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Charles Lederer (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

6. Red River (1948)         

Red River is a timeless classic that still manages to captivate audiences with its thrilling storyline, breathtaking cinematography, and exceptional performances.

Directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, the film stars John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in a tale of adventure, rivalry, and redemption.

The film follows Tom Dunson (John Wayne), a tough and uncompromising cattle rancher who sets out on a dangerous cattle drive from Texas to Kansas.

Along the way, he clashes with his adopted son Matthew Garth (Montgomery Clift), a young and idealistic cowboy who challenges his authority and questions his methods.

What sets Red River apart from other Westerns of its time is its complex characters and nuanced storytelling.

John Wayne delivers one of his finest performances as Tom Dunson, a man consumed by his obsession with cattle and driven to extremes to achieve his goals.

Montgomery Clift is equally impressive as Matthew Garth, a man torn between his loyalty to his father figure and his own moral convictions.

The film is also a visual feast, with stunning landscapes and breathtaking vistas that highlight the beauty and harshness of the American West.

Hawks’ direction is masterful, and he expertly balances the film’s action-packed set pieces with its quieter moments of introspection and character development.

Red River (1948)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Wayne, Montgomery Clift (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Borden Chase (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Only Angels Have Wings is a classic aviation adventure film that tells a captivating story of a group of pilots and their daily struggles in a remote South American outpost.

Directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, the film features a star-studded cast including Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Rita Hayworth.

The film’s plot revolves around the pilots’ risky missions, their love affairs and the ultimate sacrifice they have to make to keep the air service going.

The film’s pacing is excellent, with each scene building up the tension and excitement as the pilots take to the skies.

Cary Grant delivers a standout performance as the charismatic leader of the group, providing a perfect balance of charm and toughness.

Jean Arthur’s character provides a much-needed touch of femininity in the otherwise male-dominated setting, while Rita Hayworth’s character adds a layer of complexity to the story.

The film’s aerial sequences are breathtaking, featuring impressive stunts and special effects that were ahead of their time.

The cinematography is top-notch, with stunning shots of the Andes Mountains and the surrounding landscape.

Only Angels Have Wings
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Richard Barthelmess (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Howard Hawks (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

8. Ball of Fire (1941)

Ball of Fire is a delightful screwball comedy that pairs the legendary Barbara Stanwyck with the brilliant Gary Cooper.

The film follows a group of eccentric professors who are compiling an encyclopedia and must seek out a “modern” perspective on slang from the streets.

Enter Stanwyck’s character, Sugarpuss O’Shea, a nightclub singer on the run from the law who finds herself living with the stuffy academics.

What ensues is a hilarious clash of cultures as Sugarpuss navigates the academic world while also falling for Cooper’s character, the charming and naive Professor Bertram Potts.

The film has a snappy pace and sharp dialogue, with standout performances from Stanwyck and Cooper.

Their chemistry is palpable and their scenes together are a joy to watch.

The supporting cast, including the likes of Oskar Homolka and Henry Travers, also deliver memorable performances and add to the film’s comedic charm.

Ball of Fire
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Charles Brackett (Writer) - Samuel Goldwyn (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

9. The Thing from Another World (1951)

The Thing from Another World is a classic sci-fi horror film that has stood the test of time.

The film is set in the Arctic and follows a group of scientists and military personnel who discover a crashed spacecraft and a frozen alien.

As they attempt to thaw out the creature, they soon discover that it is not dead and possesses a dangerous and deadly ability to mimic human beings.

Director Christian Nyby creates a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere, effectively utilizing the isolated setting to heighten the sense of danger and paranoia.

The practical effects used to bring the alien to life are impressive for their time and still hold up today, the creature’s towering form and terrifying appearance sending shivers down the spine.

The performances from the cast are solid, with Kenneth Tobey delivering a standout performance as the lead military officer.

The film also features some surprisingly progressive themes for its time, including a strong female character in the form of Margaret Sheridan’s character, who holds her own against the men in the group.

The Thing from Another World
  • The Thing From Another World - DVD Brand New
  • James Arness, Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey (Actors)
  • Christian Nyby (Director) - Charles Lederer (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer) - John W. Campbell...
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

10. To Have and Have Not (1944)

To Have and Have Not is a classic film noir that boasts a star-studded cast, including Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

The chemistry between the two is palpable, with their witty banter and smoldering glances leaving viewers on the edge of their seats.

The film is set in Martinique during World War II and follows the story of a cynical American fisherman, Harry Morgan (Bogart), who reluctantly gets involved in smuggling and espionage.

Bacall plays Marie “Slim” Browning, a sultry singer who becomes entangled in Harry’s dangerous world.

Director Howard Hawks masterfully blends suspense, romance, and action in this film, creating a thrilling experience that keeps audiences engaged from start to finish.

The black and white cinematography adds to the film’s atmosphere, with shadows and light playing a significant role in the storytelling.

To Have and Have Not is a must-see for fans of classic cinema and anyone who appreciates a well-crafted story.

It’s no wonder that this film has stood the test of time and remains a beloved classic to this day.

To Have and Have Not
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Jules Furthman (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

11. Twentieth Century (1934)

“Twentieth Century” is a wild and witty screwball comedy that packs a punch from start to finish.

Directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, the film is a fast-paced romp through the world of show business and the eccentric personalities that inhabit it.

John Barrymore delivers a tour-de-force performance as Oscar Jaffe, a bombastic Broadway producer who will stop at nothing to make his productions a success.

His foil is the equally talented and headstrong actress Lily Garland, played with aplomb by Carole Lombard.

The chemistry between Barrymore and Lombard is electric, and their rapid-fire banter is a joy to behold.

The supporting cast is equally strong, with standout performances from Roscoe Karns and Walter Connolly.

What makes “Twentieth Century” truly special, however, is its razor-sharp wit and clever writing.

The dialogue crackles with energy and humor, and the film is filled with memorable one-liners and zingers.

Twentieth Century
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Barrymore, Carole Lombard, Walter Connolly (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Charles Bruce Millholland (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

12. El Dorado (1966) 

El Dorado is a classic western film that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Directed by the legendary Howard, this film boasts a star-studded cast including John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and James Caan.

The story follows Cole Thornton (Wayne), a gunslinger who is hired by a wealthy landowner to help him take control of a town.

However, things take a turn when Thornton realizes that his old friend J.P. Harrah (Mitchum) is the sheriff of the town and is standing in his way.

Along with a young gambler, Mississippi (Caan), the trio must navigate dangerous terrain and outsmart their enemies to achieve their goals.

From the opening scene, El Dorado grabs your attention with its breathtaking cinematography and iconic western score.

The chemistry between Wayne, Mitchum, and Caan is electric, and their performances are nothing short of superb.

The action sequences are expertly crafted and keep you on the edge of your seat.

However, what sets El Dorado apart from other westerns is the depth of its characters. Each character is complex and flawed, adding layers of emotion and depth to the story.

The themes of loyalty, friendship, and redemption are explored in a way that is both nuanced and impactful.

El Dorado (1966) (BD) [Blu-ray]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Various (Actor)
  • Various (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)

13. The Dawn Patrol (1930)        

The Dawn Patrol is a classic war film that transports you back in time to the height of World War I.

Directed by Howard Hawks, this film tells the story of a group of British pilots who must navigate the dangers of aerial combat in the midst of war.

The film boasts a talented cast including Richard Barthelmess, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Neil Hamilton, who deliver powerful performances that capture the intensity and emotion of the time.

The chemistry between the characters is palpable, and their camaraderie serves as a reminder of the bonds that are formed in times of war.

What sets The Dawn Patrol apart from other war films is its depiction of the psychological toll of combat.

The film explores the mental and emotional strain that the pilots face as they engage in dangerous missions day after day.

The scenes of the pilots returning from a mission and dealing with the aftermath of combat are particularly powerful, highlighting the toll that war takes on the human psyche.

The aerial combat sequences are expertly crafted and are a testament to the skill of the filmmakers.

These scenes are both thrilling and harrowing, capturing the danger and chaos of aerial combat in a way that is both realistic and cinematic.

In conclusion, The Dawn Patrol is a masterful war film that captures the intensity and emotion of aerial combat during World War I.

With its talented cast, powerful performances, and expertly crafted action sequences, this film remains a classic of the genre and a must-see for any fan of war films.

14. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a dazzling musical comedy that is as timeless as it is entertaining.

Starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell as two showgirls, the film follows their misadventures as they travel to Paris in search of love and fortune.

Monroe and Russell are a dynamic duo, with their impeccable comedic timing and electrifying chemistry stealing the show.

Monroe particularly shines in her role as the bubbly and ditzy Lorelei Lee, delivering iconic musical numbers such as “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” with effortless charm.

The film’s production design and costumes are equally impressive, with vibrant colours and lavish sets adding to the film’s overall glamour.

The musical numbers are a feast for the eyes, with standout performances including “A Little Girl from Little Rock” and “Bye Bye Baby”.

While the film is undeniably a product of its time, with some elements that may not sit well with modern audiences, it is a testament to the enduring appeal of classic Hollywood cinema.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a must-watch for fans of musicals and anyone looking to bask in the glitz and glamour of a bygone era.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Charles Lederer (Writer) - Sol C. Siegel (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

15. The Big Sky (1952)   

“The Big Sky” is a classic Western film that takes you on a thrilling journey through the adventurous Montana wilderness.

Directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, the film boasts stunning visuals that capture the rugged beauty of the American West.

The story follows two adventurous frontiersmen, Jim and Boone, as they embark on a dangerous journey up the Missouri River to trade with a Native American tribe.

Along the way, they encounter a cast of colorful characters, including a French trapper and a band of Blackfoot warriors.

What makes “The Big Sky” truly special is its focus on character development.

The film takes its time to explore the motivations and personalities of its lead characters, creating a deep connection between the audience and the protagonists.

The performances are top-notch, with Kirk Douglas and Dewey Martin delivering standout performances as Jim and Boone.

Their chemistry is undeniable, and their camaraderie is a joy to watch.

The Big Sky (1952)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin, Elizabeth Threatt (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Dudley Nichols (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

16. Hatari! (1962)            

Hawks’ adventure film about a group of big game hunters in Tanzania is an exhilarating ride from start to finish.

The film stars John Wayne as the leader of the group and features a stellar supporting cast including Elsa Martinelli, Red Buttons, and Hardy Krüger.

The standout, however, is the incredible animal footage captured by the filmmakers, including some truly heart-stopping moments with elephants and cheetahs.

While the film does have some dated attitudes towards hunting and colonialism, it is ultimately a thrilling and entertaining adventure that showcases the stunning beauty of the African landscape.

Hawks’ direction is top-notch, and the chemistry between the cast members is palpable. The film’s score, composed by Henry Mancini, is also a highlight.

Hatari!
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Wayne, Hardy Kr?ger, Elsa Martinelli (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Harry Kurnitz (Writer) - Paul Helmick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

17. Sergeant York (1941)

Sergeant York is a classic war biopic that tells the inspiring true story of Alvin York, a simple Tennessee farmer who became a World War I hero.

Directed by Howard Hawks and starring Gary Cooper in the lead role, this film is a timeless masterpiece that still holds up to this day.

The film does an excellent job of depicting the life of Alvin York before he is drafted into the army.

We see him struggling with his faith and his personal beliefs about war, and how he ultimately decides to serve his country.

The scenes of him training and bonding with his fellow soldiers are also a highlight of the film, showing the camaraderie and brotherhood that forms among soldiers in times of war.

But the real standout of the film is Gary Cooper’s performance as Alvin York. He perfectly captures the character’s humility, inner conflict, and eventual heroism.

His performance during the final battle scene is particularly powerful, showcasing his range as an actor.

The film’s depiction of war is also noteworthy, as it shows the harsh realities of combat and the toll it takes on soldiers.

The battle scenes are intense and realistic, and the film doesn’t shy away from showing the brutalities of war.

Sergeant York
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Alvin C. York, Gary Cooper, Tom Skeyhill (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Harry Chandlee (Writer) - Jesse L. Lasky (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

18. Barbary Coast (1935)             

Barbary Coast is a thrilling and action-packed film that transports you back to the wild and lawless days of San Francisco’s Gold Rush era.

Starring Hollywood legends Edward G. Robinson and Miriam Hopkins, this film is a must-see for fans of classic cinema.

The film takes place in a seedy section of San Francisco known as the Barbary Coast, where gambling, prostitution, and other vices run rampant.

Robinson plays a toughoon owner named Louis Chamalis, who rules the area with an iron fist.

When a beautiful young woman named Mary Rutledge (Hopkins) arrives in town seeking her fortune, Chamalis takes notice and sets his sights on her.

The chemistry between Robinson and Hopkins is electric, and their performances are top-notch.

Robinson is menacing and intimidating as Chamalis, while Hopkins is captivating as the independent and strong-willed Mary.

Their dynamic keeps the film engaging and exciting from beginning to end.

Director Howard Hawks does an excellent job of capturing the gritty and dangerous atmosphere of the Barbary Coast, with impressive set design and intense action sequences.

The film also features a memorable musical score by composer Alfred Newman.

Barbary Coast
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Miriam Hopkins, Edward G. Robinson, Joel McCrea (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Ben Hecht (Writer) - Samuel Goldwyn (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

19. Monkey Business (1952)       

Monkey Business is a hilarious screwball comedy that will leave you in stitches.

With a star-studded cast that includes Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Monroe, Monkey Business tells the story of a scientist who accidentally creates a youth serum and chaos ensues.

The film is filled with zany antics, slapstick humor, and witty banter that will keep you laughing from beginning to end.

Cary Grant delivers a standout performance as the bumbling scientist, while Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe shine in their respective roles as his wife and secretary.

The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and the comedic timing is spot on.

The film also features some memorable musical numbers, including Marilyn Monroe’s iconic rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

Monkey Business
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn, Hugh Marlowe (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Howard Hawks (Writer) - Sol C. Siegel (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

20. I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

“I Was a Male War Bride” is a charming romantic comedy that showcases the comedic talents of Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan.

The film follows the story of Captain Henri Rochard (Grant), a French officer who falls in love with Lieutenant Catherine Gates (Sheridan), an American WAC. However, their romance is complicated by bureaucratic red tape as Henri tries to obtain the necessary paperwork to enter the United States as Catherine’s husband.

Grant delivers a hilarious performance as the frustrated Henri, who finds himself constantly thwarted by the military bureaucracy.

Sheridan is equally delightful as the strong-willed Catherine, who refuses to give up on their relationship despite the odds against them.

Director Howard Hawks infuses the film with his trademark wit and pacing, delivering a tightly crafted and entertaining story that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.

I Was A Male War Bride
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ann Sheridan, Cary Grant, William Neff (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Charles Lederer (Writer) - Sol C. Siegel (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

21. Rio Lobo (1970)

Rio Lobo is a classic Western film directed by the legendary filmmaker Howard Hawks.

Starring John Wayne, the movie follows the story of a Civil War veteran who seeks revenge on the people who betrayed him during the war.

Along the way, he joins forces with a group of outlaws to take down a corrupt sheriff and his posse.

The film exudes the classic Western charm, with stunning cinematography and a gripping storyline.

The action sequences are well-executed, and the chemistry between the characters is palpable. John Wayne delivers a solid performance as the lead, and the supporting cast also shines in their respective roles.

While some may argue that Rio Lobo lacks the depth and nuance of other Western classics, it is still an enjoyable watch that will satisfy fans of the genre.

The film’s score is also worth mentioning, with a memorable theme that adds to the overall atmosphere of the movie.

Rio Lobo
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Wayne, Jorge Rivero, Jennifer O'Neill (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Burton Wohl (Writer) - Howard Hawks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

22. Tiger Shark (1932)   

Tiger Shark is a gripping and emotionally charged drama that showcases the raw power of the sea and the indomitable human spirit.

The film tells the story of a hardened fisherman named Mike who is haunted by the tragic death of his best friend and struggles to find redemption in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Director Howard Hawks masterfully captures the harsh beauty of the ocean, using stunning visuals to convey both the danger and the majesty of the sea.

The film’s tense and suspenseful fishing scenes are truly breathtaking, and the use of real sharks adds an extra layer of realism and intensity.

The performances in Tiger Shark are excellent across the board, with Edward G. Robinson delivering a standout turn as Mike.

Robinson brings a depth and complexity to the character that is truly impressive, conveying both his toughness and vulnerability with equal skill.

While the film can be a bit heavy-handed at times in its exploration of themes like redemption and sacrifice, it is ultimately a deeply moving and powerful work that deserves to be seen by anyone interested in classic cinema.

Tiger Shark
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Edward G. Robinson, Richard Arlen, Zita Johann (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

23. Today We Live (1933)

Today We Live is a sweeping wartime romance that showcases the undeniable chemistry between Joan Crawford and Gary Cooper.

Set against the backdrop of World War I, the film follows the passionate yet tumultuous relationship between Diana (Crawford), a British aristocrat, and Bogard (Cooper), an American aviator.

Despite some clunky dialogue and occasionally stilted performances, Today We Live manages to captivate with its stunning cinematography and impressive aerial sequences.

Director Howard Hawks expertly balances the film’s romantic elements with its depiction of the harsh realities of war, creating a compelling and emotionally resonant narrative.

Crawford delivers a standout performance in the lead role, exuding both vulnerability and strength as she navigates the complexities of love and loss in a time of war.

Cooper, meanwhile, brings a rugged charm to his portrayal of Bogard, imbuing the character with a sense of nobility and honor that makes him all the more compelling.

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Today We Live
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Robert Young,Gary Cooper,Joan Crawford (Actor)
  • Howard Hawks (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

24. Air Force (1943)        

Air Force is a gripping war film that takes the audience on a thrilling journey through the skies during World War II.

Directed by Howard Hawks, this film is a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of the American soldiers who fought in the war.

The film follows the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress, as they embark on a dangerous mission to the Philippines.

With exceptional cinematography and realistic aerial sequences, Air Force is an intense and immersive experience that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The characters are well-developed, and the performances are top-notch.

John Garfield delivers a standout performance as the navigator, while Harry Carey and George Tobias provide excellent support as the older, seasoned crew members.

The film’s themes of camaraderie, sacrifice, and patriotism are powerfully conveyed, and the emotional impact of the story is undeniable.

The climactic battle sequence is a masterpiece of tension and suspense, and the film’s final moments are both heartbreaking and inspiring.

Air Force
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Ridgely, Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Dudley Nichols (Writer) - Hal B. Wallis (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

25. Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

“Land of the Pharaohs” is a grand spectacle that transports its audience to ancient Egypt.

This epic film, directed by Howard Hawks, tells the story of a pharaoh who attempts to build a tomb that will secure his place in history, but faces betrayal and treachery from those closest to him.

The film boasts impressive set designs and costumes that truly transport the audience to the grandeur of ancient Egypt.

The cinematography is breathtaking, capturing the vast deserts, the grand pyramids, and the intricate details of the pharaoh’s palace.

The performances are also noteworthy, particularly Jack Hawkins as the pharaoh and Joan Collins as his conniving queen.

The tension between the two characters is palpable, and their dynamic drives the plot forward with a sense of urgency.

Land of the Pharaohs (1955) ( Howard Hawks' Land of the Pharaohs )
  • Land of the Pharaohs (1955) ( Howard Hawks' Land of the Pharaohs )
  • Land of the Pharaohs (1955)
  • Howard Hawks' Land of the Pharaohs
  • Jack Hawkins, Joan Collins, James Robertson Justice (Actors)
  • Howard Hawks (Director) - Land of the Pharaohs (1955) ( Howard Hawks' Land of the Pharaohs )...

Characteristics of Howard Hawks Movies

 Howard Hawks is one of the most important and influential directors in Hollywood history.

His career spanned more than six decades, during which he made just under 40 films, many of them masterpieces.

In addition to directing his own films, he often collaborated with a number of other actors, writers and directors.

Hawks was born in Chicago on June 8, 1902. He grew up in Kansas City and attended the university there before moving to California and enrolling at UCLA Film School.

While at UCLA, he began making short films but soon left school and moved back to Kansas City where he began working as an independent filmmaker.

After making several short films with his brother Robert, Howard formed a production company called Bryna Productions with Robert and another man named John Longton (who later became a successful director).

Bryna Productions produced its first feature film “Scarlet Street” (1945), which was based on a story written by William Faulkner (who also worked as an uncredited writer on “Gone With The Wind”). Over the next few years,

Howard Hawks would go on to make dozens of films including “The Big Sleep” (1946), “Rio Bravo” (1959) and “Red River” (1948).

Best Howard Hawks Movies – Wrapping Up

 As the great American filmmaker Howard Hawks once said, “A man’s home is his castle,” and Howard Hawks films are all about the power of the home.

Hawks had a unique vision that was as much about life as it was about cinema.

His films were always done with an eye for detail and an understanding of how his characters interacted with the world around them.

This led to a style that was both realistic and poetic at the same time.

The movies below are a small sample of what makes Howard Hawks such a singular director:

His ability to look at a scene from multiple angles, each with its own meaning, is what makes his films so fascinating.

He always seemed to be able to capture something new in each film he made — something that stood out even decades after its release.

Howard Hawks has been called many things over his long career — genius, perfectionist and even difficult — but one thing he definitely wasn’t is boring.

 

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