Moving Image Presents THE COMPLETE HOWARD HAWKS Retrospective, Now thru 11/10
Howard Hawks, the quintessential Hollywood director known for his mastery of many genres, will be the subject of a complete retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image from today, September 7 through November 10, 2013. The Museum will present 39 features. All of the films will be shown in 35mm-many in stunning restorations-except for Red Line 7000, which will be shown in 16mm.
"We are excited to present this complete Hawks retrospective, the first one in New York since the Museum's complete show in 1994," said Chief Curator David Schwartz, who organized the series. "Although Hawks worked in a variety of genres, including screwball comedy, gangster films, Westerns, and musicals, his films have a remarkable thematic coherence. They are about how people define themselves by their actions under pressure."
The Complete Howard Hawks includes all of the director's existing films. Highlights include the silents Fig Leaves (1927), Hawks's earliest extant film; A Girl in Every Port, starring a pre-Pabst Louise Brooks; the rarely shown desert romance Fazil (1928); and other early works presented with live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin.
Classic Hawks films to be shown in rare archival prints include Scarface (1932), the seminal gangster film starring Paul Muni that defined the genre for years to come; I Was a Male War Bride (1949), with Ann Sheridan and Cary Grant in one of the director's personal favorites; the beloved screwball comedy Twentieth Century, starring Carole Lombard and John Barrymore; El Dorado (1966), the Rio Bravo remake featuring John Wayne with James Caan and Robert Mitchum; and Rio Lobo (1970), another Rio Bravo coda and Hawks's final film. The filmsBarbary Coast (1935) and the World War I drama The Road to Glory (1936) will also be presented in archival 35mm prints.
The Museum retrospective will also feature new 35mm prints of The Crowd Roars (1932), a bracing racing drama made for "pure fun," and The Dawn Patrol (1930), Hawks's first talkie and also the first of his films to focus on aviators. All special print conditions are noted in the schedule below.
Tickets for screenings are included with Museum admission ($12 adults / $9 senior citizens and students) / $6 children) and free for Museum members. To find out about membership and to join, visit http://movingimage.us/support/membership or call 718 777 6877.
Howard Hawks (1896-1977) moved easily between drama and comedy with a style that was always lucid, energetic, and direct. Hawks worked in relative anonymity until the 1950s and '60s, when auteurist critics discerned a directorial signature that gave depth and coherence to his extremely diverse films. In his influential book Howard Hawks (1968), Robin Wood wrote, "If I were asked to choose a film that would justify the existence of Hollywood, I think it would be Rio Bravo."
Cinema is a medium of action, in which everything must be expressed on the surface, in concrete physical terms. In Hawks's film, behavior is everything. An instinctive existentialist, Hawks depicts a universe where groups of men and women battle the abyss by sticking to a precise code of conduct and behavior, where professionalism under pressure is the ultimate virtue. No great Hollywood director has ever shown less interest in such institutions as government, family, and marriage. And Hawks displayed a healthy disregard for gender roles. Resolutely unpretentious, Hawks said, "I try to tell my story as simply as possible, with the camera at eye level." Hawks left the theorizing to the critics, such as Eric Rohmer, who wrote in Cahiers du Cinema in 1953, "The best Westerns are those signed by a great name. I say this because I love film, because I believe it is not the fruit of chance, but of art and men's genius, because I think one cannot really love any film if one does not really love the ones by Howard Hawks."
SCHEDULE FOR 'Howard Hawks,' SEPTEMBER 7-NOVEMBER 10, 2013
All screenings take place in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater or the Bartos Screening Room at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria. Screenings are included with Museum admission and free for Museum members unless otherwise noted. Tickets forFriday evening screenings are $12 adults / $9 students and senior citizens. Link to series page here.
All films directed by Howard Hawks, unless noted.
To Have and Have Not
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2:00 P.M.
1944, 100 mins. 35mm. With Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Dolores Moran, Hoagy Carmichael. Expatriate American Harry Morgan (Bogart) helps to transport a Free French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique, while romancing a sultry lounge singer who shows him how to whistle (Bacall, in her film debut). This loose adaptation of a Hemingway novel is a deceptively breezy South Seas variation on Casablanca, with Bacall's Slim an easy match for Bogart.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 4:30 P.M.
1959, 141 mins. Restored 35mm print. With John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, Ricky Nelson. A taciturn yet compassionate small-town sheriff (Wayne) enlists the help of a cantankerous old deputy (Brennan), a drunk (Martin), a young gunfighter (Nelson), and a tough yet tender ex-gambler (Dickinson) in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of a local outlaw. In his influential book Howard Hawks, Robin Wood wrote, "If I were asked to choose a film that would justify the existence of Hollywood, I think it would be Rio Bravo."
Live music by Donald Sosin
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2:00 P.M.
1926, 70 mins. 35mm print from The Museum of Modern Art. With George O'Brien, Olive Borden. Adam, a plumber, is happily married to Eve, a wardrobe-obsessed housewife, until she meets a supercilious fashion designer and becomes a fashion model by day, knowing that her husband would disapprove. Adam and Eve are transplanted to modern New York in Hawks's earliest existing silent film, a bold gender comedy that ends with a lavish fashion show.
The Cradle Snatchers
Live music by Donald Sosin
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 4:00 P.M.
1927, 59 mins. 35mm print from The Library of Congress. With Louise Fazenda, J. Farrell MacDonald, Ethel Wales. Tired of their husbands' philandering, three wives decide to seek revenge by hiring three college boys to pose as their 'young lovers.' The boys do their job so well that, for a while, it looks like everybody's going to end up in divorce court. Fortunately, however, the wandering husbands see the error of their ways and return to their spouses in this energetic adaptation of a popular Broadway farce.
Live music by Donald Sosin
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 6:00 P.M.
1928, 75 mins. 35mm print from The Museum of Modern Art. With Charles Farrell, Greta Nissen. In this melodramatic desert romance, Fazil, an Arabian prince, marries Fabienne, a carefree Parisienne. But once Fabienne is subjected to the rigors of desert life, she rebels. Prince Fazil leaves her for his beloved desert and establishes a harem in this rarely screened Hawks silent.
Only Angels Have Wings
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2:00 P.M.
1939, 121 mins. Imported 35mm print from the British Film Institute. With Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Richard Barthelmess, Rita Hayworth. This irresistibly entertaining adventure places Cary Grant, Richard Barthelmess, Jean Arthur, and Rita Hayworth among a small crew of Americans isolated in a south-of-the-border backwater, facing the perils of flying mail over the Andes and the even greater risks of caring for each other. Only Angels Have Wings is a lyrical meditation on loyalty, comradeship, and professionalism.
I Was a Male War Bride
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 4:30 P.M.
1949, 105 mins. 35mm archival print from 20th Century Fox. With Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan. Captain Henri Rochard (Grant) is a French officer assigned to work with American Lieut. Catherine Gates (Sheridan). Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends and Catherine's army unit gets recalled back to the United States, the only way she and Henri can stay together is by invoking a law allowing the spouse of American army personnel to enter the country. The sight of Grant in a military-issue skirt and a horsetail wig is among the highlights of this zany gender reversal farce, one of Hawks's personal favorites.
Paid to Love
With live music by Donald Sosin
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2:00 P.M.
1927, 74 mins. 35mm. With George O'Brien, J. Farrell MacDonald, Thomas Jefferson. The poverty-stricken imaginary kingdom of San Savona is trying to get a loan from the American banker Peter Roberts but before it can, the King must marry off his son Prince Michael, who is more interested in cars than women and whose perpetual bachelorhood represents a threat to the kingdom's stability. The visuals in this lavish romance were inspired by Murnau's Sunrise.
Trent's Last Case
With live music by Donald Sosin
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 4:00 P.M.
1929, approx. 50 mins. Incomplete 35mm print from The Library of Congress. With Donald Crisp, Raymond Griffith. In Hawks's last silent film, a witty and unconventional whodunit, a leading financier commits suicide, disguises it as a murder framing his worst enemy as the culprit, and invites the great detective Trent on the scene before the crime!
A Girl in Every Port
With live music by Donald Sosin
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 6:00 P.M.
1928, 64 mins. 35mm print from George Eastman House. With Victor McLaglen, Louise Brooks, Robert Armstrong. This cynical sex farce about two globetrotting sailors (McLaglen and Armstrong) who fight over a woman (Brooks) and then become best friends was described by Hawks as "a love story between two men." The film is notable for bringing cult screen icon-to-be Louise Brooks to the attention of director G.W. Pabst for his upcoming Pandora's Box.
The Big Sleep
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 7:00 P.M.
1946, 114 mins. 35mm. With Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall. Hawks's unqualified noir masterpiece, the first film version of a Raymond Chandler novel, stars Bogart as Philip Marlowe, a private detective hired to investigate a series of troubles plaguing an affluent family. Crackling wit and lushly atmospheric visuals replaced plot coherence in a brilliant film that sought to capitalize on Bogart and Bacall's natural, sizzling chemistry.
The Criminal Code
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1:30 P.M,
1931, 97 mins. 35mm print from The Library of Congress. With Walter Huston, Boris Karloff, Constance Cummings. Hawks's stylistically elegant, colorfully cast prison melodrama stars Walter Huston (whom Hawks called "the greatest actor I ever worked with") as a prison warden who decides to give a young convict a second chance by hiring him as his valet.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 3:30 P.M.
1932, 93 mins. 35mm print from The Museum of Modern Art. With Paul Muni, Boris Karloff, George Raft, Ann Dvorak. The most brutal gangster film of the 1930s-and one of the most vibrant-stars Paul Muni as Tony Camonte, an ambitious, insanely violent gangster who climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but whose weaknesses, chiefly his charged love for his own sister (Ann Dvorak), prove to be his downfall. Scarface has been selected in multiple polls as the greatest movie in the gangster film genre, a genre it indisputably produced.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2:00 P.M.
1934, 91 mins. 35mm. With John Barrymore, Carole Lombard. A flamboyant Broadway impresario who has fallen on hard times tries to get his former lover, now a Hollywood diva, to return and resurrect his failing career. This seminal screwball classic was described by Andrew Sarris as "the first comedy in which sexually attractive, sophisticated stars indulged in their own slapstick instead of delegating it to their inferiors."
The Thing from Another World
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 4:30 P.M.
Dir. Christian Nyby. 1951, 81 mins. 35mm. With Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness. Air Force pilots stationed in the North Pole discover a downed plane that turns out to be an alien spacecraft in this intelligent, allegorical science-fiction film. Although Hawks produced the film, and Christian Nyby was the director, Hawks's personality and style are evident throughout.
Bringing Up Baby
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2:00 P.M.
1938, 102 mins. 35mm. With Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant. This unparalleled screwball classic features Katharine Hepburn (in her only madcap role) as a flighty, often irritating heiress who, along with her leopard "Baby," reduces a paleontologist seeking a million dollar donation for his museum to a primitive state. "Our relationship has been a series of misadventures," Grant laments. "Everything's going to be all right," Hepburn repeats, unreassuringly.
The Crowd Roars
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2:00 P.M.
1932, 85 mins. 35mm print from The Library of Congress. With James Cagney, Joan Blondell. This electrifying car racing melodrama, described by Hawks as the first film he made purely for fun, follows the lives of two brothers. Joe Greer (a riveting James Cagney) is a racing champion who finds himself headed downhill, while, much to Joe's dismay, his headstrong kid brother (Eric Linden) rises to the height of fame.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 4:30 P.M,
1952, 97 mins. Archival 35mm print from 20th Century Fox. With Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn, Marilyn Monroe. A pharmaceutical Fountain of Youth invented by a lab Chimpanzee unleashes long-suppressed passions in Doctor Fulton (Cary Grant) and his prudent wife (Ginger Rogers) in a sidesplitting, anarchic slapstick comedy that "sets out-gaily, logically, and with an unholy abandon-to chronicle the fatal stages in the degradation of a superior mind" (Jacques Rivette).
Come and Get It
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2:00 P.M.
1936, 99 mins. 35mm. With EdWard Arnold, Joel McCrea, Frances Farmer. In this multigenerational Edna Farber saga, an ambitious lumberjack abandons his saloon girl lover, Lota, so that he can marry into wealth, but years later becomes infatuated with his now-deceased former girlfriend's daughter. Farmer, in a dual role here, was called by Hawks "the greatest actress I have ever worked with."
Man's Favorite Sport?
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 4:30 P.M.
1964, 120 mins. 35mm. With Rock Hudson, Paula Prentiss. Roger Willoughby works at a sporting goods store and is the author of a best-selling guide to fishing, even though he has never fished. Mayhem ensues when pushy press agent Abby inveigles him to enter a fishing tournament. Showcasing an adversarial relationship constantly teetering on The Edge of romance, Man's Favorite Sport? was Hawks's loving homage to his own 1938 screwball classic, Bringing Up Baby.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2:00 P.M.
1932, 80 mins. 35mm. With Edward G. Robinson, Zita Johann, Richard Arlen. Mike Mascarenhas (Edward G. Robinson), a blustery, socially awkward San Diego trawler captain with a hook for a left hand (which he lost to a shark in a fishing accident), is getting married. One problem: Mike's bride (Zita Johann) has eyes for Mike's crewman and friend (Richard Arlen). Tiger Shark is noted for Hawks's expressive use of the Monterey coast locations.
Today We Live
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 4:30 P.M.
1933, 113 mins. 35mm. Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, RoBert Young, Franchot Tone. Set in World War I, England, Today We Live follows Diana Boyce-Smith (Joan Crawford), an English girl caught in a love triangle between British Naval Officer Claude (RoBert Young) and the rugged American aviator Bogard, (Gary Cooper). Faulkner provided dialogue for the film, making it the only film version of his work ("Turn About") that Faulkner co-wrote.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 7:00 P.M.
1948, 133 mins. 35mm. With John Wayne, Montgomery Clift. One of the finest Westerns ever made, Red River provides a fictional account of the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas along the Chisolm Trail. Tom Dunson (Wayne) builds a cattle empire with his adopted son Matthew Garth (Clift). Together they begin a massive cattle drive north from Texas to the Missouri railhead. But on the way, new information and Dunson's tyrannical ways cause Matthew to turn against his father. Clift is devastatingly sensual in his screen debut.
Ball of Fire
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2:00 P.M.
1942, 111 mins. 35mm print from UCLA Film & TV Archive. With Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck. A group of ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to hear how real people talk, as they begin working on a slang dictionary. They wind up helping a beautiful nightclub singer, "Sugarpuss" O' Shea (Stanwyck), avoid police and escape from the mob. Ball of Fire is a hilarious expression of a favorite Hawks theme: the war between man's intellectual and primal sides.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12, 4:30 P.M,
1941, 134 mins. 35mm. With Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan. One of Hawks's biggest commercial successes, and released just months before Pearl Harbor, this stirring drama recounts the life story of a pacifist farmer (Cooper) who gets drafted in World War I and becomes a celebrated war hero. Real-life World War I hero Alvin C. York insisted on Gary Cooper to star in this biopic, a role for which Cooper won an Academy Award.
His Girl Friday
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2:00 P.M.
1940, 92 mins. 35mm. With Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell. Walter Burns (Cary Grant) is a cynical editor for The Morning Post who learns his ex-wife and former star reporter, Hildegard "Hildy" Johnson (Rosalind Russell), is about to marry bland insurance man Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy) and settle down to a quiet life as a wife and mother. Walter determines to sabotage these plans and a battle of wits ensues in this beloved screwball classic.
A Song Is Born
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 4:30 P.M.
1948, 113 mins. 35mm. With Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong. Gangster's moll Honey Swanson (Mayo) runs away when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police, seeking refuge in a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely bachelors. This visually resplendent Technicolor musical remake of Ball of Fire features a stellar supporting cast of Jazz legends, including Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, and Benny Carter.
The Dawn Patrol
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2:00 P.M.
1930, 108 mins. New 35mm print from The Library of Congress. With Richard Barthelmess, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Neil Hamilton. Hawks's breathtakingly photographed first talkie is a bracing, unsentimental drama about a group of doomed British World War I aviators. Hawks, a former World War I pilot, would return to the subject of aviation several times over the course of his filmmaking career, most notably in his later masterpiece, Only Angels Have Wings.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 4:30 P.M.
1943, 124 mins. 35mm. With John Garfield, Harry Carey, John Ridgely, Gig Young. The crew of an Air Force bomber arrives in Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack and is sent on to Manila to help with the defense of the Philippines in this quintessential World War II film. Air Force was one of the first of the patriotic films of World War II, and is thus considered an important historical document.
Land of the Pharaohs
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1:30 P.M.
1955, 105 mins. 35mm. With Joan Collins, Jack Hawkins. A captured architect designs an ingenious plan to insure the impregnability of the tomb of a megalomaniacal Pharaoh, obsessed with the security of his next life. As a conniving Cyprian hellcat, Collins steals Hawks's Great Pyramid saga, which literally had a cast of thousands and was one of Hollywood's largest-scale, ancient-world epics, in the spirit of The Robe, The Ten Commandments, and Ben-Hur.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 4:00 P.M.
1962, 157 mins. 35mm IB Technicolor print. With John Wayne, Elsa Martinelli. A group of Western expatriates led by Sean Mercer (an outstanding John Wayne) cavort over the African landscape, filling orders from zoos for wild animals. Will the arrival of a female wildlife photographer (Martinelli) change their ways? This breezy hunting adventure, which includes dramatic wildlife chases and the magnificent backdrop scenery of Mount Meru, a dormant volcano, is one of Hawks's most relaxed and personal films.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26, 4:30 P.M.
1966, 126 mins. 35mm. With John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Cann, Charlene Holt. Hawks's elegiac and comical follow-up to Rio Bravopushes both the humor and the violence of the first film to extremes. Cole Thornton (Wayne), a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara, (Mitchum), to help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water. Caan provides comic relief as Mississippi, an inept gunman armed with a diabolical shotgun.
The Big Sky
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26, 7:30 P.M.
1952, 140 mins. 35mm. With Kirk Douglas. An expedition of fur trappers up the Missouri River features expansive outdoor photography, while focusing on the rivalry between two men for a Native-American woman. Film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote, "Though this sublime 1952 black-and-white masterpiece by Howard Hawks is usually accorded a low place in the Hawks canon, it's a particular favorite of mine-mysterious, beautiful, and even utopian in some of its sexual and cultural aspects."
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2:00 P.M.
1936, 95 mins. 35mm print from The Library of Congress. With James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, June Travis. In one of his strongest roles, James Cagney plays "Dizzy" Davis, an experienced but irresponsible aviator whose sex drive gets him into trouble when he falls for a younger pilot's girlfriend (June Travis). This absorbing aviation film inspired critic Frank S. Nugent to write, "This once give Hollywood its due: it has given wings to a play about aviation."
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2:00 P.M.
1935, 91 mins. Archival 35mm print. With Miriam Hopkins, Edward G. Robinson, Joel McCrea. Mary Rutledge (Hopkins) arrives from the east, and goes to work at the roulette wheel of Louis Charnalis's Bella Donna, a rowdy gambling house, hoping to marry rich. The casino's powerful, corrupt boss (Robinson) tries to win her by making her a star performer. Set in San Francisco during the Gold Rush era, this lusty, atmospheric film combines elements of crime, Western, melodrama and adventure genres.
The Road to Glory
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 5:00 P.M.
1936, 103 mins. Archival 35mm print from 20th Century Fox. With Fredric March, Warner Baxter, Lionel Barrymore. Hawks's moody melodrama is a story of trench life during World War I through the lives of a French regiment. As men are killed and replaced, jaunty Lieutenant Denet (Fredric March) becomes more and more somber. In its depiction of trench combat, The Road to Glory anticipated Kubrick'sPaths of Glory. Critic John Baxter, in Hollywood in the 30's, hailed The Road to Glory as "The most moving and accurate of all anti-war statements."
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2:00 P.M.
1970, 114 mins. Archival 35mm print. With John Wayne, Jennifer O'Neill. Col. Cord McNally (Wayne), a former union officer, teams up with a group of men to search for the traitor whose perfidy caused the defeat of McNally's unit in the Civil War. Their quest brings them to Rio Lobo, a small Texan town besieged by a band of ruthless outlaws led by the traitor they were looking for. Hawks's last film is a relaxed Western in the mold of Rio Bravo and El Dorado.
Red Line 7000
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2:00 P.M.
1965, 110 mins. 16mm print from Academy Film Archive. With James Caan, MariAnna Hill, Laura Devon. Hawks returned to the car-racing world (The Crowd Roars) with this episodic, action-packed story about professional and sexual conflicts among a group of young drivers. NASCAR driver Larry Frank assisted Hawks with the movie by allowing the film crew to mount cameras on his car. Meet The Speed Breed!
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 4:30 P.M.
1953, 91 mins. 35mm. With Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn. Lorelei (Monroe) and Dorothy (Russell) are just "Two Little Girls from Little Rock," lounge singers on a transatlantic cruise, working their way to Paris, and enjoying the company of any eligible men they might meet along the way. Hawks's satirical take on the musical genre was described by him as a film which was "purposely loud and bright and completely vulgar in costumes and everything."