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The Films of Howard Hawks: Integrity, Intelligence, Inspiration

Shoshana Milgram

Presented at: OCON 2010

Date: Jul 02, 2010

Howard Hawks has been acclaimed as the only movie director to achieve greatness in every genre—from Westerns to war stories, from effervescent comedies to intense dramas. His pictures are entertaining and uplifting. In the Hawksian universe, happy endings are more than a Hollywood cliché: they are earned.

The course, which offers an overview of Hawks’s body of work, focuses on four films that illustrate the triumph of efficacious rationality over arduous obstacles—To Have and Have Not, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday and Rio Bravo—and on two films (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Monkey Business) featuring Marilyn Monroe, whose performances, according to Ayn Rand, projected a “radiantly benevolent sense of life, which cannot be faked.”

By grasping the meaning, method and merits of these classic American movies, we sharpen our understanding, enhance our enjoyment and acquire skills and standards that enrich our appreciation of films as art.

See also Grace under Pressure: The Films of Howard Hawks from Conceptual Conferences 1992


Parts: 4

Handout: none