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Howard Hawks

Howard Hawks
Hawks portrait crop.png
Born Howard Winchester Hawks
(1896-05-30)May 30, 1896
Goshen, Indiana, U.S.
Died December 26, 1977(1977-12-26) (aged 81)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Occupation Film director, producer, screenwriter
Years active 1916–1970
Spouse(s) Athole Shearer (m. 1928; div. 1940)
Slim Keith (m. 1941; div. 1949)
Dee Hartford (m. 1953; div. 1960)
Children 3, including Kitty Hawks

Howard Winchester Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era. Critic Leonard Maltin called him "the greatest American director who is not a household name."

Hawks was a versatile director whose career included comedies, dramas, gangster films, science fiction, film noir, and westerns. His most popular films include Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Thing from Another World (1951), and Rio Bravo (1959). His frequent portrayals of strong, tough-talking female characters came to define a type—the "Hawksian woman".

In 1942, Hawks was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for Sergeant York, and in 1975 he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award as "a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema." His work has influenced some of the most popular and respected directors such as Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, John Carpenter, and Quentin Tarantino.

Howard Winchester Hawks was born in Goshen, Indiana, the first-born child of Frank W. Hawks (1865–1950), a wealthy paper manufacturer, and his wife, Helen (née Howard; 1872–1952), the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. Hawks's family on his father's side were American pioneers and his ancestor John Hawks had emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1630. The family eventually settled in Goshen and by the 1890s was one of the wealthiest families in the Midwest, due mostly to the highly profitable Goshen Milling Company.

  • Branson, Clark. Howard Hawks, A Jungian Study. Santa Barbara, California: Garland-Clarke Editions, 1987. .
  • Liandrat-Guigues, Suzanne. Red River. London: BFI Publishing, 2000. .
  • McBride, Joseph. Hawks on Hawks. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1982. .
  • McBride, Joseph (ed). Focus on Howard Hawks. New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc, 1972. .
  • Pippin, Robert B. Hollywood Westerns and American Myth: The Importance of Howard Hawks and John Ford for Political Philosophy. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2010. .
  • Wood, Robin. Howard Hawks. London: Secker & Warburg, 1968. . London: British Film Institute, 1981, revised with addition of chapter "Retrospect". . New Edition, Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 2006. .
  • Wood, Robin. Rio Bravo. London: BFI Publishing, 2003. .


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