films seen
10/47
average score
1.10*
nationality
USA - 81 years old
status
R.I.P. (1896 - 1977)
more info

Hawks is one of those classic directors whose oeuvre is difficult to pass by. The quality of his work seems invariably linked to its pulpiness, the bigger the stars, the worse the films. Not my cup of tea, but worth exploring for his status alone.

Worthy but flawed

The Thing from Another World

by Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks
Specifics
1951 / 87m - USA
Genre
Horror, Thriller
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
The Thing from Another World poster

A surprisingly fun flick. It could be that my expectations were pretty low, as Carpenter's version is often cited as a superior remake (and it is, truly), but that doesn't mean this 50s version is without merit. The "thing" itself may look like a low-budget Frankenstein, but the tension and setting make for a decent enough horror.

An expedition team on the North Pole finds a UFO. The army sends in soldiers and scientists to retrieve a frozen specimen, but once they've brought it back to the base their objectives diverge. The soldiers want to keep the specimen frozen, while the scientists are more than eager to start their study of the extraterrestrial.

It's a plus that the creature doesn't get too much screen time. The inhospitable setting, the unknown dangers and the squabbles between the soldiers and the scientists keep the tension tight. There isn't quite enough meat to keep the film interesting from start to finish, but it's certainly one of the better classic horror films I've seen so far.

Dubious filler

Monkey Business

by Howard Hawks
Specifics
1952 / 97m - USA
Genre
Comedy
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Monkey Business poster

Big nopes

Red River

by Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson
Specifics
1948 / 133m - USA
Genre
Western
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Red River poster

A startlingly simple western stretched out to its limit, so much in fact that it passed the two-hour mark. Even after having watched the film I'm still not entirely sure how they actually managed to do it, though obviously the film did feel tepid and slow in places. Hawks really made a bad call there.

Tom and his adopted son Matthew are tasked to move a lot of cattle from Texas to Missouri. It's a treacherous journey regardless, the fact that the two of them are constantly bickering doesn't make it any easier. Matthew grows tired of Tom's tyrannical behavior and decides to take the cattle to a different destination.

Wayne is a really poor actor and the more dialogue there is, the less appealing his performance. While the setup could've worked for a simple, short genre flick, the excess dialogue and the prolonged scenes really screw with the pacing. The ending is pretty cringeworthy too, making this a pretty confusing western.

The Big Sleep

by Howard Hawks
Specifics
1946 / 114m - USA
Genre
Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
The Big Sleep poster

To Have and Have Not

by Howard Hawks
Specifics
1944 / 100m - USA
Genre
Romance, Crime
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
To Have and Have Not poster

A film that felt like it tried very hard to replicate the success of Casablanca. That's not really a classic I appreciated, so it's no surprise that To Have and Have Not did not do much for me either. It's a sluggish noir with some romance and action elements that failed to get the blood pumping.

Morgan is a captain housed on Martinique, making a living by renting out his boat to tourists. When the war starts, he quickly lands himself into some trouble. The only way to survive is by helping the French resistance, helping him along is Slim, a nightclub singer whom Morgan has a passionate affair with.

I really can't stand Bogart and Bacall doesn't have a lot to work with either. The dialogs left me cold, the tension was completely absent and the cinematography wasn't that remarkable either. Not the kind of noir I like, but there's clearly a market for these films as they're still well respected.

Bringing Up Baby

by Howard Hawks
Specifics
1938 / 102m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Romance
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Bringing Up Baby poster

Grating. Grant is absolutely horrible and Hepburn's voice is completely unsuited for screwball comedies. The dialogue is fast and there's plenty of it, but almost none of it is funny. And so, safe a few inspired moments, the film simply goes on and on and on, growing increasingly more annoying with each passing minute.

Scarface

by Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson
Specifics
1932 / 93m - USA
Genre
Crime
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Scarface poster

Irritation overload

Rio Bravo

by Howard Hawks
Specifics
1959 / 141m - USA
Genre
Western
More info:
rating
0.5*/5.0*
Rio Bravo poster

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

by Howard Hawks
Specifics
1953 / 91m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Romance, Musical
More info:
rating
0.5*/5.0*
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes poster

His Girl Friday

by Howard Hawks
Specifics
1940 / 92m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
0.5*/5.0*
His Girl Friday poster