Howard Hawks: The Measure of Man

1/13/12 to 4/17/12

“What one loves most about Hawks, finally, is the aliveness of so many of his people” (Robin Wood). Howard Hawks, one of the most-loved directors of classical Hollywood cinema, made films in almost every genre-screwball comedies, dramas, gangster films, action adventures, Westerns, science fiction, musical comedies-and left his distinctive mark on each. Our series, which continues through mid-April, surveys the full range of Hawks's career, including his rarely screened silents.

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Past Films

  • El Dorado

    • Tuesday, April 17 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1967). Hawks reworks Rio Bravo as both elegy and farce. Starring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and James Caan, this late work is “a witty, exciting and deeply moving masterpiece” (Time Out). (126 mins)

  • Rio Bravo

    • Saturday, April 14 8 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1959). Sheriff John Wayne tries to keep a killer jailed with help from local drunk Dean Martin, singin' cowboy Ricky Nelson, dance-hall girl Angie Dickinson, and cantankerous geezer Walter Brennan in Hawks's loose-limbed Western. (141 mins)

  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    • Tuesday, April 10 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1953). Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe two golddiggers from Little Rock who prove that big shiny rocks are a girl's best friend in Hawks's brash, satiric take on the musical genre. (91 mins)

  • The Thing from Another World

    • Tuesday, April 3 7 pm

    Christian Nyby (uncredited: Howard Hawks) (U.S., 1951). A group of scientists and military men discover an alien craft under the Arctic ice in this oft-remade science fiction classic. (87 mins)

  • I Was a Male War Bride

    • Saturday, March 31 6:30 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1949). Military bureaucracy impedes the consummation of Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan's marriage in “a comedy on frustration and sex-roles that is romantic, subversive and extremely funny, all at the same time” (Time Out). (105 mins)

  • Monkey Business

    • Saturday, March 31 8:35 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1952). A youth serum makes Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers go ape in this anarchic allegory. “Part romp, part druggie-surrealist masterpiece, and a complete joy” (The Guardian). “Hawks's greatest comedy” (Robin Wood). (97 mins)

  • Sergeant York

    • Saturday, March 24 6 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1941) This stirring, folksy fable stars Gary Cooper as real-life World War I hero Alvin C. York, a convert from hillbilly hell-raiser to upright Christian and from biblical pacifist to battlefield patriot. (135 mins)

  • Red River

    • Tuesday, March 20 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1948). John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, and a river of cattle in a rousing Western that is also a funny and moving study of male relationships. “Probably the finest Western of the forties” (Time Out). (133 mins)

  • The Big Sleep

    • Tuesday, March 13 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1945). Prerelease version. Hawks's classic is the only film to capture Raymond Chandler's gallows humor and abrasive romanticism, with Bogart as Marlowe and Bacall as the fast-talking woman who invites him into an impossibly intricate web of blackmail and murder. (132 mins)

  • To Have and Have Not

    • Tuesday, March 6 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1944). Bogart and Bacall, together for the first time, in an “unassuming masterpiece, nominally based on Hemingway's novel and set in Martinique during World War II . . . Hawks's toughest statement of the necessity of accepting responsibility for others” (Time Out). (100 mins)

  • Ball of Fire

    • Sunday, March 4 2 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1941). Restored Print! Nightclub singer Barbara Stanwyck gives innocent encyclopedist Gary Cooper lessons in slang, and love, in this comic twist on the Snow White tale. (111 mins)

  • His Girl Friday

    • Tuesday, February 28 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1940). Restored Print! Newsroom editor Cary Grant tries to win back his top reporter-and ex-wife-Rosalind Russell in “one of the fastest of all movies, from line to line and gag to gag. . . . A tour de force of choreographed action” (Manny Farber). (92 mins)

  • Barbary Coast

    • Friday, February 24 8:45 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1935). In Gold Rush–era San Francisco, golddigger Miriam Hopkins takes up with casino boss Edward G. Robinson but falls for poetical prospector Joel McCrea. “Melodrama of the neatest, most expert kind, well directed, well acted and well written” (Graham Greene). (91 mins)

  • Only Angels Have Wings

    • Tuesday, February 21 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1939). Restored Print! Cary Grant, Richard Barthelmess, and Jean Arthur star in an exhilarating adventure about fliers in a Latin American backwater. “A completely achieved masterpiece” (Robin Wood). (121 mins)

  • The Dawn Patrol

    • Friday, February 17 8:55 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1930) New Print! Richard Barthelmess and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. are British fliers who must put professional responsibility before personal feelings in Hawk's first talkie, with scenes of aerial combat that still soar. (95 mins)

  • Bringing Up Baby

    • Tuesday, February 14 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1938). Katharine Hepburn manages to unearth the hitherto hidden funny bone in placid paleontologist Cary Grant in this swiftest and screwiest of screwball comedies. (102 mins)

  • The Criminal Code

    • Sunday, February 12 4:30 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1931) Restored Print! Walter Huston is a D.A. turned warden, watching over cons including Boris Karloff, in this stark prison picture. “The fast pacing, grimly realistic atmosphere, and superb performances summon up a tragic battle of wits and power” (Time Out). (96 mins)

  • Twentieth Century

    • Tuesday, February 7 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1934). Vault Print! Broadway mogul John Barrymore spars with former protégée Carole Lombard in a madcap comedy scripted by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. “Thanks to Hawks, the film not only takes place on an express train, it moves like one too” (Time Out). (91 mins)

  • Scarface

    • Tuesday, January 31 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1932). Vault Print! Hawks's rat-a-tat-taut direction drives this godfather of all gangster films. “Nasty, exciting, brutal and beautiful” (TIFF Cinematheque). (93 mins)

  • Paid to Love

    • Friday, January 27 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1927). Judith Rosenberg on piano. A Parisian demimondaine is recruited to romance the crown prince of an imaginary kingdom in this rarely seen, visually lavish silent. George O'Brien and Virginia Valli star, but caddish William Powell usurps the movie. (74 mins)

  • A Girl in Every Port

    • Tuesday, January 24 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1928). Introduced by Marilyn Fabe. Judith Rosenberg on piano. An early incarnation of a seminal Hawks theme-a “love story” between two men (Victor McLaglen and Robert Armstrong)-with Louise Brooks as the woman who almost manages to break up the bromance. (64 mins)

  • Fazil

    • Friday, January 20 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1928). Judith Rosenberg on piano. This rare Hawks silent travels between Paris, Venice, and “Araby-untouched by the ages” as it follows the ill-fated romance between an Arabian prince (Charles Farrell) and a freedom-loving Parisienne (Greta Nissen). (75 mins)

  • Fig Leaves

    • Tuesday, January 17 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1926). Introduced by Marilyn Fabe. Judith Rosenberg on piano. Fashion is the original sin in Hawks's second feature film, his earliest that still survives. “(An) effervescent blend of sly sex comedy and riotous slapstick. . . . Though the film is silent, Hawks's epigrammatic rapidity is already in evidence” (New Yorker). (c. 70 mins)

  • The Crowd Roars

    • Friday, January 13 7 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1932) New Print! In the breathtakingly fast field of Hawks movies, this car racing melodrama might hold the land speed record, with James Cagney setting the pace as a champion driver. (70 mins)

  • Tiger Shark

    • Friday, January 13 8:35 pm

    Howard Hawks (U.S., 1932) New Print! Edward G. Robinson plays a Portuguese tuna-boat captain and Zita Johann his tough-minded, typically Hawksian wife in this melodrama shot on location in Monterey. (80 mins)