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Howard Hawks Blogathon- Day 4

May 19, 2013

The Howard Hawks blogathon continues into Day 4, this time we have on Red River from Ed Copeland again and  an interesting one on Hawks comedy movies by  Leticia from Brazil followed by Jason’s take on To Have and  Have Not.

After his excellent post on His Girl Friday,  Edward Copeland is  back again with another great post. This time he explores Hawk’s classic Western, Red  River.  Red  River  dealt with a tale of  father son conflict, set against the backdrop of a cattle drive.  In Edward’s words

Hawks made other great Westerns (most notably Rio Bravo, which also featured Wayne and Walter Brennan), but Red River, despite its abrupt climax, remains my favorite with its tale of a long cattle drive, surrogate father-son conflict and unmistakable gay subtext. Wayne admittedly was a limited actor, but he always was at his best when he played a character steeped in darkness and obsession such as Thomas Dunson here or Ethan Edwards in John Ford’s The Searchers. He’s helped immeasurably by getting to act opposite the young Clift, the antithesis of acting style when compared to Wayne. Hawks’ direction of the film itself truly amazes, especially in the many scenes of the huge numbers of cattle, all done in the days without the easy out of CGI.

Jason  Taylor is an avid, but unschooled, film fan.  His passion for classic film, film noir, and Humphrey Bogart started at an early age after his mother introduced him Casablanca, and he hasn’t looked back since.  His current goal is to watch every available Humphrey Bogart film and journal about them at  Taylor happily lives in the Midwest with his Bacall and two boys.  And here he takes us through  the Hawks-Bogie classic To Have and Have Not, a wartime drama set during the German occupation of France. In  a way this is Cassablanca in France, with the gin joint being replaced by a boat, and Lauren Bacall a con woman.

The first moment when Lauren Bacall sits on Humphrey Bogart’s lap in To Have and Have Not, something inside me stirs in such a deep and private way that I’m uncomfortable watching the film with other people in the room. I can only imagine what Howard Hawks and the rest of the crew were thinking . . .To Have and Have Not is my all-time favorite Bogart film.  I know it’s not as good as Casablanca.  I know that many consider it a less-than-perfect attempt to recreate the magic that occurred between Rick Blaine and Ilsa. I don’t care.

Letícia Magalhães is a Brazilian writer born in 1993, with a big love for the past. When she is not watching classic films, she writes about culture in general, reads and learns other languages. She writes primarily in her blog in her blog Critica Retro, about films from the past, and was invited to write in four other websites. Has self-published two books and tries hard to become an accomplished writer.  Here she takes a look at Howard Hawks mastery over the comic genre, in a post aptly titled  King of  Laughter.
Some directors  have been known to specialize in a genre film. Thus, Hitchcock is the master of suspense, even having made the unusual comedy “A couple of the noise / Mr and Mrs. Smith” (1941), John Ford is the king of westerns, but has not won any of his four Best Director Oscar driving cowboys, and Frank Capra was always ready to make us laugh and reflect. Howard Hawks, like many others, has ventured into more than one genre, but it does not matter if they were comedies and westerns, he always used a lot of humor in their productions.
One Comment
  1. More great posts.

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