Director: Kevin MacDonald
Westerns, screw-ball comedies, film noir, detective thrillers, gangster flicks, even musicals - Howard Hawks, hailed as the quintessential auteur, tackled every possible film genre with equal facility. His was amongst the most enduring, accomplished and versatile directorial careers. Yet in comparison with such contemporaries as Hitchcock and Ford, whose reputations became synonymous with their respective genres, his name was seldom heard outside a circle of fanatical admirers. Documentary maker Kevin McDonald has finally set this anomaly to rights.
Howard Hawks: American Artist weaves together previously unseen home movies and out-takes, as well as interviews with the likes of James Caan, Angie Dickinson and Lauren Bacall. Directors Michael Mann, Walter Hill, Peter Bogdanovich and sundry associates reminisce fondly about the great man. Film clips and archival footage of Hawks himself round out the biographical mix; Hawks comes across as warm and engaging, if a little less complex and inscrutable than before. McDonald's film is an overdue tribute to a man widely considered to be the most independent and consistent artist of the American cinema.