I loved listening to this laconic and somewhat grouchy man...
Richard Schickel created nine "The Men Who Made Movies" documentaries--eight in 1973 and one later one for Sam Fuller. All concerned a particular director who made American films (this included the Brit Alfred Hitchcock, as he made many films in the States). This one featuring Howard Hawks is now included in the two DVD set for his "Rio Bravo"--one of the best westerns of the 1950s.
Most of the documentary consisted of letting Hawks just talk--and filling in the gaps with snippets of his films. This worked out great, as although Hawks was not known for his being very talkative, Hawks' direct (very, very direct) style of talking was very endearing. I loved how instead of trying to analyze his work, he simply stated that he filmed something and if he didn't like it, he'd re-shoot it! Simple and effective--and about as far from the intellectual auteur as you can find. In other words, he just filmed what he liked! Some directors would really benefit from this very direct and unadorned style--something the French came to adore. This gave his films an honest and simple something that I, too, have loved. If you love films, then give this episode a look. A well-made and fascinating documentary.
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