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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Howard Hawks directed Only Angels Have Wings, Sergeant York, Scarface, Bringing Up Baby and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
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Another critically acclaimed project for Hawks was 1944's To Have and Have Not, which starred Humphrey Bogart and marked the film debut of Lauren Bacall. It was adapted from a novel by Ernest Hemingway and the screenplay was written in part by another brilliant writer William Faulkner.
Hawks and Faulkner worked on a number of films together over the years. Their next project was the film noir thriller The Big Sleep (1946) with Bogart and Bacall. Based on the Raymond Chandler novel, the film is considered to be one of the great classics of its genre. Two years later, Hawks made one of his most famous westerns with John Wayne. Red River (1948) starred Wayne as a cattleman who must grapple with his difficult relationship with his adopted son played by Montgomery Clift.
In the 1950s, Hawks continued to work on a diverse mix of projects. He directed Kirk Douglas in the western The Big Sky (1952) and Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers in the comedy Monkey Business (1952). In the musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Hawks is often credited with helping Marilyn Monroe achieve the best performance of her career. Returning to westerns, he reunited with John Wayne for 1959's Rio Bravo.
By the early 1960s, Hawks started to slow down professionally. His earlier work began to receive some critical attention and was featured in a career retrospective at New York City's Museum of Modern Art. While others were looking back on his accomplishments, Hawks continued to work, making a handful of films, most of which starred Wayne. They worked together on the African adventure film Hatari! (1962) and the western El Dorado (1966) with Robert Mitchum. For his final film, Hawks directed Wayne in the western adventure Rio Lobo (1970).
Finally, Hawks received a special Academy Award in 1974. He was given an honorary award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for being "a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema."
Hawks died on December 26, 1977, in Palm Springs, California at the age of 81. He is remembered as a powerful storyteller with a simple, but effective style of direction. Married three times, he was survived by his four children, David, Greg, Barbara and Kitty.
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