// F I L M O G R A P H Y //
L e n i n i m p o r t s . c o m
// H O W A R D H U G H E S //
H O W A R D H U G H E S:
F I L M O G R A P H Y
As a producer, unless otherwise indicated:
- Swell Hogan (1926) Directed by and starring Ralph Graves, an old friend
of Howard Hughes Sr. About a Bowery Bum, it was so bad it was
- Everybody's Acting (1926) Written and directed by silent era stalwart
Marshall Neilan, this lightweight comedy about five actors who
adopt a baby girl was a surprise hit — helping to pave Hughes
- Two Arabian Knights (1927) Two World War I doughboys break out of a
German prison camp and wind up in an Arabian harem. Director
Lewis Milestone received an Academy Award as best director of a
- The Racket (1928) Underworld drama directed by Lewis Milestone,
a critically acclaimed forerunner to Scarface. Remade by Hughes at
RKO in the fifties.
- The Mating Call (1928) Based on a popular novel of the day, about a marriage of convenience that leads to love.
- Hell's Angels (1930) Hughes was just twenty-five when he directed this
saga of two brothers in the Royal Air Force (James Hall and Ben
Lyon) who face uncertainty in the skies and vie for the same
woman - Jean Harlow, a Hughes discovery. She became a star with
the line "Would you be terribly shocked if I slipped into something
more comfortable?" The aerial sequences remain unsurpassed.
- The Age for Love (1931) A "modern picture based on the days most
common problem — should the young wife work?" A vehicle for
beautiful Billie Dove, the former Ziegfeld showgirl turned silent-movie queen, who became Hughes's paramour and contract player.
- Cock of the Air (1931) Billie Dove plays a French temptress in love with
a handsome American aviator.
- The Front Page (1931) Pat O'Brien became a star, opposite Adolphe
Menjou, in this saga of Chicago newspapermen, faithfully adapted
from the hit play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.
- Sky Devils (1931) Leftover Hell's Angels footage went into this slapstick
service comedy starring a young Spencer Tracy.
- Scarface (1932) Paul Muni shot his way to fame as a vicious, manic gangster who, per Variety, is so tough he could "make Capone
boy." George Raft likewise found stardom. Directed by Howard
Hawks, written by Ben Hecht, loosely based on the saga of Al
Capone. Hughes battled censors for two years to get the picture
released. It remains one of the eras great films.
- The Outlaw (1943) The notorious Western starring Hughes's most
famous discovery, Jane Russell, and Jack Beutel as Billy the
When Howard Hawks tired of his interference, Hughes took over
director. With its emphasis on cleavage and sexuality the movie
riled the censors for a decade. (For one scene, Hughes redesigned
- The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) Silent comedian Harold Lloyd
out of retirement to reprise his madcap character. Written and
directed by Preston Sturges, with whom Hughes was briefly
in a production company. Reissued during Hughes's RKO epoch
- Hughes acquired control of RKO Pictures in May 1948. During his reign
he became the only man to solely own a film studio, which he finally sold
in July 1955. Among the RKO titles that bear Hughes's signature are the
- The Big Steal (1949) Crime caper with Robert Mitchum (just
marijuana bust), Hughes's favorite actor and good friend, and Jane
Greer, on whom Hughes was fixated.
- Holiday Affair (1949) Romantic comedy with Janet Leigh, another
Hughes obsession, and Robert Mitchum.
- Outrage (1950) Ida Lupino (a teenager when she dated Hughes in the
thirties) became a pioneering female director with this then-daring
drama of a young rape victim (Hughes contract player Mala Powers)
trying to start life anew.
- Stromboli (1950) Never one to miss an opportunity to capitalize on scandal, Hughes had RKO launch a major publicity campaign for this
Italian-made Ingrid Bergman movie — her first after she fled the
States when it was discovered she was pregnant with the child of
director Roberto Rossellini. Ad copy featured a volcano on the
island of Stromboli spurting lava, with lines such as "Raging
Island . . . Raging Passions!"
- Vendetta (1950) Long in production (shooting began August 1946), this
film traversed three different directors and cost more than $3 million.
Produced by Hughes, this period saga stars his girlfriend Faith
Domergue and contract actor George Dolenz (whose career stalled
under Hughes), in a story of Corsican honor and revenge. Produced
- Where Danger Lives (1950) Hughes's lover Faith Domergue as a
psychopath who dupes Robert Mitchum.
- Best of the Badmen (1951) After ten years under contract, Jack Beutel
(The Outlaw) gets a second film. (A year later, he starred in RKO's
- Double Dynamite (1951) The title refers to Jane
Implausible comedy about bank clerks Russell and Frank Sinatra,
who get romantic tips from . . . Groucho Marx.
- Flying Leathernecks (1951) The first of three RKO-Hughes titles starring
friend and fellow patriot John Wayne, about the war in the South
Pacific. Bears the credit "Howard Hughes
- Gambling House (1951) Hughes ordered the filmmakers to cast "the beautifully stacked" Terry
Moore, his girlfriend, as a social worker who
reforms tough guy Victor Mature.
- Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951) Ida Lupino directs Sally
plays a young tennis champion. "When Howard heard I didn't know
how to play tennis, he wanted me to take lessons at his house — at
night," recalls Forrest. She turned him down—and eventually bailed
out other contract with Hughes.
- His Kind of Woman (1951) "Howard Hughes Presents" Jane
Robert Mitchum in a romantic adventure set at a Mexican resort.
- My Forbidden Past (1951) Ava Gardner, with whom Hughes had
relationship, opposite Robert Mitchum, in a period drama set in
nineteenth-century New Orleans.
- Roadblock (1951) Joan Dixon, a former beauty queen discovered by
Hughes, as a femme fatale.
- Two Tickets to Broadway (1951) Musical starring Janet Leigh and Tony
Martin; it was in production so long that Martin worried that his
fans would forget who he was.
- The Whip Hand (1951) When Hughes began fighting Hollywood communists he re-edited this drama: a plot about Hitler and Nazi criminals
was turned into a story of communists and germ warfare. Stars Carla
Balenda (real name Sally Bliss), a Hughes contract player, who recalls,
"It was such a good little picture, until Howard
- The Las Vegas Story (1952) More of Jane Russell, this time teamed with
- Macao (1952) Jane Russell, reunited with Robert Mitchum. Film triggered Hughes's famed four-page memo regarding Russell's breasts
and the design of her brassiere.
- One Minute to Zero (1952) The U.S. Army co-operated with the making
of this movie but retaliated during its release due to a scene in which
Robert Mitchum, as a colonel, orders artillery fire on South Korean
refugees because he believes North Koreans are among them. With
Ann Blyth as a United Nations worker who falls for Mitchum.
- Androcles and the Lion (1952) Jean Simmons, who "awoke one morning
to find I had been bought by Howard Hughes" (who bought her
contract from Britain's Rank Organization), made her American
film debut in this sand and toga tale, playing a Christian opposite
Roman soldier Victor Mature. To spice up the story, Hughes had a
"Vestal Virgins" sequence added, after production had wrapped.
But the scene was ultimately scrapped.
- Angel Face (1953) Psychological drama, starring Jean Simmons. To spite
Hughes, Simmons took scissors to her hair during preproduction,
thus her very chic short haircut. Co-starring Robert Mitchum;
directed by Otto Preminger, one of Hollywood's most fearsome
- The French Line (1954) Shipboard silliness with Jane Russell—in 3-D—
as a Texas oil gal who wears lots of barely-there costumes. Censors
were not amused.
- Susan Slept Here (1954) Comedy with Dick Powell as a
screenwriter who falls in love with runaway teenager Debbie
Reynolds. Hughes so admired Reynolds that he later insisted she be
hired to perform at his Las Vegas hotels.
- Son of Sinbad (1955) Arabian Nights tale starring a bemused-looking Dale
Robertson and Vincent Price, and forty gorgeous, well-endowed
women as the forty thieves. To promote this movie, the Sinbadettes
toured the country.
- Underwater (1955) Another Jane Russell entry, this time involving sunken
treasure. More exciting than the movie was the press premiere,
actually held underwater.
- The Conqueror (1956) A miscast John Wayne as Genghis Khan, and former
Hughes lover Susan Hayward as the Tartar beauty he wants.
("This Tartar woman is for me and my blood says take her'") "A
Howard Hughes Presentation" that had the critics howling. Hughes
liked it so much he bought the movie outright.
- Jet Pilot (1957) Hughes's biggest RKO failure, it was in production so
long that by the time of its release, the aviation sequences looked
dated—and Hughes was no longer at the controls of RKO. With
John Wayne as the all-American airman in love with Soviet pilot
Janet Leigh. "A Howard Hughes
- Source: the best book on Hughes, Howard Hughes - The Untold Story (The life that inspired Martin Scorsese's The Aviator)
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