Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Aviator - Howard Hughes


Hughes infront of the Northrop
Gamma Monoplane
Fantastic film - quite long, but I totally enjoyed it. Howard Hughes (1905-1976) must have been an amazing person. The film covers some events in his life, including some aspects his troubling mental disease. The making of Hells Angels (1930): a film about WW1 fighter bi-planes, it took 3 years to finish and was converted half way through from a silent film to include a soundtrack. It cost him $3.8million in 1930 which would be about $177million today. He then went on to film Scarface (1932) and The Outlaw (1941) both of which caused controversy at the time and were initially censored. The Aviator also covers his love of Aviation, as the title suggests. After gaining his pilots licence during the filming of Hells Angels Howard went on to Design/head up the production of many Planes including the Hercules; A massive boat plane, 5 stories high with a wing span of more than a city block [Images 1|2]. The plane only ever flew once after the military contact was canceled due to the war being over. Howard controled TWA and pioneered the companies expansion to international destinations. A move which lead him to clash with the giant Pan Am Airways. The Aviator is a moving film and finishes leaving the viewer wondering more about the man that was Howard Hughes. The way a man of his sort can have such an impact on so many others. In this instance, as is often the case, his genius came with a touch of madness. Some info from the HandBook of Texas Online

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