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The Aviator (2004)

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s.

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 75 wins & 119 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

Biopic of billionaire Howard Hughes, starting with his early filmmaking years as owner of RKO studios but mostly focusing on his role in designing and promoting new aircraft. Hughes was a risk-taker spending several fortunes on designing experimental aircraft and eventually founding TWA as a rival to Pan AM airlines owned by his great rival Juan Trippe. When Trippe's politico Senator Ralph Owen Brewster accuses Hughes of being a war profiteer, it's Hughes who gains the upper hand. Hughes also had many women in his life including a long relationship with actress Katharine Hepburn. From an early age however, Hughes was also germophobic and would have severe bouts of mental illness. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner the passion he couldn't resist. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, nudity, language and a crash sequence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El aviador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$858,021 (USA) (17 December 2004)

Gross:

$102,608,827 (USA) (27 May 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bob Hoskins was originally considered for the role of Senator Owen Brewster. See more »

Goofs

When Professor Fitz "promises" clouds in Oakland, Howard Hughes orders his entire squadron of planes there. However, Van Nuys, which is where Hughes' planes are stationed, is more than 350 miles from Oakland -- a distance at, or beyond, the range of many World War I-era biplanes. So, all of Hughes' planes would have to land and refuel in/near Oakland so that they would then have enough fuel to film the dogfights. (And they'd likely have to land and fuel yet again to return to Van Nuys after the shoot.) All of those planes landing, refueling, and returning to formation would likely present almost insurmountable problems logistically and in wasting of time and available light. And because flying time to Oakland in a WWI-era biplane would be close to 3 hours, there's a good chance clouds would no longer be in Oakland's skies by the time Hughes et al got there. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Allene Hughes: Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e.
Young Howard Hughes: Quarantine. Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e. Quarantine.
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Crazy Credits

The Miramax Films logo is also shown in 2-color Technicolor at the beginning of the movie, but before the Warner Bros. Pictures logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #29.130 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Marie
(1928)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (as Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra)
Vocal by Jack Leonard
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label, a unit of BMG
Under License from BMG Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Leo's Masterpiece
19 January 2005 | by (U.S.) – See all my reviews

There is no doubt that THE AVIATOR is the masterpiece of both director Martin Scorsese and actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio becomes Howard Hughes. The actor is so profoundly absorbed in the role that the DiCaprio we know from other films cannot be found in this film. It is a bravura performance of great depth and magnitude. DiCaprio richly deserves his first Academy Award.

I have never know much about Howard Hughes. This film opened my eyes to him as a personality, a businessman, aviator and his lavish lifestyle. DiCaprio no longer is the "pretty boy" from other films. The expressions he takes on are not handsome, the deeply furrowed brow, one could actually watch him, as Hughes' character, think his way through challenging situations, the mark of a highly gifted actor. Watching DiCaprio evolve into the paranoid schizophrenic Hughes in the latter part of the film is a stunning example of pure acting. Leo deserves recognition for recreating a most difficult personality.

Though the film is long, it never slows down nor gets boring and it commanded my attention from start to finish. It is masterpiece cinema for these two men and for other actors too. Cate Blanchette must be commended for her role as Katherine Hepburn. Every role was played by first rate actors.

If you want to understand a piece of American history from the 30s through the 1940s, this film will illumine you. It may not be the greatest film ever made but it sure is cinema to the max and worth seeing, without a second thought.


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