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The Aviator (2004)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 25 December 2004 (USA)
1:54 | Trailer

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



1,079 ( 202)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 74 wins & 115 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


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


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


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El aviador  »

Box Office


$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The hangar in which the real-life Howard Hughes partially built his famous "Spruce Goose" airplane was also used for the construction of many of the full-scale models used in Titanic (1997), in which Leonardo DiCaprio also starred. See more »


The overhead shot of the H-1 just before Hughes takes it off for its test flight show the airplane with its short wings (used for setting pure speed records), whereas the in-flight shots portray the airplane with its long wings (used for cross-country races and setting cross-country records). In fact, the long wings did not exist in 1935 and were only designed (and fitted) in 1937 as a result of the 1935 crash. See more »


[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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are two different Panavision credits used: the "Filmed with Panavision Cameras and Lenses" credit, and after that, the "Filmed in Panavision" credit, despite being shot in Super 35. See more »


References Sylvia Scarlett (1936) See more »


Cow Cow Boogie
Music and Lyrics by Don Raye, Benny Carter, and Gene de Paul (as Gene DePaul)
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
Featuring The Ink Spots
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

For once the hype is accurate! A must see!
22 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Leonardo Dicaprio, once again, shows his depth as an artist and his ability to carry a film. He deserves the Golden Globe, and his due as an outstanding actor. Howard Hughes, the man, remains a mystery and the portrayal of his obsessive compulsive disorder was a powerful view into his inner hell. The beginning scene set the pace for a journey into his privileged and dark world. The Aviator showed the torments and gifts of genius. Amazing job by all involved! Wardrobe, music, special effects, direction, acting...all award winning contributions. I left the film moved and disturbed, which shows the power of this film. Wonderful performances by all the cast and the time"flew" by...

53 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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