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

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writer:

John Logan
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Popularity
1,436 ( 201)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 80 wins & 131 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Howard Hughes
Cate Blanchett ... Katharine Hepburn
Kate Beckinsale ... Ava Gardner
John C. Reilly ... Noah Dietrich
Alec Baldwin ... Juan Trippe
Alan Alda ... Senator Ralph Owen Brewster
Ian Holm ... Professor Fitz
Danny Huston ... Jack Frye
Gwen Stefani ... Jean Harlow
Jude Law ... Errol Flynn
Adam Scott ... Johnny Meyer
Matt Ross ... Glenn Odekirk
Kelli Garner ... Faith Domergue
Frances Conroy ... Mrs. Hepburn
Brent Spiner ... Robert Gross
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Storyline

Biopic of billionaire Howard Hughes, starting with his early filmmaking years as owner of R.K.O. Pictures, 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 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

Taglines:

A Martin Scorsese film See more »

Genres:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two scenes were filmed aboard the retired ocean liner R.M.S. Queen Mary, permanently berthed in Long Beach, California, to take advantage of the vessel's still-existant 1930s Art Deco interiors. The "Hell's Angels" wrap party was filmed in the ship's Observation Bar. The scene introducing the H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose) scale model to the military, was shot in the former First Class main lounge, now called the "Royal Salon". The real "Spruce Goose" was on display in a domed hangar adjacent to the Queen Mary from 1980-1992. See more »

Goofs

As Hughes wipes the blood off his hands in the Cocoanut Grove bathroom, it is obvious from the spots on the towel that it is make-up and not actually emitting from the cut on his finger. 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 Warner Brothers logo is the classic shield version, and is shown in 2-color Technicolor, rendered as a static painted card instead of the modern 3D animated sequence. See more »


Soundtracks

Blue Skies
(1927)
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Performed by Al Jolson
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
A GREAT American TRAGEDY
17 December 2004 | by Mister1045See all my reviews

This is an astonishingly beautiful and moving film. Martin Scorcese has created a seminal work -- one that brings the harrowing, big-studio, adult movie making of the 1970's and totally reinvents and reinvigorates it for today's audience.

The story traces the rise and demise of billionaire Howard Hughes as he struggles to find meaning and purpose in a life unfettered by concerns of money, talent or opportunity. Whether trying to get a plane off the ground or a young starlet into bed, Hughes attacks life with a fierce gusto -- plagued and prodded by obsessive compulsive germphobia that constantly threatens to consume and defeat him.

DiCaprio is amazing! It's the performance no one thought he was capable of. It is a dynamic, smart, funny, articulate, intense, mature and ultimately harrowing performance that relaunches his career as one of American's finest actors. At the end of the film, you just want to take him in your arms and sob. It's really that good.

Cate Blanchett is incredible as Katherine Hepburn. At first, I was a little thrown by how bravely she attacked the Hepburn trademark voice, but I was completely won over by the second line. It is a tender, funny, incredibly convincing star turn that supplies the heart for the first half of the film. The scene where she takes Howard home "for dinner" with the family is a classic! Kate Beckinsale does a surprisingly fine job with Eva Gardner -- conveying the slow burning passion of this Hollywood icon without ever lapsing into mere mimicry.

But, in the end, this isn't a love story -- it's a war story -- a war between Howard's unstoppable will and his fierce inner demons battling for Howard's soul. It is the major relationship in the movie and the true heart of the film -- one that fuels his eccentric genius and yet constantly threatens to rip his life apart. He tries to ignore it by sleeping with every beauty in town. He tries to outrun it, building faster and faster airplanes. Yet, it is his one constant companion from early childhood to his ultimate, inescapable end. And it is this relationship that leaves you devastated at the end of the film.

Brilliant!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Aviator See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$858,021, 19 December 2004

Gross USA:

$102,610,330

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$213,719,942
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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