Howard Hawks (1896-1977) was one of the most versatile directors of the GoldenAgeOfHollywood. Starting out in silent films as an assistant director and other production jobs, he soon moved up to director, and was one of Hollywood's top directors for the next several decades. Among the genres he handled successfully were gangster films, romantic comedies, screwball comedies, westerns, detective movies, and even musicals. Unlike other directors at the time, he wasn't tied to one particular studio. Also, though he worked with a number of well-regarded writers on his films (among them BenHecht and WilliamFaulkner), he was also known for changing the script as he was shooting it, with a number of examples of ThrowItIn in each of his films. He also was legendary for the number of tall tales he told about himself. Though he directed a number of hits throughout his career, he fell out of favor with critics in the 50's, but was VindicatedByHistory, thanks to the "auteur" critics like FrancoisTruffaut helped restore his reputation. Later generation of directors would cite him as a major director, second only to Creator/JohnFord, citing his versatility in moving from genres with the likes of Creator/JohnCarpenter, Creator/MartinScorsese, Creator/RobertAltman, Creator/QuentinTarantino, Creator/WesAnderson, Creator/GreggAraki and Creator/JimJarmusch testifying to his influence on their work.

Among the films Hawks directed were:

* Film/{{Scarface 1932}} - The original 1932 version. The TropeCodifier of the gangster film genre and still just as bold and daring as the remake,
* TwentiethCentury - One of the earliest examples of ScrewballComedy.
* BringingUpBaby - Perhaps the screwiest of ScrewballComedy, it was a box-office failure but it is VindicatedByHistory.
* ''Only Angels Have Wings'' - A drama about thrill-seeking aviators starring Creator/CaryGrant, Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth.
* Film/HisGirlFriday - One of the most iconic films of TheThirties. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell(whose performance here inspired the character of LoisLane) try to free an innocent man from a MiscarriageOfJustice but really its WillTheyOrWontThey.
* Film/SergeantYork
* Film/BallOfFire
* Film/ToHaveAndHaveNot - the first teaming up HumphreyBogart and LaurenBacall
* Film/TheBigSleep - the second teaming of Bogart and Bacall, and considered one of the best detective movies ever made.
* RedRiver - An important Western and the first serious role for JohnWayne [[note]]Creator/JohnFord, Wayne's mentor, saw the film and told Hawks, "I didn't know that [[HeReallyCanAct son-of-a-bitch can act!]]" He would give Wayne more complex parts from then on, including TheSearchers.[[/note]]
* Film/TheThingFromAnotherWorld - oddly enough, one of the rare cases where he was reluctant to take credit (his normal assistant director Christian Nyby is the credited director), even though it plays like one of his films)
* Film/GentlemenPreferBlondes - Features MarilynMonroe's iconic number, "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend!"[[note]]Which Hawks did not direct, it was directed by choreographer, Jack Cole.[[/note]]
* ''Land of the Pharoahs'' - His foray into the EpicMovie, a box-office failure but interesting for its exploration of AncientEgypt.
* Film/RioBravo - A major box-office hit in its day, and a Western with more focus on camaraderie and TrueCompanions than on the plot.
* Film/{{Hatari}} - A movie with no plot, JohnWayne and actual animals in Africa. A huge box-office hit.
* Film/ElDorado - A remake of Film/RioBravo but with more angst about growing old.

Some tropes associated with Hawks are...

* AllWorkVsAllPlay : His movies are unique for blurring these lines, in his films, work is play, and characters who work together have a lot of fun, and the kind of fun that you can only have with people who watch your back.
* AngstWhatAngst : Hawks' movies tend to flaunt this. ''Only Angels Have Wings'' opens with the death of a pilot named Joe, and immediately the pilots go around asking "Who's Joe?" and celebrate anyway though they mourn privately. For Hawks, death and tragedy are not the central features of life, but merely interruptions of real living.
* BlatantLies : His biographer noted that Hawks tended to boast about being a macho tough guy, who won fights and who was a big game hunter, none of which were remotely true. Most of the excitement in his life was dodging book-keepers trying to call his gambling debts.
* ConsummateProfessional : He was himself this and his films celebrate characters who are this in their chosen field. RioBravo is about JohnWayne worrying that DeanMartin is undergoing BadassDecay while Ricky Nelson is the young plucky rookie who convinces the professionals that he's so good, "he doesn't need to prove it!" HisGirlFriday is about DaChief Walter Burns (Creator/CaryGrant) manipulating [[WorkingWithTheEx his ex]] Rosalind Russell back into his life, not only because he loves her but because he values her work as a journalist.
* FiveManBand : His movies tended to be about groups and they tended to fall into roles like this, with Creator/HumphreyBogart, Creator/CaryGrant and Creator/JohnWayne playing TheHero of their own crew in films like ''ToHaveAndHaveNot, Only Angels Have Wings, RioBravo''.
* MagnumOpusDissonance : The films Hawks tended to be associated in his later years were RioBravo or HisGirlFriday or ToHaveAndHaveNot and he was seen as a director of TheWestern and the ScrewballComedy. His own favorite was the first ''Scarface'', a classic gangster film for sure, but an atypical work compared to his later films. He stated that it was a movie he had complete freedom to achieve what he wanted.
* TrueCompanions : His films were celebrations of this.
* VitriolicBestBuds : His favorite kind of friendship.