[[quoteright:282:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Aviator_5007.jpg]]

''The Aviator'' is a 2004 biopic about Howard Hughes, a 20th century industrialist, film producer/director... and, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin aviator]]. Creator/MartinScorsese directed it, and Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio stars as the titular character; the film also features Creator/CateBlanchett (in her AcademyAward winning role), Kate Beckinsale, and [[AllStarCast a bunch of really famous people]] playing other famous people.

The story, which takes place smack in the middle of UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood, documents the production of 1930's ''Film/HellsAngels'', Hughes's relationship with Creator/KatharineHepburn, and his ever-worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder. It won five out of eleven Oscar nominations, including Best Supporting Actress.
----
!!Tropes:

* AffablyEvil: Juan Trippe. In spades.
* AmericanAccents: Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio uses a Texas accent while Creator/CateBlanchett does Creator/KatharineHepburn's iconic New England or [[OneGenderSchool "Bryn Mawr"]] accent. Kate Beckinsale also puts on a generic American accent.
* AuthorAppeal: Scorsese himself has been known to spend days holed up in his bedroom watching the same film over and over, though he doesn't take it to quite the extremes seen here.
* BadassMustache: ErrolFlynn (naturally), Johnny Meyer, and later Howard.
* BerserkButton: Don't ever call the Hercules the Spruce Goose to Howard's face. He won't like it.
* BuxomIsBetter: This is Howard's argument to the [[UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode MPAA]] when they object to the prevalence of "mammaries" in his film ''The Outlaw''.
-->'''Glenn Odekirk''': Howard, you really think they're gonna let you put out a whole movie just about tits?
-->'''Howard Hughes''': Sure. Who doesn't like tits?
* CameraFiend: "I need two more cameras by Saturday! Rent them if you can, steal them if you have to."
** Kate's ex-husband.
* {{Chiaroscuro}}: The [[{{Squick}} screening room]].
* ColorWash: Every scene is supposed to look similar to color film from that year/era.
* TheConsigliere: Odie and Noah Dietrich are - or at least try to be - this for Howard.
* CoolPlane: One would hope...
* CourtroomAntic: Howard gets pretty belligerent in the Senate hearing, producing a lot of {{Disregard That Statement}}s.
** Also a case of TruthInTelevision- the Senate scene was actually heavily based off of, sometimes word for word, the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7vu1dlow5A actual footage]] of Hughes during the hearing, who indeed did eventually start interrogating the senator.
* DawsonCasting: Gwen Stefani plays JeanHarlow, who was 19 at the time the film shows her (she never even lived to be 34, Gwen's age during filming).
* DrinkOrder: "Milk, in the bottle, with the cap still on."
* DownerEnding: The film ends with Hughes relapsing into his madness.
* DyeingForYourArt: Kate Beckinsale gained a [[{{HollywoodPudgy}} whopping 20 pounds]] to play Ava Gardner.
* EjectionSeat: Averted when [[spoiler:the XF-11 crashes.]]
* FakeNationality: Australian Creator/CateBlanchett as American Creator/KatharineHepburn, English Creator/JudeLaw as Tasmanian Creator/ErrolFlynn, English Creator/KateBeckinsale as American Creator/AvaGardner, English Creator/IanHolm as ambiguously Western European Professor Fritz...
* FieryRedhead: Creator/KatharineHepburn.
* ForegoneConclusion: Howard and Kate can't end up together. Nor can he with any of his love interests in the film. His [[spoiler: further descent into madness]] is also this.
* FriendlyEnemy: Subverted. Juan Trippe and Howard are certainly civil to each other, but you can sense Juan's superior attitude when it comes to Howard. And Howard barely manages to mask his contempt for Juan
* GetALoadOfThatSquare: "I don't think I've ever met someone who actually uses the word 'golly.'" See also GoshDangItToHeck.
* GirlOfTheWeek: Katharine is not pleased about Howard's collection of these.
* GlamorousWartimeSinger: Martha Wainwright's brief appearance at the Coconut Grove. Rufus is also quite glamorous, but he ''technically'' doesn't sing during the war.
* HollywoodHealing: Almost averted: [[spoiler:after the plane crash, Howard ''does'' develop scars all over his torso, but his face stays in pretty good shape considering the huge fireball that exploded toward it earlier. It helps that he partially hides the scarring with a mustache.]]
** The real-life Hughes did in fact start sporting that mustache after the crash to hide a scar on his lip.
* HopeSpot: After successfully standing up to Congress and getting the Hercules to fly, it seems like Hughes has finally overcome his mental instability. However, at the end of the film [[DownerEnding he relapses into his madness.]]
* HypocriticalHumor:
--> Howard: '''Hey Odie! Take it easy!" (after telling him to fire a janitor [[FelonyMisdemeanor because he was staring at him]])
* JarPotty: Part of Howard's first major breakdown.
* KillItWithFire: Howard does this to all his clothes after [[spoiler:Katharine leaves him, presumably to get rid of her germs.]]
* KindaBusyHere: Howard says this on the phone during an argument with Katharine.
* MadnessMantra: One of the symptoms of Howard's OCD.
* {{Mangst}}: Practically Howard Hughes's middle name, especially as he tries to combat the symptoms of his [[{{Super OCD}} obsessive-compulsive disorder]].
* ManOnFire: [[spoiler:when the XF-11 crashes.]]
* MarriedToTheJob: The reason [[spoiler:Creator/KatharineHepburn dumps Howard.]]
* AMinorKidroduction: We get to see Howard's mother plant the seeds of germophobia in his mind when he's a kid.
* TheMissusAndTheEx: Howard goes to dinner at Katharine's parents' house; her ex-husband is inexplicably hanging out with her family. You can guess how that turns out.
* NamesTheSame[=/=]SimilarlyNamedWorks: This film has no connection with the 1985 Christopher Reeve film also titled ''The Aviator''.
* NeatFreak: Oh boy.
* NoEnding: As men in black suits start walking towards him (or at least he ''thinks'' they're walking towards him) he starts saying "The way of the future" repeatedly. Brief flashback, then he says "the way of the future" a few more times. Roll credits.
* PlayingGertrude: Leo, playing a late-thirties Howard Hughes.
* PracticalVoiceOver:many scenes are narrated by news reports coming through a radio somewhere.
* PrecisionFStrike: Alec Baldwin's last line.
* PrettyInMink: Given all the old hollywood movie stars in this film, many mink coats and fox wraps are worn.
* TheProfessor: Howard ''thinks'' Professor Fritz should be like this, introducting him as a "mathematician" and expecting him to be able to improvise some legitimate-sounding BS despite being a ''meteorologist''.
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: Howard thinks Katharine's family is this trope. Viewers might consider Howard to embody it as well.
* RomanceOnTheSet: This film depicts Creator/KatharineHepburn and Spencer Tracy hooking up on a movie set while she's still in a relationship with Howard; in reality, she and Howard had already broken up. See also RuleOfDrama.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: This is pretty much Howard's approach to every endeavor. "I've got a tiger by the tail here and I'm not about to let go!" That or...
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: ...as the only reason he's able to say "Screw the Money!" is because he has so damn much.
* SleazyPolitician: Senator Brewster operates in the interest of Pan-Am so that he can be a committee chairman.
* SmugSnake: By the time Senator Brewster is deliberately arranging a hotel room to set off Hughes' OCD, you'll hate him just as much as Hughes.
* SuperOCD: This is Howard's biggest obstacle, but the film also implies that the manic attention to detail made him a famous billionaire. Knowing his planes down to the last bolt, being able to figure out the math of a corporate takeover in minutes, keeping meticulous records to use during his Senate testimony; it may not have helped his social life, but it did make him a financial success.
* TabloidMelodrama: Averted when Howard bribes a paparazzo not to publish photos of Creator/KatharineHepburn and the married Creator/SpencerTracy cavorting on a boat.
* TickertapeParade: Howard Hughes gets a tickertape parade after his around-the-world flight.
* TitleDrop: Done by Hughes [[spoiler:in the immediate aftermath of the XF-11 crash.]] Also demonstrates what he considered important at the moment.
-->'''Hughs:''' I'm Howard Hughes... The aviator.
* {{Tomboy}}: Creator/KatharineHepburn plays golf and wears slacks. See also WholesomeCrossdresser.
* TroubledButCute: Howard Hughes has severe OCD, a very poor sense of financial responsibility, is an utter control freak, and [[{{CelebrityParadox}} looks like Leonardo [=DiCaprio=]]].
* TroubledProduction: In-universe with the long, long production of ''Hell's Angels''.
* VerbalTic: "Show me all the blueprints." "Come in with the milk." "The way of the future."
* {{Yandere}}: Faith [[{{CarFu}} Domergue.]]
----