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'''''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 as Creator/KatharineHepburn, Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner, 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 Hughes's production of the films ''Film/HellsAngels'' and ''The Outlaw'', his efforts to establish and grow Trans World Airlines and to develop reconnoissance and troop-transport aircraft for the Army Air Forces during World War II, his relationships with Hepburn and Gardner, and his ever-worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder. It won five out of eleven AcademyAward nominations, including Best Supporting Actress (Blanchett).
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!!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.
* BigShutUp: This happens when Ava learns that Howard was tapping her phone lines and calls him out for it:
-->'''Ava''': What do you wanna know, Howard? Was I screwing Artie Shaw last night? Was I screwing Sinatra the night before? You bet! Everyone told me you were a goddamn lunatic, but I didn't listen! It's no wonder Katie Hepburn dumped your demented ass!\\
'''Howard''': ''(exploding, knocking her down)'' SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH!!!\\
''(Ava rebounds and shoves him down)''
* BuxomIsBetter: This is Howard's argument to the [[UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode MPAA]] when they object to the prevalence of Jane Russell's "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...
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Pan Am chairman Juan Trippe.
* 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.
* TheDeterminator: Howard Hughes himself. When he wants something, he'll do whatever it takes to get it.
* DrinkOrder: "Milk, in the bottle, with the cap still on."
* DownerEnding: The film ends with Hughes relapsing into his madness.
* EjectionSeat: Averted when [[spoiler:the XF-11 crashes.]]
* 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. Hughes and Juan Trippe are certainly civil to each other, but you can sense Trippe's superior attitude when it comes to Hughes... who, in turn, barely manages to mask his own contempt for Trippe.
* FromBadToWorse: Hughes' progressive descent into madness.
* GetALoadOfThatSquare: After Hughes gives Kate Hepburn the controls of the plane and she breathlessly declares, "[[GoshDangItToHeck GOLLY!]]"
-->'''Hughes:''' I don't think I've ever met someone who actually uses the word "golly".
* GetOut: Ava tells Howard to do this after she learns that he was tapping her phone lines. See BigShutUp above.
* 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.
* GoodNewsBadNews: This exchange, regarding a plane:
-->'''Odekirk:''' You want the good news or the bad news?
-->'''Hughes:''' [[GenreSavvy Bad news, always.]]
-->'''Odekirk:''' All right. We installed the radial. Struts won't take the vibration. The minute we fire her up, the struts start cracking at the attach points.
-->'''Hughes:''' Well, what's the good news?
-->'''Odekirk:''' There isn't any.
* HerrDoktor: Professor Fitz.
* 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 -- [[DownerEnding only to relapse into his madness at the end of the film]].
* HypocriticalHumor:
-->'''Hughes:''' 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.
* 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.
* OhCrap:
** This is Juan Trippe's reaction to the airline bill about to be defeated in the Senate and thus Pan Am's monopoly being finished, only instead of "Oh crap", he says, [[PrecisionFStrike "Fuck!"]]
** Also, just when it seems like Hughes has gotten over his mental issues at the end of the film, the sight of a pair of men in germ-resistant suits [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin causes him]] [[DownerEnding to relapse]].
* 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 Fitz should be like this, introducing 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.
* 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!" Either that or...
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: ...as the only reason he's able to say "Screw the Money!" is because he has so damn much of it.
* SleazyPolitician: Senator Brewster operates in the interest of Pan-Am so that he can be a committee chairman.
* SmugSnake: Juan Trippe, so very much.
** Not to mention Senator Brewster. By the time he's 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.
-->'''Hughes:''' 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, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and]] [[{{CelebrityParadox}} looks like Leonardo [=DiCaprio=]]].
* TroubledProduction: In-universe with the long, long production of ''Hell's Angels''.
* VerbalTic: His habit of repeating different phrases over and over again, like "Show me all the blueprints," "Come in with the milk," and "The way of the future."
* {{Yandere}}: Faith [[{{CarFu}} Domergue.]]
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