Howard Hawks’ early career

While at Paramount in 1924, Howard Hawks worked on four films with mentor Victor Fleming including Empty Hands

Howard Hawks’ early career

Empty Hands premiered Aug 17, 1924

Howard Hawks’ early career

In 1924, Howard Hawks was hired by Irving Thalberg as one of Paramount’s story department’s four production editors.  No specific records were kept on which films Howard Hawks actually worked on, and in what capacity, but he took credit for several, including The Dawn of a Tomorrow.  The Dawn of a Tomorrow, a remake of a 1915 Mary Pickford film, premiered Mar 23, 1924.

Howard Hawks’ early career

Minnie (1922) starred Leatrice Joy as Minnie.  Leatrice was born in New Orleans and had 92 acting credits, from 1915 to a 1954 tv episode.  Her notable credit was the original 1923 version of Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments.

Howard Hawks’ early career

Slander the Woman premiered Apr 16, 1923.  It was the last film from Associated Producers, Inc, that included Howard Hawks as a financial backer.  They produced 14 films since 1920.

Howard Hawks’ early career

Minnie premiered Dec 4, 1922.

Minnie was directed by one of Howard Hawks’ partners in Associated Producers, Marshall Neilan.  It is the story of an ugly ducking transformed into a beauty through plastic surgery.  Todd McCarthy described it as a “rather standard romantic comedy.”

Howard Hawks’ early career

foreign poster for Bob Hampton of Placer (1921).  Howard Hawks provided some financial backing, and also was second unit director for the film’s recreation of Little Big Horn.  Hawks was unsuccessful filming the scene at the original site and in Arizona.   He at last tried filming the scene in southern California from a blimp.  The film went way over budget and lead to a lawsuit by Hawks on director Marshall Neilan, and fellow producer in Associated Producers for non-payment of a Hawks loan to Neilan of almost $100,000.  They settled out of court and went on to make five more films for Associated Producers.

Howard Hawks’ early career

A Perfect Crime premiered Mar 5, 1921.  It was the fourth film from the Howard Hawks production company, Associated Producers, that he was a part of,

Howard Hawks’ early career

The Little Princess premiered Nov 11, 1917.  It was directed by Marshall Neilan, whom Howard Hawks formed a partnership also with Allan Dwan to produce Hollywood features.  It was written by Oscar winning female writer Frances Marion.  Frances had 185 writing credits, from a 1912 short, to 1953.

Howard Hawks’ early career

Amarilly of Clothesline Alley premiered Mar 11, 1918.  Howard Hawks’ only biography only states Howard Hawks worked on the film.  It was not a success.

Howard Hawks’ early career

Cecil B DeMille’s The Little American premiered Jul 11, 1917

Howard Hawks’ early career

While working props on The Little American (1917), Howard Hawks befriended 18 year old slate boy James Wong Howe who had just advanced from editing room assistant, but was still in the earliest stages of his illustrious career.  Hawks used Howe three times, on The Criminal Code, Viva Villa and Air Force.

Howard Hawks’ early career

Douglas Fairbanks’ first film as a producer, In Again, Out Again (1917), was the first film with Howard Hawks’ participation.  Howard created a modern set for a scene, when the art director became unavailable.  He probably got in through his friend, the film’s director Victor Fleming.  He was 20 and in southern California to attend college.

Howard Hawks’ early career

The Little American premiered Jul 11, 1917

El Dorado

foreign poster for El Dorado (1966)