I watched The Aviator today. Leonardo di Caprio is quite a good actor, maybe it is the influence of Martin Scorcese. Generally, a good director can get the best out of the actors and Scorcese is among the best. di Caprio did well in Gangs of New York as well, another Scorcese film.
Anyway, this blog is about Howard Hughes. His film “Hell’s Angels” was the most expensive film made at its time (1930), especially given the Great Depression of 1929. It is probably the first major film to feature mid-air dog fights between fighter aircraft. Howard Hughes himself flew one of those planes along with several WWI aces.
The Aviator also features Alan Alda who I still associate with Hawkeye of MASH.
Interesting list of connections (from Howard Hughes)
– Hell’s Angels is also the nick name of the Harley Davidson mounted toughies who took over the San Francisco and Los Angeles pop scene (One Flew Over…, Rolling Stones Altamount concert, Electric Kool-Aid tests, etc.)
– Hercules “The Spruce Goose”, the world’s largest plane later became the model for military carriers
– I think “Jonas Cord” in Harold Robbins’ The Carpetbaggers is inspired from Howard Hughes’ life – filmmaker, aviator, aircraft mogul, special bra for the female star, etc.
– Howard Hughes is also the inspiration for William Whyte in “Diamonds are forever”
– 1932 film Scarface is based on the life of Al Capone. This film was later remade in 1983 by Brian de Palma
– The screenplay writer for Scarface, Ben Hecht has written more than 10 films for Hitchcock including Notorious, Spellbound, Lifeboat and Stranger in a Train. Brian de Palma dedicated his 1983 Scarface remake to Ben Hecht.