Howard Hawks

Sog.: Howard Hawks; Scen.: Malcolm Stuart Boylan, Seton I. Miller, Reginald Morris, James K. McGuinness; F.: L. William O’Connell, Rudolph J. Berquist; Mo.: Ralph Dixon; Scgf.: William S. Darling, Leo E. Kuter; Co.: Kathleen Kay; Int.: Victor McLaglen (Spike Madden), Robert Armstrong (Bill alias «Salami»), Louise Brooks (Tessie/ «Godiva»); Maria Casajuana (Chiquita di Buenos Aires), Gladys Brockwell (Madame Flore), Sally Rand (ragazza di Bombay), William Demarest (uomo di Bombay), Phalba Morgan (Lena, la ragazza olandese), Gretel Yoltz (altra ragazza olandese), Felix Valle (il marito di Lena), Francis MacDonald (capobanda), Leila Hyams (moglie del marinaio), Nathalie Kigston (ragazza dei mari del sud), Natalie Joyce, Elena Jurado, Dorothy Mathews (ragazze di Panama), Caryl Lincoln (ragazza di Liverpool), Michael Visaroff; Prod.: William Fox e Howard Hawks per Fox Film Corporation; Pri. pro.: 18 febbraio 1928
35mm. L.: 1739 m. D.: 76′ a 20 f/s. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The creation and misadventures of a friendship between men. Hawks uses this theme here for the first time and will take it up again many times, especially in two westerns, Red River (1948) and The Big Sky (1952). Like The Big Sky, the two friends do not know each other when the plot begins. One of the two (…) is more quarrelsome than the other and constantly has to be saved from trouble by him. With his fifth film, Hawks seems to know himself inside and out. He handles the theme in a no-nonsense way that has nothing to do with the rawness and exuberance that characterize, for example, What Price Glory by Walsh, based on similar characters and situations. Distance in the relationship between the characters (the opposite of the warm brotherhood of Ford or Walsh), indifference towards the details of their setting (described only by other individuals who are part of it) are the most salient features of Hawks’s cinema. Hawks’s secret skill of changing tone winds its way into the film (for instance, the scene in which two excited sailors leave behind some money with the boy whose mother, the widow of a sailor, is looking for a job). His no-nonsense style dominates what is essential. We accept it and end up even admiring it because in Hawks it means being natural and it is also, aesthetically speaking, the logical conclusion of a classic ideal of rigor and sobriety.

Jacques Lourcelles, Dictionnaire du cinéma. Les films, Laffont, Paris 1992

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