Ann Dvorak vs. the feds in Scarface (1932, dir. Howard Hawks) (via)
Cary Grant & Katharine Hepburn on the set of Bringing Up Baby (1937, dir. Howard Hawks)
“This script was a good one. Cary Grant was really wonderful in it. And I was good too. And the leopard was excellent. Cary had always refused to work with the leopard. Didn’t care for it at all. Once, to torture him, we dropped a stuffed leopard through the vent in the top of his dressing room. Wow! He was out of there like lightning.”
-Hepburn in her autobiography, Me
Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not (1944, dir. Howard Hawks) (via)
Q. How did the Bacall character in To Have and Have Not develop?
Howard Hawks: We discovered that she was a little girl who, when she became insolent, became rather attractive. That was the only way you noticed her, because she could do it with a grin. So I said to Bogey, “We are going to try an interesting thing. You are about the most insolent man on the screen and I’m going to make a girl a little more insolent than you are.”
“Well,” he said, “you’re going to have a fat time doing that.” And I said, “No, I’ve got a great advantage because I’m the director. I’ll tell you just one thing: she’s going to walk out on you in every scene.” So as every scene ended, she walked out on him. It was a sex antagonism, that’s what it was, and it made the scenes easy.
-excerpted from Howard Hawks: Interviews
Stills from Scarface (1932, dir. Howard Hawks) and a time when gangsters at least had the good grace to wear fedoras & three-piece suits to their drive-by shootings.
Paul Muni in publicity still for Scarface (1932, dir. Howard Hawks) (via filmbug)
“I don’t want to be a star. If you have to label me anything, I’m an actor - I guess. A journeyman actor. I think ‘star’ is what you call actors who can’t act.”
Lauren Bacall in publicity still for The Big Sleep (1946, dir. Howard Hawks)
She was worth a stare. She was trouble.
She was tall and rangy and strong-looking. She had a good mouth and a good chin. There was a sulky droop to her lips and the lower lip was full. She had a drink. She took a swallow from it and gave me a cool level stare over the rim of the glass.
-Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep (1939)
Cary Grant & Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (1940) (via drmacro)
Excerpted from Life is a Banquet by Rosalind Russell (and Chris Chase):
[His Girl Friday director Howard Hawks] had been watching Cary and me for two days, and I’d thrown a handbag at Cary, which was my own idea, and missed hitting him, and Cary had said, “You used to be better than that,” and Hawks left it all in. It’s a good director who sees what an actor can do, studies his cast, learns about them personally, knows how to get the best out of them. You play the fiddle and he conducts. I think filming the scene is the easiest thing. It’s preparing for it, rehearsing with it, trying to get at the guts of it, trying to give it meaning and freshness so that the other actor will relate to you and think of you as his mother or his wife or his sister, rather than just reciting lines, that’s the actor’s real work. A good director knows how to help you with it.
Grant…could immediately go off into a spin and become any character that was called for. He was terrific to work with because he’s a true comic, in the sense that comedy is in the mind, the brain, the cortex. (Every actor you play with helps you or hurts you, there’s no in between. It’s like tennis, you can’t play alone or with a dead ball; and a lot of pictures fail right on the set, not in the script, where they say it starts. A group of actors and a director can wreck a good script; I’ve seen it happen.)
Cary loved to ad lib. He’d be standing there, leaning over, practically parallel to the ground, eyes flashing, extemporizing as he went, but he was in with another ad-libber. I enjoyed working that way too. So in His Girl Friday we went wild, overlapped our dialogue, waited for no man. And Hawks got a big kick out of it.
Hawks was a terrific director; he encouraged us and let us go. Once he told Cary, “Next time give her a bigger shove onto the couch,” and Cary said, “Well, I don’t want to kill the woman,” and Hawks thought about that for a second. Then he said, “Try killin’ ‘er.”