Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Early Hawks Blog-a-Thon: Jan. 12-23, 2009

The Early Howard Hawks Blog-a-Thon is happening now. GO HERE to participate and see all the posts!

The Early Howard Hawks Blog-a-Thon is happening now. GO HERE to participate and see all the posts!

This is an announcement for an upcoming two-week event here at Only The Cinema, and an invitation for others to participate along with me. The Early Hawks Blog-a-Thon will run from Monday, January 12 through Friday, January 23, nearly two weeks of exclusive focus on a classic Hollywood master's early career. Of late, I've been delving further into the work of Howard Hawks, a filmmaker who I've long loved, and who has been worming his way ever deeper into my mind with each further film I see by him. My appreciation of his work began with the moody, evocative Only Angels Have Wings, still one of my favorite Hollywood movies, and each subsequent Hawks film I've watched has confirmed his particular virtues as an artist.

The purpose of this blog-a-thon is to take the next logical step and delve into Hawks' earlier career, which for the purposes of this venture I'm somewhat arbitrarily defining as the films he made before Bringing Up Baby, his first widely famous screwball comedy. I won't be tackling his early silent films myself (except for A Girl In Every Port), but if anyone else would like to write about those films, I'd welcome the contributions. My own work on the blog-a-thon will mostly be limited to the films made between 1930 and 1936, including codirectional efforts where Hawks replaced another director or was himself replaced by studio meddling. I probably won't be revisiting the two films from this period I've already seen, but again any writing from others about either Scarface or Twentieth Century will be very much appreciated.

In general, I'd like this blog-a-thon to be a broad and varied appraisal of Hawks' early work, with reviews of the individual films as well as essays that attempt to put the early period in context as a whole and in relation to the later, better-known films. I suspect there are enough Hawksians out there to generate a lively and prolific blog-a-thon, and I hope to see a lot of cross-talk, debate, and discussion involved in this project. Among other things, I would like to see participants take up the questions and ideas of other contributors as starting points for their own writing. If you'd like to participate, let me know either here or by e-mail, or just write a post on some of these films between January 12-23 and send me the link so I can post it here.

I am announcing this far in advance to give people a chance to locate and see these films, most of which (including all of the silents) are not available on DVD in any form. Of the early 30s films, only Scarface, Twentieth Century, Barbary Coast, and Come and Get It can be found on Region 1 DVD (with links below). All the rest of the sound films (and maybe one or two silents) can be seen via varying but mostly surprisingly good quality bootlegs, available for download in various places. If you have any questions about acquiring these films, please contact me privately.

Below is the list of the films that will be officially considered a part of the blog-a-thon. The films for which I cannot find sources are marked with asterisks (***) following their years, and if anyone can point me to a source for any of these films, it will be greatly appreciated.

The Road To Glory (1926) ***
Fig Leaves (1926) ***
The Cradle Snatchers (1927) ***
Paid To Love (1927) ***
A Girl In Every Port (1928)
Fazil (1928) ***
The Air Circus (1928, w/ Lewis Seiler) ***
Trent's Last Case (1929) ***

The Dawn Patrol (1930)
The Criminal Code (1931)
Scarface (1932)
The Crowd Roars (1932)
Tiger Shark (1932)
Today We Live (1933)
The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933, w/ W.S. Van Dyke) ***
Viva Villa! (1934, w/ Jack Conway, William Wellman)
Twentieth Century (1934)
Barbary Coast (1935, w/ William Wyler)
Ceiling Zero (1936)
The Road to Glory (1936)
Come and Get It (1936, w/ Richard Rosson, William Wyler)

I also now have a banner, generously donated by Flickhead, that can be used to advertise the blog-a-thon. You can see the banner in my sidebar at the top of this page. If you would like to help me out by promoting the blog-a-thon, just paste the following code wherever you'd like on your own blog or website:

<a href="http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.com/2009/01/early-howard-hawks-blog-thon.html"><img src="http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z43/sevenarts/cinema/earlyhawksbanner.jpg"/></a>


Joshua said...

This is a great idea for a blogathon, and I look forward to participating.

Fox said...

Hell yeah! I'm in! Great idea for a blog-a-thon. I like that you've narrowed the scope down as well.

Erich Kuersten said...

I love early Hawks! I'll be there

Anonymous said...

Excellent plan. I'm downloading Tiger Shark at the moment and I look forward to reading the comments and perhaps participating as well.

Calum Reed said...

Count me in. Sounds wonderful. I've only seen post-'36 Hawks films so I'll have to rent a couple of the ones you mentioned :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm in...
Hopefully Prizefighter and the Lady

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Hey Ed,
Not sure if I will get something submitted but I did add the banner to Moon in the Gutter's side panel to help promote it. Good luck and thanks for all your continuing support.

Joshua said...

I'm thinking A Girl In Every Port at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, in the mail yesterday was a VHS copy of Ceiling Zero. It was Cagney's favorite collaboration with Pat O'Brien. I'll be doing that one.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

I'd like to try "Twenieth Century", please. See you in January, and thanks for this blog-a-thon.

Anonymous said...

I can probably do something on The Criminal Code. I recently had a Hawks class and the professor had a VHS copy of a 16 mm print. I would have to go off memory, though.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to cozy up and read this. Nice idea, Ed.

Anonymous said...

I love The Crowd Roars and am keen to see more early Hawks, so look forward to this. Great idea. Judy

Anonymous said...

u r blog Is very nice

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said...


Count me in! I'd love to write about The Barbary Coast.


Anonymous said...

Hello, you can count me in for a french point of vue. i intend to write about "Barbary coast" too, if the DVD i ordered is coming in time. Anyway, it's a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Count me in. I wanted to watch Scarface again. I'll do.