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Howard Hughes - The Real Aviator
Howard Hughes - The Real Aviator
Actor: Howard R. Hughes
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
NR     2004     2hr 50min

An award-winning new film exploring his extraordinary life on a DVD packed with special features! Winner: "Grand Festival Award" for Best Documentary at the 2004 Berkeley Video & Film Festival. In Howard Hughes: The Real...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Howard R. Hughes
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary, Biography
Studio: Shout Factory
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/16/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Distracting Format
John P Bernat | Kingsport, TN USA | 12/31/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"You'll want to see this movie if you've seen the new Scorcese film. This one delivers great interviews with people close to Hughes, and fills your need for more background of this unusual life.

However, the producers have adopted some really hard-to-take conceits in presenting their material:

1. A really bogus "first person narration" device by some guy with a fake Texas accent. The writing of this narrative line is stilted, hackneyed and takes away from good content.

2. Overuse of a musical track. I used to like the song they used until they ran it into the ground.

3. "Dancing stills." The producers watched way too many Ken Burns documentaries.

The material itself is strong; Hughes' life story is dramatic enough. The excesses and melodrama used here take away from a real underlying story..."
R. Catherine | Westport, CT | 12/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Howard Hughes was definitely one of the most fascinating and eccentric Americans from the last century. This film does an excellent job of telling his story. What's really great about this documentary are the interviews with some of the people who were really close to Hughes, like his best friend. It's great to hear their first hand accounts of the man and his life. There's a ton of cool footage as well."
Awesome Job
Anthony Czombos | Cleveland, OH | 02/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Scorcese film was great. But there is nothing like the real thing, the real footage, the real McCoy. Hughes was an incredibly interesting man and this film covers a lot more of his life than the Hollywood Blockbuster does. It's amazing that after all these years, those who were close to him are still brought to tears when recalling Mr. Hughes. I thought the actor did a great job expressing Hughes' feelings throughout his adventures. The interviews were moving and the editing seamless and concise. A must for biography collectors!
I highly recommend this DVD."
Disappointing Supplement to Howard Hughes' Story
L. Carol | 03/14/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Like many reviewers, my interest in Howard Hughes is ignited on account of Scorsese's engaging movie, "The Aviator", and I bought this DVD, along with Hell's Angels, from, in a bid to heighten my knowledge base on the tragic mogul. However, this documentary was unduly disappointing. While it gave selected rare footages and interviews with Hughes' family/friend/business associates*, it was brief and did little to offer a well-rounded picture of Hughes' incredible life story. Conversely, Hell's Angels was good watching as it gave viewers a glimpse into Hughes' seriousness and dedication as a filmaker, like his insistence in doing his own stunts when no hired pilot would risk their lives for, amongst other technical details that went into making the movie an epic of its time.

As many reviewers would attest, the best way to learn about Hughes would be to peruse the best biographies out there, notably "Howard Hughes: His Life & Madness" by Donald L. Barlett and "Howard Hughes: The Untold Story" by Peter Harry Brown. These two books probably provided key background information to the screenplay of the exceptional cinematic depiction of Hughes' life. The difference is that "His Life & Madness" focussed more on Hughes' business dealings whilst "The Untold Story" zeroed in on his private persona & escapades, but both of which are well-researched page-turners, filling any gaping voids in our pursuit to complete the study of Hughes' life, feats and loves.

*The books may steer readers to the conclusion that certain interviewees may have been "convenient" with the truth. I shan't mention any names here but it was implicated that at least one of the so-called close aides/family of Hughes interviewed for the purpose of this DVD successfully got a slice of his empire/wealth by years of skilful, pre-meditated plotting. Curious? Read the books and be your own sleuth!"