Howard Hawks season coming up at the BFI

Ceiling Zero is among the films in the BFI Howard Hawks season

I was excited today to discover that the British Film Institute in London has a comprehensive-looking Howard Hawks season coming up in January. The list of movies is on their site with an introduction by David Thomson. It will include Hawks’ earliest surviving film, Fig Leaves (1926), and other silent rarities, as well as early talkies like The Criminal Code (1931) and many better-known films from the rest of his career. As well as the silents, I’m also extremely tempted by the thought of seeing my favourites like The Crowd Roars (1932) and Ceiling Zero (1935), both starring James Cagney, as a troubled racing driver and womanising pilot, or Twentieth Century (1934), with John Barrymore and Carole Lombard – or The Dawn Patrol (1930), starring Richard Barthelmess, on the big screen. Realistically, as it is a long way to London, I’m not likely to be able to see more than one or two of the wonderful array of films, but will report back on this blog on whatever I do manage to see, anyway!

The BFI has also got what sounds like a great  Frank Capra season running at the moment. On top of its programme of showings, it has ongoing appeals to restore nine rare early Alfred Hitchcock silent films and to find 75 “most wanted” lost British films – including missing features starring Errol Flynn, Laurence Olivier, Dorothy Gish, Peter Lorre, James Mason, Phyllis Calvert and many more famous actors, and also including work by directors such as Hitchcock, again, and Michael Powell. I don’t know if they have had any luck in digging up copies of any of these missing treasures, but here’s hoping.

3 thoughts on “Howard Hawks season coming up at the BFI

  1. Judy,

    The Hawks festival is pretty exciting. I would love to see some of those real early silents of his. Actually. I still need to CEILING ZERO too. Look forward to your reports on what you manage to catch.


    • Thank you, John – I think you’d like ‘Ceiling Zero’ if you like ‘Only Angels Have Wings’ because there are a lot of similarities between the two. Plus I know you are a fellow-Cagney fan and he is just great in this, playing a man of his own age for a change rather than a kid. This festival really makes me wish it was easier to get to London so I could see loads of the movies!


  2. Just revisiting this posting to add that I did make it to the festival and saw two films, ‘Ball of Fire’ and ‘Come and Get It’ – really enjoyed both of them. There is a second month of Hawks in February, but not sure if I will make it to London again to see anything else!


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