The Aviator

This is the story of how young Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) transformed a small fortune into a massive one. The son of the Texan inventor of an amazing drill bit who died when he was 18, leaving him with 75% of the "Hughes Tool Co.", Howard Hughes quickly moved to Los Angeles to become a Hollywood film producer, where he helped launch the career of Jean Harlow and other starlets, and producing such classics as Hell's Angels, The Front Page, Flying Leathernecks, and Scarface (the 1932 original), eventually owning RKO Pictures. Hughes' legend came not from focusing on just Hollywood, however, as he simultaneously branched into industry after industry, including aviation in 1932 (including TWA Airlines), and during WWII, defense, leading to the creation of the (infamous) Spruce Goose, a flying boat of immense size. After WWII, Hughes' expansions continued, with an electronics company that was integral to the evolution of the satellite, and Hughes' several Las Vegas casinos. This movie will also focus on Hughes' romances with Hollywood stars like Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale).

Continuity mistake: When Hughes and Odie are talking about mounting a camera on a biplane and removing one of the wings, the shots alternate between a back view of their heads and a front view of their faces. Odie's head position has no relationship to the one it had in the preceding angle in most of the cuts.

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Ava Gardner: You listened to my phone calls?
Howard Hughes: No! No! No! Honey I would never do that! I'd never do that! I... I just read the transcripts, that's all.

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Question: The colors in this film are otherworldly, (almost like the colors in a black and white movie that has been artificially colorized) and could not have been natural or achieved with any net or filter. I'm fairly certain that there is no method of stylized pre-exposure, and digital colorization, while possible, would have been painstaking on such a grand scale. How did they accomplish it?

Answer: The first sections of the film are shot in two-strip and three-strip technicolor, a common practice in the early versions of color filmmaking that were happening at the time. The scene on the golf course between Howard and Kate Hepburn is a prime example. As far as the later sections of the film, never underestimate the power of digital effects. :)

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