How Howard Hawks Inspired Quentin Tarantino As A Director

Howard Hawks was more than just a great artist to Quentin Tarantino, he was also a sort of father figure. “Growing up without a father, Howard Hawks actually had very definite ideas about manhood,” Tarantino explained during the 2007 Q&A. “What a man should be, and rules of conduct, stuff like that […] And discovering him the way I did, without having a male influence around my house or anything, I bought into that and I started adopting his ideas of what a man was. He just kind of guided me through my life as a kind of surrogate, out-there father somewhere.”

Tarantino is a huge fan of Hawks to be sure, but he knows he got lucky. The first three films that he saw by Hawks happened to be incredible, but not every movie in Hawks’ filmography lives up to his name. One such film is “Rio Lobo,” the sequel to “Rio Bravo.” Wayne reprises his original role, but all the magic of the first film is missing. Some might argue that one bad movie in such an impressive catalog is pretty good odds, but Tarantino aims to avoid this fate at all costs. 

“I fantasize about another 12-year-old girl or boy, 20 years after I’m dead, seeing one of my movies, liking it,” the director explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “[Thinking] ‘Who the hell did that?’ Seeing another movie, and then whatever they choose from the pile — ’cause they don’t know what’s good and what’s bad, all right? […] I have to keep them wanting to go back for more.” To keep new fans intrigued, each new film had to be just as good as the last.

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