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Houston Dissed By Hollywood...again

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I just saw the film "The Aviator" in the theater. For those of you not in the know, it's based on the life of millionaire Houstonian and legendary eccentric Howard Hughes. The film liberally mentions Houston, but the Bayou City is never seen. Why is that? Houston's City Hall or the Esperson Buildings would have been the perfect backdrop for a scene or two from this film set in the 1940's. In fact, throughout the film the Hughes character dreads even hearing the name "Houston" and the penny-pinchers who are portrayed as keeping Hughes on a leash.

Hollywood has missed a great opportunity to stop looking inward and look to the outside world for inspiration -- especially the often-overlooked Houston. Houston plays an integral part in this film, but it's never seen. It's easy to blame budget-consciousness for the gaff, but considering what the production budget is for this film, a couple of days in Houston would have been a drop in a Hollywood bucket, but a shot in the arm for this fair city.

In "The Aviator" Houston is repeatedly portrayed as an oil-drilling town. No matter how often Hughes corrects the other characters in the film, they can't get it through their heads that there's more to Houston than oil. But at least the film industry has reinforced two stereotypes -- Houston as an oil town, and Hollywood as self-obsessed naval-gazers who are ignorant of the rest of the world.

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I just saw the film "The Aviator" in the theater. For those of you not in the know, it's based on the life of millionaire Houstonian and legendary eccentric Howard Hughes. The film liberally mentions Houston, but the Bayou City is never seen. Why is that? Houston's City Hall or the Esperson Buildings would have been the perfect backdrop for a scene or two from this film set in the 1940's. In fact, throughout the film the Hughes character dreads even hearing the name "Houston" and the penny-pinchers who are portrayed as keeping Hughes on a leash.

Hollywood has missed a great opportunity to stop looking inward and look to the outside world for inspiration -- especially the often-overlooked Houston. Houston plays an integral part in this film, but it's never seen. It's easy to blame budget-consciousness for the gaff, but considering what the production budget is for this film, a couple of days in Houston would have been a drop in a Hollywood bucket, but a shot in the arm for this fair city.

In "The Aviator" Houston is repeatedly portrayed as an oil-drilling town. No matter how often Hughes corrects the other characters in the film, they can't get it through their heads that there's more to Houston than oil. But at least the film industry has reinforced two stereotypes -- Houston as an oil town, and Hollywood as self-obsessed naval-gazers who are ignorant of the rest of the world.

The notable locations in Houston of the Howard Hughes Family:

1404 Crawford: Howard Hughes, Sr., and his pregnant wife lived in a house located within the confines of the present day Toyota Center(believe it or not). The mother was afraid of the mosquitos and moved to Humble to deliver Howard, Jr. in 1905.

McKinney street: The Hughes family lived on McKinney street in Eastwood, but the exact address is debatable.

2nd street & Girard: The original Sharp-Hughes Tool company was located here on present day University of Houston Downtown campus. There is a art/sculpture that depicts the three headed drill bit that Howard, Sr. invented (1909) and patented.

1700 Main street: The Hughes family lived in the Beaconsfield apt/hotel in 1916(room 2A). Howard was 11 years old. The hotel still stands and has been renovated.

3921 Yoakum street: The Hughes family home was built in 1918 and Howard, Jr., spent his teenage years here. The home transferred to the University of St. Thomas in 1953. They currently teach theology out of his house. Howard kept the home so that his aunt could live there after he went to Calfornia in 1925.

1212 Main street(Humble building): Howard Hughes, Sr., died in his office on the 5th floor in 1924.

2525 Washington Avenue(Glenwood cemetery): Howard, Jr., Sr., and his aunt are all buried in a plot long the western edge of the cemetary.

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the film industry has reinforced two stereotypes -- Houston as an oil town, and Hollywood as self-obsessed naval-gazers who are ignorant of the rest of the world.

That's not a stereotype, it's just a fact. Hollywood = self-obsessed naval-gazers who are ignorant of the rest of the world. :D

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There were several additonal comments of the film under Howard Hughes topic on Haif (there are 2 that I know of).

IMDB is much better when commenting on this specific film.

I love the film not because Houston is mentioned or ignored but for the sheer spectacle that Scorcese brought to the screen. Like many other Oscar winning films it has its flaws, one very noticeable is Di Caprio (mysteriously) loosing the Texas draw after first 30 minutes of the film. Best things for me were the carefull attention to historical detail in music, costume, people, etc. DVD behind-the-scenes info is much better at describing the creation of the film.

There is a comment where Di Caprio states "Heck, I kain't go back to Houston with my tail between my leyygs") sounding very country-like). :lol:

The scene in The Coconut Grove 1920's when he meets MGM mogul, Louis B Mayor and his Clique is a big slam on Hughes and Texas as a whole, but he does approach them like a hick anyway. Got what he deserved

y'all. :lol:

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There were several additonal comments of the film under Howard Hughes topic on Haif (there are 2 that I know of).

IMDB is much better when commenting on this specific film.

I love the film not because Houston is mentioned or ignored but for the sheer spectacle that Scorcese brought to the screen. Like many other Oscar winning films it has its flaws, one very noticeable is Di Caprio (mysteriously) loosing the Texas draw after first 30 minutes of the film. Best things for me were the carefull attention to historical detail in music, costume, people, etc. DVD behind-the-scenes info is much better at describing the creation of the film.

There is a comment where Di Caprio states "Heck, I kain't go back to Houston with my tail between my leyygs") sounding very country-like). :lol:

The scene in The Coconut Grove 1920's when he meets MGM mogul, Louis B Mayor and his Clique is a big slam on Hughes and Texas as a whole, but he does approach them like a hick anyway. Got what he deserved

y'all. :lol:

Amongst the many problems with this film, the biggest Hollywood fabrication is the OCD angle in his youth. Hughes behavioral issues didn't really begin until his Hollywood plane crash in 1946(40 years old). He was going 155 miles per hour when he crashed...his body was never the same and his major drug use for pain relief began at that time. The parade of starlets wouldn't have been attracted to Hughes if he were a paranoid spaz when he was young. Terry Moore didn't even meet Hughes until he was 43. She said he didn't become strange until his 50's.

By the way, Hughes only came back to Houston a few times after leaving for California in 1925.

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Amongst the many problems with this film, the biggest Hollywood fabrication is the OCD angle in his youth. Hughes behavioral issues didn't really begin until his Hollywood plane crash in 1946(40 years old). He was going 155 miles per hour when he crashed...his body was never the same and his major drug use for pain relief began at that time. The parade of starlets wouldn't have been attracted to Hughes if he were a paranoid spaz when he was young. Terry Moore didn't even meet Hughes until he was 43. She said he didn't become strange until his 50's.

By the way, Hughes only came back to Houston a few times after leaving for California in 1925.

I was just glad that there finally was a film made about him period and by one of my all time fav directors Marty Scorcese. Buy the soundtrack you will not be disappointed and if you can believe, Hughes is on the last singing a very bizarre tune. He must have gone over the edge by then and why they placed there is another mystery to me. IMDB has some good conversations that answer many of our questions about this legend.

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