The Aviator (2004) Script

Q-U...

...A-R...

...A-N-T...

...I-N-E.

Quarantine.

Q-U-A-R...

...A-N-T...

...I-N-E.

Quarantine.

You know the cholera?

Yes, Mother.

You've seen the signs on the houses where the coloreds live?

Yes, Mother.

You know the typhus?

I do, Mother.

You know what they can do to you?

Yes, Mother.

You are not safe.

You may be directing this movie, but what you're asking, we can't do.

Don't tell me it can't be done.

The gyro forces are too much. You send these planes into barrel rolls...

...they won't make it. It's the climax of the picture. Make it work.

Decrease the vertical trajectory if you have to.

A Le Rhône rotary won't stall at 60 degrees.

We're still short two cameras. We need to cut that sequence down...

We're not cutting. I'll get those cameras. Set up for rehearsals.

I'm Noah Dietrich. Your office said I'd find you here.

Dietrich. You're a man on the come.

I read your résumé, talked to your references. Know what I'm looking for?

You're looking for a second-in-command at Hughes Tools.

Someone to oversee the financial aspects of the business.

I'm looking for somebody to run it and do a good job.

There's only one thing you've gotta know.

My folks, they're gone now. So it's my money.

What I do with that money may seem crazy to those sons of bitches in Houston.

I'm sure it does, but it all makes good sense to me. You got that?

Got it. Good.

Now, you made, what, $5200 a year at your last job?

I'll pay you $10,000. I guess I'll be working twice as hard.

You'll be working four times as hard. I just got you at half price.

Welcome aboard. Thank you.

You're my voice now. Make them understand that.

Some of those folks still call me Junior. You tell them it's "Mr. Hughes" now.

You bet. So when do we go to Houston?

We don't. Cholera epidemic in 1913. Two thousand dead.

Whole place is nothing but pestilential swamp.

Typhus, malaria, cholera, yellow fever. You name it, they got it.

You see that, Mr. Dietrich?

You are looking at the largest private air force in the entire world.

What do you think of that, now?

It's your money.

Start them up!


I saw the rough cut of the new Tod Browning movie, London After Midnight.

Lon Chaney is incredible.

It's his best performance in a long time.

It's gonna be a big hit. The cards are great.

It's supposed to be...

Hello, Mr. Mayer.

I don't know if you remember me. My name's Howard Hughes.

I was wondering if I could have a moment.

Oh, Howard Hughes. The airplane picture? Exactly.

I remember. - Hell's Angels. You heard of it.

Good. Yes.

I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time.

I need a few cameras.

Yeah? Yeah, two, to be exact.

I bought every camera I could find. We're shooting our big dogfight sequence.

I need two more. Desperately. You think MGM could help me out?

With what?

Cameras. Oh, with the actual cam...

We're not usually in the practice of helping out competition.

No. No. So how many cameras do you have now?

Twenty-four.

You? Wait a minute.

You have 24 cameras? That's right.

And you need..? You need two more? Yeah.

You don't think you got it with 24? No. No, sir.

You know, I think... I think we've got them all...

Don't we have them? They're all used, right?

All 26 of them. I only need two, sir.

Jesus Christ, sonny. Howard.

Howard. Let me give you a little advice, huh?

Take your oil money... Drill bits.

All right, take your drill-bit money and put it in the bank.

If you continue making the movie the way you are...

...there isn't gonna be a distributor...

...you won't find anybody who wants to see the movie...

...and you're not gonna have any more oil money.

So welcome to Hollywood.

Yeah. Well, I'll be sure to remember that, Mr. Mayer.

Good luck. All right.

He needs 26 to make it work? He's out of his mind.

I looked down at my pants. It was a strange situation.

Boss. Scram, love boat, let's go.

Another soda. You know what I mean. Milk. In the bottle.

With the cap still on. Okay, what did His Highness say?

Son of a bitch won't part with a single goddamn camera.

Why don't you try and make do with what you have.

What I have isn't enough, John, not for how I see it.

Look.

My name depends on this picture. If it doesn't work, I'm back to Houston...

...making goddamn drill bits for the rest of my life.

Can't you do it with the cameras you have?

You ought to hear about what's going on with DeMille.

He's shooting his Bible picture. He's gotta do a crucifixion in Fresno.

Johnny.

A bunch of tractors... Johnny.

You're a press agent, are you not? Yeah.

You're supposed to know the ins and outs?

Absolutely. Do you?

Yeah, absolutely.

Then you leave the big ideas...

...to me. Oh, yeah. Of course, boss.

Cigar, cigarettes, Sen-Sen?

I thought you were at the Brown Derby...

...with Trixie. No, Theresa.

Margaret. Margaret. Exactly.

What happened to Margaret? She lost her...

Thank God that's settled.

Oh, I'm sorry. Thelma, this is Howard Hughes.

Howard and I were discussing how he wants me to pull a camera out of my ass.

Cigarette? Oh, no, thanks. I don't smoke.

Boy, you are just hitting on all six cylinders, aren't you?

My God.

Would you do me a favor and just?

Would you just smile for me one time? Just once?

Yeah. Yeah. You see, you got a short upper lip.

Makes for a much nicer smile.

See, I wonder what gives a beautiful woman like you pleasure.

I mean, say you're just standing there, right? And I just touch you.

Just... Just like this.

With my fingertips.

Do you..? Do you like that?

Do you?

You see, I wanna learn what pleases you.

I wanna learn everything about you.

Would you let me do that?

Would you give me that job?

I'm off in a half an hour.

Well, I'm in room... 217.

217.

See you there.

Johnny, get on the horn to Universal and Warners.

I need two more cameras by Saturday.

Rent them if you can. Steal them if you have to.

Absotively, boss.

Absotively.

Rumors coming from a lonely airstrip out in Van Nuys.

Sources whisper that young Texas industrialist Howard Hughes...

... won't stop pouring money into his war epic.

And do we mean epic!

One hundred and thirty-seven pilots, 87 airplanes...

... 35 cameramen, 2000 extras. How long will it be before this picture...

... ends up costing as much as the real war?

Damn it. Why the hell do they look so slow?

This isn't what it was like up there. They look like goddamn models!

Son of a bitch.

Howard?

Without something standing still behind the planes...

...we've got no idea of how fast we're moving.

We got no sense of relative motion.

Call UCLA. Get me the best meteorologist they got.

You get him here in an hour, all right?

Hey. You want the good news or the bad news?

Bad news, always. All right.

We installed the 450 radial. Struts won't take the vibration.

Minute we fire her up, the struts start cracking at the attach points.

Well, what's the good news? There isn't any.

Goddamn it, Odie. If the 450's too big, we figure something else out.

We've done everything. We've rebuilt her from top to toe.

If we drain the fuel tank...

...she might make 180 miles per hour. I want minimum 200, all right?

I want a date with Theda Bara. That ain't gonna happen.

Oh, don't be so sure.

If the struts won't sustain the engine we need, we gotta get rid of the struts.

No, then the top wing falls off.

Then let it.

What?

Who says we need a top wing?

I mean, who says we need anything?

A monoplane. A cantilevered monoplane, right?

They're doing it in France. To hell with the top wing and struts.

A 550 Wasp engine. One-hundred-octane fuel.

That would give us a horsepower of what? Seven hundred.

We squeeze that to a thousand, we got the fastest plane ever built.

You know, I've gotta say...

...we've already spent over $200,000 rebuilding this plane.

To hell with it.

Tear it up, Odie.

Go on.

Well...

The cumulonimbus formations about which you speak...

...that look like...

Giant breasts full of milk.

I want clouds, damn it.

Yes, clouds...

...that look like giant breasts full of milk...

...cannot exactly be guaranteed for any particular occasion.

So you might have to...

To wait.

Then we'll wait.

Look, whatever they pay you at UCLA...

...I'm doubling it, all right? You work for me now. Find some clouds.

Find some clouds.

Find me some clouds!

Welcome to Hell's Angels.

Thank you.

I've been to Chatsworth, Santa Cruz, Encino, San Diego...

...Riverside, Van Nuys and Bakersfield. It has been eight months!

Where are my goddamn clouds, huh?

They move, Mr. Hughes!

Clouds move.

That's what they do. They move! You see that?

It is costing me $5271 a day...

...to keep those planes on the ground. You find me some goddamn clouds, huh?

Nice day.

Yeah, very funny.

I got a call from Houston. They're getting nervous.

Stop showing them the damn bills.

That would be illegal.

Shit, no. Maybe it's a little bit naughty.

Hughes Tool is incorporated in Texas. They have to see the bills.

Incorporate a new division out here. We'll call it Hughes Aircraft.

Do we need these rivets on the cowling? Yeah, or the reverse thrust would rip it off.

They're gonna give me drag. Do something about that.

Wind resistance on rivets? I want her slippery.

There are tax consequences to incorporating in California.

Just take care of it, would you? Mr. Hughes!

Oakland!

We have clouds in Oakland! You mean it this time?

Yes!

Goddamn it, yes. I can promise you.

Clouds in Oakland. All right, don't get all jittery now.

Oakland!

Oakland!

We're going to Oakland! Oakland.


Down and to the left!


That's perfect!

That's right, Senator George.

Yes, young Howard Hughes has pulled it off!

After two years, Hell's Angels has finally finished filming.

There's gonna be one heck of a wrap party in Hollywood tonight.

The price tag? A staggering $2 million.

If every human being in America buys a ticket...

... he might even make a profit.

First, clouds don't come.

Then planes break down. Then the planes crash.

We've had everything but a plague of locusts on this thing.

I mean, you have to admit.

Now, honestly, did you ever think you'd actually finish the damn thing?

Come with me.

Mama, darling, if I'm a success in this show...

- ... we're gonna move from here. - Oh, no.

Yes. We're gonna move up in the Bronx.

Green grass, a lot of people you know.

The Ginsbergs, the Guttenbergs and the Goldbergs.

Oh, a whole lot of "bergs." I don't know them all.

See, this is what the people want. Silent pictures are yesterday's news.

So I figure we gotta reshoot Hell's Angels for sound.

How much of it?

All of it. Before you ask, I'll tell you.

An additional 1.7 million. We got that much?

No! Well, we'll make it.

Take care of that, would you?

Now, get this.

In the halls of 7000 Romaine...

... it goes on day after day, month after month.

Howard Hughes is now editing some 25 miles of film.

Heck, I say release it now and give the world its first 560-hour movie.

Pat, Mr. Hughes needs this reel in the projection room right now!

Enough is enough, Mr. Hughes.

Are you ever gonna let us actually see this epic of yours?

Hurry up!


Who is it? Noah.

Come on in.

I've been on the phone to Houston for three hours.

We're fixing every goddamn book we have. Wait, wait.

Yeah. Run reel 10 again. I think we're duplicating a shot here.

And tell Jimmy I want 10 chocolate chip cookies, all right?

Medium chips, none too close to the outside.

Got it?

You remember that goddamn shot from reel 10?

No. I don't remember anything from reel 10.

I don't know what reel 10 is.

I'm a businessman, Howard. And so are you.

Now, look.

This has been a great ride.

We've had a hell of a lot of fun.

But you're losing $25,000 a day doing this.

Every day.

So, what are my options?

Well, this time I don't know that you have any.

I'm afraid you gotta close it down.

Dig your way out.

I'm sorry, Howard.

I truly am.

Reel 10, Mr. Hughes.

Mortgage Tool Co.

Every asset. You heard me. lf you do that, you could lose everything.

Well, I won't.

I won't.

All right.

I'll get into it.

Thanks, Noah.


More than half a million souls lining the curb of Hollywood Boulevard.

Look at the automobiles!

There are 45,000 cars here, making it the greatest traffic jam ever seen.

Howard Hughes must have a lump in his throat.

Six months after the stock market crashes and after three pilots' deaths...

... he's finally unveiling his $4 million baby doll.

It's the most expensive movie ever made. Nothing five-and-dime for our Mr. Hughes.

Nothing like tonight has ever been seen before, and I can say...

... it will never be seen again.

Five hundred thousand people are crowding the streets to get a glimpse of the stars.

Three companies of Marines were called to assist...

... the 250 special police who are handling this enormous crowd...

This is an industry town.

And nobody but nobody makes a movie outside a studio.

Some Hollywood insiders over at the Brown Derby may be laughing...

And now, I think...

Yes, yes, I can see Mr. Hughes' car arriving now.

Mr. Hughes escorts the lovely starlet Jean Harlow.

He discovered her for this picture, and we think her platinum blond locks...

... and hot-jazz, baby-doll style are gonna make her a big star.

Howard! Howard!

Over here!

This way, boss. Right over there. Mr. Hughes, how about a word?

Big night for you, Mr. Hughes.

Big night for you tonight.

Very big. Very big.

Tell us what it was like making this fabulous picture.

Yes.

Yeah.

So 4 million clams from your own pocket.

Nervous how the flick will fly?

Big night. You enjoy the show.

Yes, well, let me present the feminine star of this spectacle, Hell's Angels...

...Miss Jean Harlow. Thank you.

I would like to use this occasion to thank Mr. Hughes...

...for the opportunity he gave me. Thank you.

Thank you! Now I'd like to ask Roscoe Arbuckle...

...to introduce his pet lion cub, Gilmore.

What's the matter with you? Can't remember my name?

I'm sorry. Roscoe Turner, and this would be Gilmore.


It's going! It's going!

Murder! That's what this dirty, rotten politician war is, murder!

You know it as well as I do.


Stand up, slim, take a bow.

Reel four played too long. Too many coughs.

Get the team out of the party and to the office. I wanna cut a few shots.

Oh, find Glenn. Somebody write this down.

Flush rivets. Got that?

Flush rivets. Flush rivets.

Lickety-split, boss.

Here he is! Here he is!

Variety says, "This one won't miss!"

- Magnificently photographed! - Awesome beyond description!

The most extraordinary output to emerge from a motion-picture studio.

Not for a long time have I seen anything as enthralling.

It costs 4 million dollars and has 4 million thrills!

- Majestically... - Most epic picture of its time!


A lighter shade. I don't want to look like Boris Karloff.

If you know what I mean.

I read in the magazines that you play golf.

On occasion.

Well, how about nine holes?

Now, Mr. Hughes?

If it would be convenient, Miss Hepburn.


You're not extending enough on your follow-through.

Follow-through is everything in golf, just like life.

Don't you find?

Saw your Scarface picture.

Violent. Realistic.

Movies are movies, Howard. Not life.

Now the stage.

The stage is real.

Real flesh and blood. Human beings right out there in front of you, buster.

Can't look away. Can't munch popcorn. That would be rude.

Do you like the theater?

No. Oh, I adore the theater.

Only alive on-stage. I'll teach you.

We'll see some Ibsen. If the Republicans haven't outlawed him by now.

You're not a Republican, are you? How did you vote in '32?

Well, I didn't. You must! It's your sacred franchise.

Heard you were wooing Ginger Rogers. What about that?

She's just a friend.

Men can't be friends with women.

They must possess them or leave them be.

It's a primitive urge from caveman days. It's all in Darwin.

Hunt the flesh, kill the flesh, eat the flesh. That's the male sex all over.

Excuse me?

Well, if you're deaf, you must own up to it.

Get a hearing aid. Or see my father.

He's a urologist, but it's all tied up inside the body, don't you find?

Me, I keep healthy.

I take seven showers a day to keep clean.

Also because I am what's so vulgarly referred to as "outdoorsy."

I'm not outdoorsy. I'm athletic. I sweat.

There it is. Now we both know the sordid truth.

I sweat and you're deaf.

Aren't we a fine pair of misfits?

Three.

Noble effort.

So I suppose you're wooing me now?

Oh, well.

Not enough.

Not enough. These rivets have to be completely flush.

I want every screw and joint countersunk.

I want no wind resistance on the fuselage.

She has got to be clean, Odie.

Clean. Understand? Okay, Howard.

I don't know what else to tell you.

What do you got for me? The thing is, TWA needs a new plane.

A modern plane. Oh, yeah? What kind of plane?

Okay. The DC-3 has 21 daytime seats...

...and 14 overnight berths. Something bigger?

Try 50 seats with a ceiling of 12,000 feet.

No. No, 20,000.

Think about it. What does 20,000 feet give you?

Less turbulence. Because it's above the weather.

Jack, we wanna fly above the weather.

Only 1 percent of the American population has set foot on an airliner.

Why? Because they're scared to death. They should be.

I mean, 7000 feet is bumpy as shit. You know that.

We build a plane that flies above the weather...

...we could get every man, woman and child in this country to feel safe.

An airplane with the ability to fly into the substratosphere across the country.

Across the world.

Now that is the future.

You with me? Yeah.

I don't wanna get into this if your board doesn't have the balls for it.

Would they support us? I don't know.

What's your financial picture? Not great.

Last year's deficit? 770,000.

What's it selling at? About 8 dollars a share.

That's the lowest it's been, huh?

I could do that.

Do what? Buy it.

You wanna buy the airline? For crying out loud...

...we don't want pencil pushers getting in the way of us making our plane.

Give me brass tacks, now. What does controlling interest in TWA cost me?

Call it 15 million.

That is a chunk of change, huh?

You call Noah Dietrich.

You have him start buying.

Howard, hold on.

Are you sure? You wanna think about it for five minutes?

Hell, Jack, I got a tiger by the tail here. I ain't gonna let it go.

Good evening, Mr. Hughes.

Welcome. Your table is ready.

How goes the aviation?

Oh, just fine, Pete. I'm so glad.

Good evening, Mr. Hughes.

Madame. It's "miss."

Miss. The usual, Mr. Hughes?

Please. May I recommend for the lady...

...our clementine soup followed by roast duck with currant glaze...

...and poached pears in rose sauce. It's truly divine.

Yeah. That sounds fine.

Your kind of joint, is it?

Wouldn't have thought.

They're open late. I go to a hot-dog stand on La Cienega too.

They're open till about 4. Are they?

How marvelous.

Howard! Howard!

Hi! Son of a gun.

Kate, this is Johnny Meyer. I suppose you could call him my press agent.

Pleased to meet you. Loved Alice Adams. You're too kind.

I'm sure you know Errol, right? Mr. Flynn. Yes.

Kate. Kate. Kate of the clenched-jawed Hepburns. Enchanting as always.

You should use Lux on your hands, by the way. I do.

You and Howard ought to cook up a picture.

Costar with Errol. I could sell that in spades.

That would be marvelous. Howard?

I think not. Don't you read Variety, Mr. Meyer?

Well, I'm box-office poison. I'm on the outs, the skids, the doldrums.

Washed-up, day-old fish not worth the eating, so they tell me.

Hell with them. Hell with them, my dear. Soulless pricks to a man, right?

Johnny tells me you're thinking about doing a Western, of all goddamn things.

Are you making a Western, Howard?

Yeah. Making a Western. I'm gonna call it The Outlaw.

Yeah. And you know what it's about? S-E-X.

It's all about S-E-X. It's a Western.

You can't have fornication in a Western. It isn't done.

It's not real sex, it's movie sex.

What Scarface did for the gangster picture, The Outlaw will do for the Western.

Put the sex and guts and blood up there on the screen.

Have you seen my cigarettes? Don't mind us.

New York cut steak, 12 peas, bottle of milk with the cap on.

You can't afford your own cigarettes? Jack has all my money.

I hope your food isn't getting cold at your table somewhere or something.

No, no. We're here all night. Don't worry.

Now, Howard. Now, Howard. If you're seriously talking about putting carnality...

...back on the silver screen, you must swear to let me in on the casting session.

I have an eye for talent. Isn't that right? You ought to give up prancing in tights...

...be a talent scout. That prancing paid for my new yacht.

You must all come sailing with me. Catalina. What do you say?

Catalina. Sounds grand. Yeah. I've even managed to coax...

...the luscious Miss De Havilland and her equally luscious sister to come.

Though I fear their mother will insist on coming, to preserve their questionable virtue.

We shall assault these twin monuments of pristine Britannic beauty nonetheless.

What do you say, Howard? Yeah?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah?

I gotta go.

If you'll excuse us, we have... We have to be somewhere.

You are somewhere, Howard, you madman.

Somewhere else. Excuse us. Charmed, gentlemen.

Do help yourself to the poached pears. I hear they're divine.

Well. Howard Hughes, ladies and gentlemen.

Was that meant for me?

My hero. God, all that Hollywood talk bores me silly.

As if there aren't more important things, like Mussolini.

Where are we going, by the way? Do you feel like a little adventure?

Do your worst, Mr. Hughes.

Think you own this place, you limey bastard? I'm a Tasmanian bastard, you prick.

Thataway, Errol. Let me at him!


That's Mr. Mayer's house right there.

Do you know where Jack Warner lives?

What's that on the steering wheel? Cellophane.

If you had any idea of the crap that people carry around on their hands.

What kind of crap?

You don't wanna know.

Hold on to the wheel for a bit.

That's too hard. Relax your hand. Relax your hand.

You see, you gotta feel the vibration of the engine through your fingertips.

Do you feel that? Yes.

Well, that's good.

Golly!

Well, she's all yours.

Where are you going?! I think there's some milk back here.

You just keep us steady, now. All right.

Howard. Yeah?

There's a rather alarming mountain heading our way.

Pull back on the wheel a smidge. Go on.

Golly!

I don't think I've ever met someone who actually uses the word "golly."

You all right? Do you want me to take over?

Just when I'm getting the hang of it?

You want some milk? Oh, please.


Utterly smashing! We'll do it again.

I'm free Wednesday. It's a little early for golf, though.

Oh, no, no. I live right there.

Feel like a drink? Lead on.

Now, that makes for a challenging par four.

My decorator picked out the wallpaper and such.

He's queer as a bedbug.

But I just hate this room.

Gives me the willies.

Like I'm about to be swallowed up by the latest issue of Town & Country.

What room do you like?

My study.

Take me there.

You are the tallest woman I know.

And all sharp elbows and knees. Beware.


Will you fly me to work tomorrow?

It is tomorrow.


Keep your eye on the fuel. She's got a minimum to keep her weight down.

Two runs. That's it. After that, you're flying on vapors.

And then you crash and you die. Give her easy flying.

Don't worry about speed and don't think about the record today.

I wish you'd let someone else take her. You've got 20 test pilots.

Hell, why should I let someone else have all the fun? See you in a bit.


Contact!


339.

Goddamn!


347.

Son of a bitch!


352. 352!

Good girl.

Damn it!

Goddamn it!

Oh, God! There goes our meal ticket.

Come on!


Howard!

Howard! How did we do?

352 on the last run.

She'll go faster.

Country mouse!

Kate! Katie! Upstairs, city mouse.

Hello. Good Lord, what happened to you?

Oh, nothing. A hard landing. I cut my foot.

Sit down. I'll take care of it. You tell me everything.

You cannot imagine what it was like, Katie. You cannot imagine the speed.

She was like a winged bullet up there. What did she make?

Oh, around 352.

You did it!

Fastest man on the planet.

Hot dog! I'm so proud of you.

She did it, baby. You knew she would.

Oh, she was fine. She was just fine.

Now let me see your foot.

Yeah.

Good God! You're covered in blood. Oh, no. That's just beet juice.

I crashed into a beet field. What?

Yeah, I crashed in a beet field.

Let me get you cleaned up.

Heavens, what is this? Electrical tape? Yeah. Odie just sort of slammed it on there.

But all I could think about was getting home to see you.

I am so proud of you.

Now, this is gonna sting a little bit.

Oh, this is useless. Come to the bathroom.

Don't get beet juice on the carpet. I won't, I won't.

Too hot! Don't be a baby.

Was the press there?

Some.

But they're calling everyone. Should be on the wires by now.

What is it?

Kate?

I've been famous, for better or worse...

...for a long time now...

...and I wonder if you know what it...

...really means.

Yeah. I had my fair share of press on Hell's Angels.

I'm used to it.

Are you?

Howard, we're...

We're not like everyone else.

Too many acute angles. Too many eccentricities.

We have to be very careful not to...

...let people in, or they'll make us into freaks.

Kate, they can't get in here. We're safe.

They can always get in.

When my brother killed himself...

...there were photographers at the funeral.

There's no decency to it.

You know, sometimes I...

I get these feelings, Katie.

I get these ideas, these...

...crazy ideas about...

...things that may not...

Things that may not really be there.

Yeah.

Sometimes I truly fear that I'm...

...losing my mind.

And if I did, it would...

It'd be like flying blind.

You understand?

You taught me to fly, Howard.

I'll take the wheel.

Smashing all records, Howard Hughes outdoes Jules Verne's wildest dreams.

Around the world from New York to New York in four days.

Even beating Wiley Post's mark by over three days.

New aviation history is written when his Lockheed monoplane...

... returns swiftly and safely. A daring aviator.

A true pioneer of the world's airways.

From New York to Paris, he cuts Lindbergh's time in half. Then on to Moscow.

Thirty-five hours out of New York, he roars across Siberia's trackless wastes.

Sixty hours out of New York, he heads for Alaska, most hazardous hop of all.

Continuing the terrific pace, he comes home...

... bringing new laurels to American aviation.

Howard Hughes and his crew may find more worlds to conquer...

You won't believe this. It just came over the wires. Hughes has bought control of TWA.

I thought Mr. Hughes was flying around the world.

Apparently he did it while he was flying, over the radio.

I have heard some disquieting rumors about Mr. Hughes.

I'd like to know everything there is to know about Mr. Hughes.

I'd like you to attend to that for me.

Thoroughly.

The Pantages is glittering tonight.

Howard! Right over here. This way, over to the left.

Mr. Hughes, how was your flight? Miss Hepburn!

When are you gonna name the day? Raise your head.

What's the next movie? Give us the scoop.

Right here. How many more records are you gonna set?

Right over here. Come on. Give us a smile. It won't kill you.

Howard, this way. Beautiful.

Over here, over here, Mr. Hughes.

When are you gonna fly around the world again?

You gonna fly with Kate next time? Did you get lonely without her?

Talk to Lindbergh about your flight yet? Where's Linda Darnell tonight?

Please, Mr. Hughes. Right here. Right here, Mr. Hughes.

Are you trying to be more famous than Lindbergh?

You know, fame is supposed to be my turf.

L. B!

If you don't get more distinguished every time I see you.

You look so beautiful.

Is that true?

Don't worry about it, Howard.

She's just working the room. It's her job, baby.

Sultry Southern tigress Ava Gardner dazzles the room tonight.

She's the newest star in the MGM galaxy.

And believe you me, she puts the "cheese" in "cheesecake."

Well, Jane Eyre has been selling popcorn for over a hundred years, L.B.


Hello.

Hello.

Could you reach me a towel?

I...

I really can't do that.

I'm sorry.


I'm an idiot. I'm a complete idiot, and I'm sorry.

Forget it. No, no. I'm a vain, preening ass...

...without a single redeeming feature. That's not true. You have very good teeth.

Come on.

I've got a better idea. Take me flying. Or better yet, I'll take you flying.

Do your worst, Miss Hepburn.

Don't be so squirmy. You're gonna get on famously with Father and Mother.

And I'm sure they'll like you too. Once they get to know you.

Hello! Hello! Kath, hello.

Kathy.

Who's that with the camera right there? That's my ex-husband, Ludlow.

Father and Mother are just mad about Luddie.

What the hell's he doing here? Oh, he's here all the time.

Hello!

Sorry we're late.

Mom. Oh. Oh, thank you.

Dad. Darling.

Uncle Willy. Oh, who have we got here?

Don't feel self-conscious. Hepburns! Hepburns!

Attention, please. This is Howard.

Howard, welcome.

Don't worry, he's had his lunch.

He likes you. That's unusual.

We pay our devotion to the arts here. A colony we created.

Julian's a painter. Abstract, of course. What's the point of painting...

...something real when you can just take a picture nowadays?

Where do you stand on politics, Mr. Hughes?

Excuse me? We're all socialists here.

We are not.

You've met Mr. Roosevelt. What make you of him?

What are you sniggering at?

What? What was that? You just sniggered.

No, no. The dog. It seems to be crushing my feet.

Oh, my God! Buster!

Hey. Hey!

Don't you like dogs?

I will not have you sniggering at Mr. Roosevelt.

Please leave. No. I wasn't.

I thought everybody liked dogs. Perhaps he had a bad experience.

Does it upset you that Howard gets more press?

A bad experience with a dog? No, no.

You are such a shy creature, aren't you? Perhaps it was a very large dog.

The press can be a damned nuisance. Was it a Doberman?

A Doberman, Mr. Hughes? Or a dachshund? Neither, sir.

Dachshunds are little dogs, Hep dear. They should all be lined up and shot.

What's that Spanish painting? The Goya.

Goya. Of course. Yes.

Yes, Mexican. What was that called?

Anyway, that's the vulgar press, I'm sure. Do you read much, Mr. Hughes?

I try to stay up to snuff on the trade journals, yeah.

Snuff? These would be flying magazines?

What was that? Oh, he's a little deaf.

Pass the goddamn butter, I beg you. You read flying magazines?

Trade journals. On engineering. Aviation.

We read books.

Howard has to read the trade pieces, Mom, because he's designing a new airplane.

Oh, really? Do tell.

Well...

...it's quite exciting, actually. It's a spy plane for the Air Corps.

A twin-engine plane with some...

...I must admit, some rather unique design features.

You see, it has these two booms at the back...

Luddie built a birdhouse once. You remember that, dear?

Yes, well, a mere trifle, darling. I remember the painting!

The painting, it's called May 18-0- something.

Anyway, Goya's vastly overrated. All the Spaniards are.

Nonsense! Picasso is sacred. I'm a urologist.

It was quite aesthetic, really. A sacred monster.

The birds don't care for it much, but the bats do.

I'll bet. That's such bunk!

Do speak up, dear. Nothing, nothing, Mrs. Hepburn. Nothing.

Why did you speak? I can't abide people who speak but have nothing to say.

Did you go to mechanic school to learn all this airplane guff?

No, no, I didn't, Luddie. No.

Well, Howard just flew round the world in three days.

I think we've had enough about airplanes. And dogs.

Then how did you make all that money? We don't care about money here.

Well, that's because you have it.

Would you repeat that?

You don't care about money because you've always had it.

How did you make all that..? Excuse me, I'm speaking.

Okay. Thank you.

All right.

Some of us choose to work for a living.

Speaking of which, I have more of that airplane guff to attend to.

Excuse me.

Well, seems a rather high-strung chap.

You're a fine bunch of bullies, aren't you?

Have you talked to Mr. Mayer about letting you do Jane Eyre?

The old philistine won't budge. Too arty, don't you know.

I'm convinced the man hasn't read anything longer than a Katzenjammer Kids in his life.

No fair, kicking. You have to use the mallet.

Really, darling, you can't retire from the field of battle like that...

...or they'll never respect you. Katie, I don't understand.

You're like a different person in there.

They just expect me to be a certain way.

There's only one real Kate, and that's your Kate.

Over in Hollywood, aviation tycoon Howard Hughes is cooking up something big.

Even as he edits his new picture, he's been secretly meeting with the U.S. Air Corps.

We applaud his patriotism and look forward to his newest marvel.

You know how many Allied ships we lost because of U-boat attacks?

No. Six hundred and eighty-one ships...

...just this year so far. The Army needs a new airplane to fly the troops to Europe.

These ships, they're sitting ducks for the U-boats.

You wanna build a troop-carrier plane? Stop thinking like an insect.

Not just to carry troops, a plane to carry everything.

The troops and the jeeps and the tanks and whatnot. Here, take a look.

No. Other side.

I figure around 200 feet from nose to tail. Wingspan, around 300.

We're gonna need about 24,000 horsepower.

Now, this is just what Kaiser and the Army are looking for.

They're gonna pay for it this time. What are you getting us into?

Well, it's a big plane, so I'm calling it The Hercules.

Swell name, isn't it?

How heavy you imagine this thing is? Say around 200 tons.

Well, I didn't say it was gonna be easy.

All right, boys, I want you to rig up something like this.

Should give the proper uplift ratios and reduce need for torque support on the front.

We are not getting enough production out of Jane Russell's breasts.

I want smooth titties, gentlemen. Smooth titties.

It's all in engineering, isn't it, Odie? Howard...

...do you really think they're gonna let you put out a whole movie just about tits?

Sure. Who doesn't like tits?

Good afternoon, gentlemen. Sorry I'm late.

Please record that Mr. Hughes has arrived and this session is now called to order.

I yield the floor to Mr. Breen. Mr. Hughes...

...members of the committee, I've reviewed the photoplay entitled The Outlaw...

...and I can state that I have never seen anything so unacceptable...

...as the shots of the mammaries of the character named Rio.

For almost half the picture, the girl's mammaries, which are quite large...

...and prominent, are shockingly uncovered.

For this reason, I concluded the picture appeals only to prurient interests...

...and should be denied the Motion Picture Association's seal of approval.

Really, Mr. Hughes.

Thank you, Mr. Breen. Mr. Hughes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Breen. It's good to see you again.

I haven't seen you all since that situation with all the violence in Scarface.

The situation here revolves around Miss Russell's mammaries.

Mr. Breen feels that they are too prominent, yes?

More prominent than other mammaries have been up on the screen?

Well, I hope to dispel that notion.

Jean Harlow.

Ann Sheridan.

Irene Dunne.

Claudette Colbert.

Rita Hayworth.

Betty Grable. And the lovely Miss Jane Russell.

Now, all these shots, save for Miss Russell, were enlarged from pictures...

...that received Mr. Breen's seal of approval.

Now, as you've probably noticed by now, they all contain mammaries.

I will ask my associate to join me now. May I introduce...

...Dr. Ludlow Branson of Columbia University.

Dr. Branson...

...is a mathematician of some note.

Yes. And he will now demonstrate...

...that in fact...

...Miss Russell's mammaries are no more prominent...

...than any of these other fine ladies'.

Doctor.

Doctor...

...you forgot your calipers.

Gentlemen, Mr. Hughes.

Let us commence by calling this...

...Mammary Exhibit Number One.

Now, you'll see that the length of the actual cleavage...

...if I may, is...

...5 inches and a quarter.

Now if we move to Mammary Exhibit...

Dateline: Hollywoodland.

Movie tycoon Howard Hughes must have the greatest job in the land.

Every night, the lucky guy escorts a different beautiful woman...

... to a different dazzling event.

The TWA king always talks up his airline as he escorts a succession...

The Hercules, ladies and gentlemen.

The Hercules.

A plane, a boat, a flying city.

Don't forget, every bill comes to me. They don't pay for anything.

Those men decide whether to fund the plane, so I need them happy.

You do what it takes. You betcha, boss.

How are the girls in the bomb department?

Well, let's put it this way, it'll be a regular boob buffet.

I don't think the Air Corps men will have trouble scoring.

Good. - And inside, 700 brave American soldiers...

... a dozen Sherman tanks all winging their way over the Atlantic...

... free from the threats of the U-boats below.

Could Jules Verne himself have ever imagined anything so magnificent?

Could he have imagined her mammoth wingspan, longer than a football field?

Don't you see how this demeans me?

Since when do you care about scandal rags?

Every time there's a picture of you with another woman, it's a slap in the face.

Don't you understand that? Well, that's overstating it.

Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Linda Darnell, Joan Fontaine...

...and now Bette Davis, for God's sake.

Look, they're Cracker Jack candy, honey. They don't mean anything to me.

Oh, very nice.

You're the one that said that all men are predators.

I mean, it's all in Darwin, remember?

And am I to expect this behavior to continue after the wedding?

What is really bothering you, Kate?

Is it the women or the publicity?

Can't you eat ice cream from a bowl like everyone else in the world?

Don't you dare.

Yeah.

No, Odie, this is not a good time.

For chrissakes, we can't make The Hercules if we don't have any aluminum.

Wait.

I can hear you better now. Tell the War Production Board...

...that this is an essential strategic operation.

If they're giving aluminum to Boeing, they can give some to Hughes Aircraft.

Don't set the ice cream...

We gotta think of something else. If we can't get aluminum, we'll find another way.

You tell me. We'll find some alloy that works just as well.

Right. Look... lf we can't get aluminum, we'll use wood. You can't make a plane out of wood.

Why not? The damn thing is a flying boat, right?

What do they use to make boats? Oak.

And think of The Hercules like a flying Spanish galleon.

Spanish galleons can weigh 1200 tons.

Good luck today.

We just have to find the right wood. Something light but strong.

Morning, Kate. Pine, cedar, maybe birch.

Catch.

From my farm.

If you like it, I can get you a bushel.

Trouble with Mr. Hughes?

There's too much Howard Hughes in Howard Hughes.

That's the trouble.

Beautiful.

Don't you take Christmas off?

Nice to see you. Sorry, I've got grease on my hands.

Have we got something to show you.

Take a look. The XF-11 reconnaissance flier. Spy plane, really.

Designed every inch of her myself.

She's got a top speed of 450...

...which means she can outrun anything they throw against her.

After the Japs stole my H-1 design for their Zeros...

...I needed to do them one better.

Yeah, she's my Buck Rogers ship.

She's a looker.

Okay, what do you got for me?

Jiminy Cricket.

Seating capacity for 60. Wingspan, 123 feet.

Four Double Cyclone engines. Her ceiling's 25,000 feet.

Gross weight? 86,000, wing loading of 41 pounds.

So less drag on the plane in thinner air.

So high-cruise power, you're looking at a top speed of around 340.

Giving her a range of about 3000 miles.

Cross-country. Nonstop.

Bob...

...you know something? You are a son of a bitch.

Yeah. Bob, you got something on your suit.

Yeah.

On your lapel. You got something on your lapel.

Right there, Bob.

You missed it. Right there.

Clean it off, would you?

Here. Thanks.

No, throw it away.

No, over there.

Thanks. So, what do you call her?

The Constellation, but we can change that.

No, no.

It's pretty. I like her.

So, what kind of deal can you give me?

What kind of deal can you give me?

The first 40 planes off the assembly line.

That should give us about two years' exclusivity.

Hell, more than that.

United and American don't have the imagination for a plane like this.

Two years ahead of Juan Trippe, then.

How much?

Four hundred and fifty thousand each.

So that's 18 million for the first 40.

Hell, TWA can't afford that. The damn airline's flat broke.

Guess I'll just have to pay for them myself.

Build them, Bob. Send the bill to Noah Dietrich.

Oh, and thank you.

Merry Christmas.

You've just placed the largest order for airplanes in the history of the damn planet.

Lockheed sent us a bill for $18 million.

Don't get all hysterical on me, Noah. It isn't good for you.

- This is a lot of money for planes. I know it's a lot of money.

It's too damn much. You think I've got $18 million in petty cash?

I should've told you. It slipped my mind.

- Slipped your mind? Oh, for... Right.

I'll get back to you. Bye. - How could $18 million slip your mind?

Hey, honey. What are you doing home?

You're not one for tears, and, well...

...neither am I, so it's best to come out with it.

I've met someone. I've fallen in love and I'm moving out.

If I could make it any more gentle, I would.

But I can't, so...

...there we both are.

Let's be honest.

It's all been a grand adventure, but it couldn't possibly last.

We're too alike, you and I.

You met someone?

Someone more appropriate. To me, I mean.

What does that mean, "more appropriate"?

Someone more attuned to my needs.

Look at me, Katie.

Stop acting.

I'm not acting.

I wonder if you even know anymore.

Don't be unkind.

You?

You wanna go?

Go on.

Actresses are cheap in this town, darling.

And I got a lot of money. This is beneath you.

No, no, this is exactly me.

You tell me you're leaving me, and you have the nerve to expect graciousness?

I expect a little maturity.

I expect you to face the situation like an adult who...

Don't talk down to me!

Don't you ever talk down to me! You are a movie star.

Nothing more.


Don't answer it.

What is it, Howard?

Hey, Noah...

...I need you to get to Penney's and buy me some clothes.

Penney's isn't open. Oh, shit.

It's 2 in the morning. Yeah, that's right.

Well, first thing tomorrow, then, all right?

I need two new suits off the rack. One light and one dark.

Three white shirts and three pairs of white tennis shoes. Got that?

Yeah. No, no.

Make it Woolworth's. Woolworth's.

No, no, Penney's. Penney's.

All right.

I'll get into it as soon as I can, Howard.

All right? Noah, do you have a recorder?

No. Are you recording this conversation?

No. Okay.

I trust you.

Howard... I need those suits first thing tomorrow.

All right. Wait. Did I say Penney's or Woolworth's?

Penney's. Better make it Sears.

All right, then, Sears.

I'm sorry, honey.

If I don't answer, he'll just call back.


Stop there, if you please, Miss Domergue.

Have you had surgery, Miss Domergue?

No.

Do you have scars of any kind?

No.

Wipe off your lipstick.

That's much better.

Now, you understand that you'd be under contract to me? Personally.

Do you know what that means?

Now turn around for me.

Very nice.

You move well.

You live with your family, do you?

Yes.

That's nice.

Tell me something.

How old are you, Miss Domergue?

Fifteen.

Holy Mother of God.

Well, a car picks me up every morning at 8, and off I go.

I'm getting my high school diploma.

Howard thinks that education is important.

That's right. And then, after classes...

...I'm off for elocution and grooming and fittings.

Well, blow me down.

Pan Am's working out of the Cocoanut Grove?

Hello, Jack. Hello, Juan.

Helen, good to see you.

How are you, Howard? Good, thanks.

This is Faith Domergue. Sit down.

Pleasure. What are you doing here?

Well, I'm out to meet with Douglas about the DC-4.

It's our new plane, and it is gonna be a pip, let me tell you.

How's the Constellation coming? Good.

Great.

So how about letting me steal a peek?

I don't think so.

I should be cross with you. You stole Ray Loewy from us.

He's doing our interior design. That's right. He was doing ours.

So...

...what are your colors? Stop fishing.

So you have buttons...

...or zippers?

I'm sorry?

Buttons or zippers for the drapes on the sleeping berths?

Zippers.

Buttons.

So I suppose you'll be expanding on down to Mexico.

Why do you say that? Well, your range is 3000 miles.

I'd imagine you'd expand from Los Angeles to Mexico and South America.

Hey, that's a good idea. Anyone got a pen?

Or across the Atlantic.

You've had enough of this ice cream.

You give me that spoon. You don't wanna get your gloves all sticky.

Isn't that too far?

New York...

...to Newfoundland...

...to Ireland.

To Paris.

Well...

...Pan Am welcomes you.

We're overbooked as it is.

It's such a burden doing it all on your own, let me tell you.

So when's the Connie gonna be ready?

Next year maybe. DC-4? Next year.

Well, we look forward to her then.

And I to the Connie.

I've ordered the next 40 after you.

It's Miss? Domergue.

Yes, of course. Now, was that a rumba or a samba you were doing?

It was a samba. A samba, yes.

Howard, I never knew you were such a good dancer.

Helen, Jack.

Good going. You gave away our entire postwar strategy.

He can't stop us. He's Pan Am. He can stop anything.

Give me the largest Scotch you got.

I don't know what in the hell you're so damn giddy about. Excuse me.


Jack.

Get in touch with Joyce and Berg. Those are my boys in Washington.

Set up a meeting with Jones, secretary of commerce, old golfing buddy.

Slow down. We'll need terminals in Ireland and France.

I wanna get some tax breaks.

If that ass thinks he owns the world, he's got another thing coming.

Pan Am owns Europe. We ought to think about Mexico.

To hell with Mexico. No airline should have a monopoly on flying the Atlantic.

It just isn't fair. He owns Pan Am, he owns Congress.

He owns the Civil Aeronautics Board, but he does not own the sky.

We're in a street fight with that son of a bitch.

I've been fighting high-hat Ivy League pricks like him my whole life.

And listen, fire Ray Loewy. You goddamn heard me? Fire Ray Loewy.

He's spying for Trippe. That shitheel knew all about the buttons.

Spies in my midst, Jack.

Spies in my midst.

Hello, Howard. Roland.

So...

...what can I do for you?

I want all the pictures you have of Kate Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

All the negatives. And I want you to kill the story.

Howard, he's a married man. He's a Catholic.

They're movie stars. Fair game all around.

My office knows where I am, Howard.

I'm not gonna kill you, Roland.

I don't do that.

How much? Not for sale.

How much?

Not for sale.

You ever cheat on your wife, Roland?

You ever screw a colored girl?

You ever steal anything? You ever hurt anyone?

Good night, Howard.

You ever go to a Communist Party meeting, Roland?

TWA stock.

How much?

Fifty thousand shares.

Ten.

All right.

This isn't gonna be that easy.

He's been making big contributions on both sides of the aisle.

And Jack Frye is out there lobbying everybody in town.

The French and British ambassadors are lined up on his side.

I'm telling you, TWA is serious about going international.

Okay.

Point, Mr. Hughes.

I think it's time for you to introduce the community airline bill...

...on the floor of the Senate.

Is it done? My people are finishing it right now.

I also have to get you on the committee investigating the national defense.

On the committee or chairman?

I could be much more effective as chairman.

It's a great public platform. You know, it generates a lot of press.

Wasn't Truman chairman of that committee? Yeah, right.

He's vice president. Look what he did with it.

No, I think...

I think chairman.

What do you think?

Chairman. That is interesting. Yeah.

Let me show you these specs for the DC-4.

Ava, what do you think about Trans World Airlines?

Transcontinental and Western doesn't fit anymore.

We're international, we need a name that reflects that.

Trans World is good. Kind of peppy.

TWA, right?

That way you don't need to repaint any of the planes.

That's you. Always pinching pennies.

Hand me my wrap.

Knock it off.

I have something for you.

Stay here.

What the hell is this? It's a present.

Go on, open it.

Oh, a box of trash. You shouldn't have.

Keep looking, keep looking.

It's a Kashmiri sapphire.

I had my boys all over the damn globe looking for this.

Why?

Because.

Look.

It matches your eyes.

I am not for sale.

For chrissakes, it's just a present.

You can't buy me, Howard, so stop trying.

Don't buy me any more diamonds or sapphires or any other damn thing.

You can buy me dinner. How about that?

Jesus, Ava.

It's bad enough I have to endure those gym shoes of yours.

But I get all dolled up and we go out in this jalopy without a hood.

Ava, will you marry me?

No, Howard. Well, why not, for heaven's sake?

In the first place, I don't love you.

In the second place, I'm still married.

Look, you got girls stashed all over town. You got a damn harem just at the Bel-Air.

Marry one of your bungalow girls.

Those are employees. I won't marry an employee. How would that look?

What is going on?

Oh, my God! Goddamn it!

Faith!

Faith, what the hell? Look out!

Goddamn, what the hell are you doing?

Are you okay, lady? What are you doing with her?

We are going to dinner. Now, get out of there.

Get that crazy bitch away from me!

Don't you love me anymore?

Course I love you, pork chop.

Ava, look over here. Howard.

Hey.

Juan Trippe is working with Senator Brewster now.

They're after you. If the community airline bill becomes law, we are finished.

Pan Am will have a monopoly on international travel.

Well, how can they justify it? It's un-American.

Brewster is saying that nationalized foreign carriers, like Air France...

...can offer lower rates because they don't have to compete.

Let's get rid of competition and have a nationalized airline...

...and why don't we make it Pan Am? I'm not kowtowing to anyone.

Howard, I need you up here. One sec, Odie.

Look, we are Trans World Airlines, all right?

Get me something with a circle or a globe or something round, for God's sake.

Speak up. One cut.

I don't give a rat's ass. I'm not making a cut. I'll release it without a seal.

We gotta go public with this.

I'm gonna talk to Hearst...

...but we gotta get some senators on our side.

What do you want me to do? What Trippe does.

Offshore operations. See who's up for re-election...

...let's start making donations. Bribe senators?

I don't want them bribed. I want it done legally.

I want them bought. Put a team of investigators on Brewster.

I need to know everything about that shitbag.

Where he goes, what he says and who he screws.

Get into it right now. You got it.

Just give me a second.

All right, what do you need? Rudder and elevators.

No. These are fine.

Have Simon and Pete get back to me on the assemblies. We need a secondary system.

Okay.

Listen, we need to take another look at the wheel.

Jesus. The damn wheel? Yeah.

It just doesn't feel right.

Christ almighty, you've seen 8000 goddamn wheels. Choose one, please.

Just one of them. I know, I know.

This one? I know, this one...

This one's pretty close. Pretty close.


Odie.

That man sweeping up over there...

...does he work for me? I mean, have you seen him before?

Name's Nick, something like that.

Why's he looking at me?

I don't know.

Fire him. And make sure they use damp brooms from now on.

Respiratory diseases are expensive, and I don't want lawsuits.

But can we at least proceed with the instrument panel?

The tool shop's ready. I wanna see the blueprints.

Look, Howard, the deadline is now completely unrealistic.

The war is gonna be over by the time she's done.

I need you to help consult on vital decisions, and you're off dealing with movies.

You got 1000 workers waiting for you to make a decision...

Hey, Odie!

Take it easy, all right.

You're under pressure, but it's gonna do me no good if you crack up on me.

All right? Look...

...take a couple of hours off, all right.

You just relax a little. Okay.

See your wife. Okay.

All right.

Be sure to show me all the blueprints. All right.

Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints.

I'm serious, now. Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints.

Howard. Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints.

I wanna get this done right.

Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints.

Howard. Show me all the blueprints.

Show me all the blueprints. Show me all the blueprints...


Quarantine.

Q...

...U...

...A...

...R...

...A...

...N...

...T...

...I...

...N...

...E.

Quarantine.


General McEwan. Colonel Bertrang. Thanks for coming down.

Odie, you reading me okay?

Yeah, you're A-okay.

All right, flight controls are active. She's all yours.

Spotless. No wiggle on the wheel or throttle.

Take it easy.

How does she sound, Howard? She's whispering to me, buddy.

All right, make her sing.


Well, Odie, she can fly. Congratulations.

I'm glad to hear it. Retract landing gear and climb to 5000 feet...

...on a heading of 2-7-0.

Retracting landing gear and climbing to 5000 feet on a heading 2-7-0.

She's fast. What's your air speed?

292.

- All right, take her back to 200. No damn way.


We gotta bring her home.

Scheduled time of one hour and 45 minutes has elapsed.

- Set course for 0-9-0... Ten more minutes. Roger that.

Negative, Howard. Bring her home.

Okay. Okay. Setting course for 0-9-0.

Preparing to descend.

Jesus. - What is it, Howard?

The right wing just dipped. I'm losing starboard engine.

Increasing power to 2800 rpm.

Cutting back.

Increasing starboard engine only.

Cutting back. I'm losing altitude.

Check starboard-engine manifold pressure.

It's good, but rpm's are low. - Are both starboard props turning?

Hold on.

They are, but she's pulling me back and starboard, Odie.

How bad is your cross control? I'm at full left rudder...

...and full left aileron, but she won't stay level. Goddamn it.

Give us your position. Two thousand feet over...

Oh, Christ, I don't know, Beverly Hills. Fifteen hundred feet.

We're going down.

I'll try for the Wilshire Country Club. Ninth hole. You reading me?

Wilshire Country Club, copy that. Howard, reduce engines to 1000.

I'm going down! I'm not gonna make it, buddy!

Goddamn it!


Is there anyone else inside? Is there anyone else?!

No.

I'm Howard Hughes, the aviator.

every inch of his wiring and fluid connection.

He has burns to 78 percent of his body.

Nine ribs are shattered, not broken, shattered...

...as are his nose, his chin, his cheek, his left knee, his left elbow.

He has 60 lacerations on his face, to the bone.

His chest was crushed, so his left lung collapsed...

...and his heart has shifted to the right side of his chest cavity.

Jesus, God.

He's getting blood transfusions now, but... Whose blood?

I'm sorry? Whose blood?

From our stock.

Oh, he's not going to like that. Mr. Dietrich, I doubt he's...

...ever gonna like or dislike anything again.

I'm terribly sorry.


Orange juice.

It's not fresh from the kitchen, so I...

I have them make it here so... So I can see.

Look at me.

I'm a monster.

Yeah. Orange juice has nutritional value.

There's... There's some flies outside my window, though.

So...

...little Howard likes...

...citrus.

Don't he just?

Tell me.

An oil seal ripped off the starboard rear propeller.

When the pressure dropped, the prop reversed pitch.

Do you understand me?

Howard, I'm sorry to have to tell you this now, but there's something else.

You following me? Yeah.

The Air Force canceled the contract on The Hercules.

The war's over now, and they say they don't need it anymore.

I have to know what you want me to do. Should I release the staff?

How far...

...from finishing?

About six months. No, in money.

Seven million.

Maybe more.

Build it.

Build it, Odie.

Howard...

...a Constellation crashed outside Reading, Pennsylvania.

The Civil Aeronautics Board has grounded the whole fleet.

You know...

...Juan Trippe sent me flowers.

Take a look.

What did you do with all the others? Oh, I had them taken out.

They... They attract aphids.

Aphids are... They're just awful little creatures.

But...

But these ones...

...I wanted to see these ones every day.

Can white elephants fly? That's everybody's question.

The hull of the world's mightiest airplane, a flying boat built by Howard Hughes.

Two hundred and twenty feet long, it towers higher than a five-story building.

Power lines have to be cut as it starts the trip from Culver City...

... to the Pacific, 30 miles away.

Moving the 60-ton load is quite an engineering problem.

But you gotta ask, was anything this big ever supposed to fly?

There goes one wing section, 160 feet long with four engine housings.

Double that and you've got some idea of the wingspread.

An airplane that challenges a mountain for sheer size.

How long can they keep us grounded?

Until they finish investigating the Reading crash. Could be months.

You're running a $14 million deficit. How will you afford to keep them out of service?

We go international, we'll make it up. Brewster's C.A.B. bill isn't going away.

That bill passes, and you bought these for nothing.

We're fighting the C.A.B. bill. Meanwhile, how do we keep TWA flying?

Don't say, "Just go to Tool Co." We're pumping every cent into The Hercules...

...which the Air Force doesn't even want anymore.

I'm glad Jack is feeling sunny about things, but I've seen the books.

I'm telling it straight. I'm not crying wolf.

We're in serious trouble. You've gotta make a choice.

You wanna be bankrupted by the big plane or by the big airline?

Go see Thomas Parkinson at the Equitable in New York.

Get a loan against all the TWA equipment and capital.

Use the planes as collateral. Hell, use the desks, use the pens, use everything we got.

Try to get me 40 million. And if TWA defaults on the loan?

Then Juan Trippe buys us cheap.

Under my bed! You put a goddamn microphone under my bed!

Listen to me. I am concerned about you.

I just wanna make sure you're okay. And who is in that car?!

It's been with me 24 hours a day.

That car is for your protection!

The only one I need protection from is you, you sick bastard!

You don't own me, Howard.

I'm not one of your teenage whores or some damn airplane.

I'll have them take all the bugs out.

I need to know where you are.

Why?! Because I worry about you, that's why.

Bullshit!

What do you mean, "all the bugs"?

What do you mean, "all the bugs"?

There's more.

How many?

I don't know, 12. Twelve, maybe, and on the telephones.

Oh, Christ, Howard, on the telephone?

You listen to my phone calls?

No, no, honey, I would never do that. I'd never do that.

I just read the transcripts, that's all.

What do you wanna know, Howard?

Was I screwing Artie Shaw last night?

Was I screwing Sinatra the night before? You bet.

Everyone said you were a lunatic, I didn't listen.

It's no wonder Kate Hepburn dumped your demented ass!

Shut your goddamn mouth.

Get out, you pathetic freak.

Get out!

Is everything all right, sir?

Take out all the bugs, huh?

Except for the one on the bedroom phone.

Sir, the FBI are at the house.

This is outrageous! Everything here is the private property of Hughes Productions.

My legal counsel is on the way... Federal warrant.

Don't interfere with the search, sir.

Dateline: Los Angeles. Howard Hughes has a new houseguest.

No, it's not another beautiful starlet. This time it's the FBI.

Noah, you've got to help. This is the 10th time they have been here.

Rumor has it that agents working for Senator Owen Brewster...

... have practically taken up residence in the aviation mogul's home.

Look, I mean, they are touching things.

Noah, they are touching things. - Just keep yourself calm...

... and I'll be down there as soon as I can, Howard.

Howard?

Howard?


Howard, hello.

Nice to see you again. Good to see you. Come on inside.

Emma, you can start up lunch now. Yes, sir.

Well, really lovely room. It's nicely decorated.

Thank you. Here, have a seat.

Thanks for coming by.

I thought you and I should have a chance to talk privately.

You know, outside the office.

Well...

...I appreciate that, Owen.

So you're coming out pretty strong against the C.A.B. bill.

You're coming on pretty strong for it. Well, it's my bill, Howard, you know.

Look, I believe sincerely that America cannot afford...

...to have more than one international carrier.

I mean, do you think it's fair that one airline should have a monopoly on international..?

A monopoly? No, no, no. Oh, no.

No, I think one airline could do it better, see, without competition.

All I'm thinking about are the interests, the needs of the American passenger.

That's just beautiful. What is that?

What is that? Is that a?

Is that a yak?

Some kind of a yak? No, that's a llama.

My wife picked that up when we were in Peru.

Son of a gun.

A real llama.

From Peru? Yeah. From a year ago, I think it was...

Yeah, it was about a year ago. Lunch is served, senator.

Good. Okay. Come on, let's go have some lunch.

Now, did you..? Did you actually get to see any llamas?

No, no. My wife just liked the painting.

It's an interesting animal. I'll have to read up on those.

How do you spell that? Like? Like Fernando Lamas?

No, no. It's... It's the animal, it's got two L's.

Here, come on, have a seat.

It's brook trout. Hope you like fish.

I love it. Thanks.

I know you're not a drinking man, so I hope... Hope water's okay.

Thanks.

All right, let's get down to business. Let's talk turkey.

My investigators...

My investigators have turned up a lot of dirt.

It could be really embarrassing if this stuff got out.

I'd like to save you from that embarrassment.

That's very kind of you, Owen.

My committee has the power to hold public hearings.

I'd like to spare you that.

Would you, now?

Look...

Do you wanna go down in history as a war profiteer, Howard?

Is that what you want?

What do you want, Owen?

You agree to support my C.A.B. bill, and I won't hold public hearings.

I can't do that. Why not?

I can't do that, Owen. The C.A.B. would kill TWA.

Sell TWA to Pan Am.

You'll get a good price. You'll get a fair price.

And then..? Then you won't go public?

Right. That's right. The investigation's closed. Nobody knows a thing.

That's... It's better for everybody.

You know, Owen, I'm still wondering one thing.

What's that? The picture of the llama you got last year?

Yeah. Where'd you sail from?

We didn't sail. We flew.

You flew? Yeah.

Are you sure you want to do this, Owen?

You want to go to war with me?

It isn't me, Howard. It's the United States government.

We just beat Germany and Japan.

Who the hell are you?

You... You tell Juan Trippe something for me, all right?

Tell him thanks for the flowers.

And he can kiss both sides of my ass.


Well, we have a long list of particulars.

Chief among them is that he defrauded the American government...

...of $56 million while at war, when we could least afford it.

While brave men were dying on the beaches of Normandy...

...Mr. Hughes was picking the pocket of the American taxpayer.

I sleep...

...in this room...

...in the dark.

I'll have him dragged here to Washington if I have to.

I wanna see the whites of his lies.

I have a place.

I can sleep. - He has a lot of questions to answer.

I have a chair. Particularly about that monstrous...

...boondoggle of his, that model airplane he's building...

...that flying lumberyard, that spruce goose.

No, he'll... We'll get him here.

That's just beautiful.

Oh, yeah. I like the desert.

It's hot there in the desert, but it's clean.

It's clean.

I need to sleep.

I should drink something first.

I should drink something first.

Wait a minute.

What if that milk is sour?

That milk is bad.

I shouldn't pick up the bottle of milk with my right hand.

And I shouldn't take the top off with my left hand...

...put it in my pocket.

My left pocket.

Howard, it's Kate. I need... I need to talk to you.

Can you hear me?

I'm coming in.

Howard, unlock this door immediately.

I can't, sweetie.

You mean you won't.

Howard, please let me see you.

I haven't shaved. Well, neither have I.

Come on.

You...

You let me in.

I can hear you, Katie.

I could always hear you. Even in the cockpit, with the engines on.

That's because I'm so goddamn loud.

Howard, I...

I came to thank you.

I found out what you did for Spence and me.

Buying those awful pictures.

You love him.

He's everything I have.

Howard?

I'm glad for you, Kate.

Go away now. Would you do that?

Howard, please. Go away.

Just for now. I'll see you soon.

We'll go flying together. Yes.

Yes, please. You take me flying again.

Howard, I can take the wheel.

Howard?

Howard, are you..? Are you there?

Howard?

Howard, are you there?

Come on, Howard.

Howard, are you there?


Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

He is to open the bag with his right hand...

...and hold the bag out to me at a 45-degree angle...

...so I may reach into the bag without...

Without touching the paper.

Repeated from the beginning.

Repeated from the beginning.

Repeated from the beginning.

If there is any variation of these instructions...

... even to the smallest degree...

... the entire process must be repeated...

- ... from the beginning. Come in with the milk.

- Repeated from the beginning. Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk. - Repeated...

... from the beginning.

Repeated from the beginning.

Come in with the milk.

Q...

R...

N...

T...

Q...

...U...

E...

I...

T...

...I...

...N...

...E.

N...

...E.

E...

I...

Howard?

Hello?

Who is it?

Howard, it's Juan.

Juan.

Juan, right. Yeah.

We had an appointment, right? Yeah.

I remember that. Look...

...I got a hell of a cold in here. A hell of a cold.

So take a seat out there, because I don't wanna get you sick.

I'd never forgive myself if I got you sick. I don't wanna get you sick. I don't wanna...

Thank you.

Okay, Howard, I'm sitting.

I've brought along our accountings. Now...

...Pan Am is trading at 13 and five-eighths.

TWA at four and a quarter.

Now, if you take... Come on.

Come on, come on, come on. We both know I'm not gonna sell TWA.

Besides, you couldn't afford her.

Our domestic routes alone are worth more than twice Pan Am.

Well, considering our stock is trading at three times yours...

...I find that a dubious claim, Howard.

What I...

What I mean is, you have no domestic routes. All right?

I mean, you get TWA, you span the globe.

I'm not gonna sell, and you know I'm not gonna sell.

Here's the point.

Owen Brewster works for you.

Howard, I didn't elect Senator Brewster. We can thank the voters of Maine for that.

Now, if I appear at his hearings, Juan, it could get nasty.

Real nasty for all of us.

Well, I think, considerably more so for you.

While the good people of America were losing sons at Anzio...

...you produced a dirty movie and built airplanes that don't fly.

Well, that's just not fair, is it?

I mean, the XF-11 flew quite well for an hour and 45 minutes.

I wish you were up there with me, Juan. It was exhilarating.

Be that as it may, you still have to answer for the Spruce Goose.

It's called The Hercules!

And it will fly, goddamn it!

I hope so. The American people deserve something for their $13 million.

I won't sell TWA!

I won't!

I know that, Howard.

I know that.

But I'm going to get it anyway.

You will default on your loan from Equitable after Senator Brewster...

...destroys your reputation and you can't find additional capital for the airline.

The hearings will also show Hughes Aircraft to be mismanaged and incompetent...

...and it will go bankrupt too.

But you won't be insolvent. You'll still have Tool Co.

Perhaps you'll head back to Houston to rebuild your empire.

I rather hope you do.

By that time, Pan Am will have bought TWA...

...and painted all those magnificent Connies blue and white.

So when you do return, it will be on a Pan Am plane.

Well...

You seem to have me in a corner here, buddy.

Not a position in which I'm very comfortable.

I think you're gonna be less comfortable at Senator Brewster's hearings.

Very public, Howard.

Lots of cameras and newsmen.

I understand you're not particularly fond of crowds.

Perhaps we should spare you that.

Well, thank you for your concern, Juan.

I find that...

...very moving.

It's been a real pleasure.

Noah will see you back to the airport now.

You fly safe.

You fly safe.

Thank you, Howard, and you take care of that cold.

Don't you worry.

I certainly will.

Bye-bye.

If you let him appear at those hearings, the whole world will see what he's become.

People should remember him as he was.

He'll have a subpoena in three days to appear in Washington.

If you can get him out of there by then.


Mr. Hughes?

I don't have any shoes.

Could you get me some shoes? Shoes.

Yeah.


How nice of you to dress for me.

Can I come in?

Yeah, you can come in.

Thank you for coming.

Now, let's get a drink.

Wait, wait, wait, honey. You can't move. You're safe here.

You're in the germ-free zone now. You understand?

I'll take my chances. No, no, honey. Wait, wait.

Love what you've done with the place.

Now, let me look at you.

When do you go to Washington?

A week.

No, no. Just under a week.

I don't know the date today, but I have to be...

All right, take it easy.

There's nothing there, Howard.

I see things.

I know, baby.

Rinse your face off, now.

Put your hands in the water and wash off the soap.

I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere.

Does that look clean to you? Nothing's clean, Howard.

But we do our best, right?

Yeah.

What do you think?

Well, I look all right. You look great.

Will you marry me?

You're too crazy for me.

I gotta go, baby.

Okay.

Thanks.

You'd do it for me.

Hi, Howard. How you doing?


The committee will come to order.

Ladies and gentlemen, I must insist that we maintain quiet during these proceedings.

All right, Mr. Hughes, will you stand and be sworn?

Do you solemnly swear that in the matter now pending before this committee...

...you will tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

I do. Pardon me for speaking loudly...

...but I know you have difficulty hearing. That's quite all right.

I mean, everybody knows I'm deaf. I'm not gonna try to hide it.

Mr. Hughes, it is the intention of this committee...

Mr. Hughes has a statement.

All right, you may proceed with this statement, Mr. Hughes.

Mr. Hughes, do you have a statement?

I'm gonna attempt to be honest here.

I mean, my reputation's being destroyed, so I might as well lay the cards on the table.

Senator Brewster, if you hadn't gone too far overboard...

...if you hadn't put the red-hot iron in my side...

...I might have been willing to take a shellacking in this publicity spree of yours.

I may have been willing to sit back and take a certain amount of abuse simply because...

...well, I am only a private citizen.

Whereas you are a senator...

...with all sorts of powers.

But I think this goddamn circus has gone on long enough!

That's quite sufficient. You have called me a liar, sir, in the press.

You have called me a liar and a thief and a war profiteer!

The witness will restrain... Why not tell the truth for once, senator?

Why not tell the truth that this investigation was really born on the day that TWA...

...decided to fly to Europe? On the day that TWA first invaded Juan Trippe's territory!

Sit down. On the day TWA first challenged...

...the generally accepted theory that only Juan Trippe's great Pan American Airways...

...had the right to fly the Atlantic! You are not here to make a speech.

I asked for silence! I asked for quiet in this room...

We have in our possession receipts in the amount of $170,000...

...acquired from Mr. John Meyer. Mr. Meyer works for you, does he not?

He does. And what is his official title?

I don't exactly know, senator. A lot of people work for me.

Can you explain why your press agent would pay out...

...more than $170,000 to representatives of the United States Air Force?

I don't know. You'd have to ask him. Well, would you produce him?

Produce him? Will you cause him to appear?

You had John Meyer on the stand for three days last week.

Be that as it may, we would like him to reappear.

Would you ask him to return?

No, I don't think I will.

Will you try to have him return?

No, I don't think I'll try. You don't think you'll try?

No, I don't think so.

The $170,000 paid out to the Air Force in the form of hotel suites...

...TWA stock...

...female companionship.

Now, is it possible that these could be considered bribes?

I suppose you could call them that, yes.

Would you repeat that?

I said, I suppose you could consider them bribes, yes.

Well, would you like to explain that, Mr. Hughes?

I'm afraid you don't know how the aviation business works, senator.

See, wining and dining Air Force dignitaries is common in our business.

It's because we all want the big contracts. All the major aircraft companies do it.

I don't know whether it's a good system...

...I just know it's not illegal. You, senator, you are the lawmaker.

If you pass a law that states no one can entertain Air Force officers, well, hell...

...I'd be happy to abide by it.

Your story is a pack of lies. I can tear it apart if allowed to cross-examine.

We're not gonna have this bickering. Yes. Somewhere between two and 500...

...if you'll let me get started. lf you believe your wealth and power...

...can intimidate any member of this committee, you're mistaken.

Now submit your questions. I'll put this very simply.

On February 12th, at the Mayflower Hotel...

...did you or did you not tell me that if I were to sell TWA to Pan Am...

...that this entire investigation would be called off?

I did not. And I have asked you to submit your questions in writing.

How long have you known Juan Trippe? I've known him for some time now.

And that's not the question. Is it not true that Juan donated $20,000...

...to your last campaign? I mean, he spoke to me as if you worked for him.

I have a personal friendship with...

Is it true you accept free Pan Am tickets to circle the globe...

...in support of your C.A.B. bill? No, it is not true.

Well, who wrote that bill, senator? Who actually wrote the C.A.B. bill?

The actual words. Did you write them? This is not how these hearings...

...are gonna be conducted. I have it. Maybe it'll refresh your memory.

"Bill S-987 to amend the Civil Aeronautics Act."

Now, you introduced this bill to the Senate.

A lot of words.

You write all of them?

Did you write any of them, senator? Now, look...

Now, this entire bill was written by Pan Am executives...

...and designed to give that airline a monopoly on international travel.

You've been flogging this bill all around the world on their behalf, have you not?

I have duties that take me all over the world, Mr. Hughes.

Well, what the hell does a senator from Maine need to visit Peru for?

I was seeking outlets for our trade goods.

Buy a lot of lobsters down there, do they?

Senator, how many times have you visited Trippe's office in New York...

...in the last three months?

Would you like me to tell you, senator?

All right, this has gone on long enough. Juan is a great American.

His airline has advanced the cause of commercial aviation for decades.

Juan Trippe is a patriot. Juan Trippe is not a man who is interested in making money.

Well, I'm sure his stockholders would be happy to hear that.

We're gonna clear this room.

This is James McNamara speaking to you from the Hughes 2000-ton flying boat...

... the world's largest aircraft. This is the sky giant...

... which has prompted Congress to investigate the war contracts of Mr. Hughes.

Before boarding the craft, Mr. Hughes told newsmen that this test...

... would be solely a taxi experiment. He said he didn't know what might happen.

The mammoth flying plywood shell...

... might ship water under high-speed taxi pressure. He will not take...

... the craft into the air until next spring. The thin man from Culver City...

... pronounced the craft an unknown quantity. He has an idea what it can do...

None of that, now. None of that.

We are about 5 feet in back of Mr. Hughes.

We are looking through one of the side windows in the cockpit.

Professor, why don't you come on up front here.

In other words, we are 30 feet high in this aircraft.

Strap yourself in right there. You ought to be able to see just great.

Huge crowds jam the surrounding shoreline this morning.

All right, boys, let's fire it up.

One's good.

Two's good.

Three's good.

Four's good.

Five's good.

Six is good.

Seven's good.

Eight's good.

Advancing master throttles. Advancing master throttles.

As you probably know, I have to do a great deal...

... of screaming into our microphone.

Understood. Lower it 15 degrees of flaps. Lowering 15 degrees of flaps.

Howard, she's gotta hit 70 to have any kind of chance.

Yeah, I know. I know.

It's a beautiful day here off the coast of Southern California. Blue skies...

- ... a warm sun... Twenty-five miles per hour.

- And a relatively calm sea... Thirty.

Thirty-five.

One would think these eight power plants might shake the craft to pieces...

Take it easy, Howard.

Forty! Throttling back for starboard turn 180.

Throttling back for starboard turn 180.

The flight crew itself consists of four men.

Mr. Hughes, however, has added 11 maintenance men to this maiden taxi test...

... stationed at various places throughout the ship, checking points of stress and strain.

How does she sound, Odie?

Sounds good, Howard.

Professor. Yes?

Would you do me a favor?

Would you take a look out that window and tell me what the wind is doing?

I would say that we have a 15-knot wind.

Would you call that a headwind, professor?

I would, Mr. Hughes.

We must maintain silence. We must have quiet during the proceedings.

Mr. Hughes, will you stand and be sworn?

Mr. Hughes, did you receive...

...$43 million to manufacture 100 XF-11 spy planes for the United States Air Force?

I did.

How many functional planes did you deliver to the United States Air Force?

None.

Would you lean a little closer to the microphones, sir?

None.

Did you receive $13 million to manufacture...

...a prototype of a flying boat known as The Hercules?

I did.

And did you deliver that plane?

I did not.

So by your admission in this chamber, Mr. Hughes...

...you have received $56 million...

...from the United States government for planes you never delivered.

That is correct.

Well, excuse me for asking, Mr. Hughes...

...but where did all that money go?

Well, it went into the planes, senator. And a lot more.

More? Do tell, Mr. Hughes, what other larcenies did you commit?

I mean, I put my money into the planes, senator. My money.

See, the thing is that I care... Your personal finances are not...

Let him speak.

Proceed, Mr. Hughes.

See, the thing is, I care very much about aviation.

It has been the great joy of my life. That's why I put my own money into these planes.

And I've lost millions, senator, and I'll go on losing millions. It's just...

...what I do.

Now, if I've lost a lot of the government's money during the war, I hope folks...

...will put that into perspective.

More than 60 other airplanes ordered from such firms as...

...Lockheed, Douglas, Northrop and Boeing never saw action either.

In all, more than $800 million was spent during the war on planes that never flew.

Over 6 billion on other weapons that were never delivered.

Yet Hughes Aircraft, with her 56 million...

...is the only firm under investigation here.

I cannot help but think that has a little more to do with TWA than planes that did not fly.

You've made your point, Mr. Hughes. One second. I have one more thing...

...to say here to this committee.

And that has to do with The Hercules.

Now, I am supposed to be many things which are not complimentary.

I am supposed to be capricious.

I have been called a playboy. I've even been called an eccentric...

...but I do not believe that I have the reputation of being a liar.

Needless to say, The Hercules was a monumental undertaking.

It is the largest plane ever built.

It is over five stories tall with a wingspan longer than a football field.

That's more than a city block.

Now, I put the sweat of my life into this. I got my reputation all rolled up in it.

I have stated several times that if The Hercules fails to fly...

...I will leave this country and never come back. And I mean it.

Now, Senator Brewster, you can subpoena me...

...you can arrest me, you can even claim I've folded up and taken a run-out powder...

...but, well, I've had just about enough of this nonsense. Good afternoon.

I had to do it.

Mr. Hughes. Mr. Hughes.

I'd love to see The Hercules in the air.

Thank you, thank you so much.

Switch it off.

The hearings aren't over yet. The hearings are over.

The airline bill will be defeated in the Senate.

TWA will begin flights from New York to Paris...

...then on to Moscow, to Japan, to Hawaii, to Los Angeles...

...to New York.

Fuck.

Power coming up. Power coming up.

Howard Hughes has just alerted us.

He has asked everyone to hold on. Tremendous horsepower kicking up.

Let me hear it, Odie.

Twenty-five miles per hour.

Thirty.

Here we go. Here we go.

Thirty-five. - The air-speed indicator...

... has moved up to 25. Thirty.

- Thirty-five. Forty.

As he pushes the throttle it's 40.

Forty-five. - Forty-five. More throttle.

- Forty-five. Fifty.

- It's 50 over a choppy sea. Fifty-five.

It's 55. It's 55.

Sixty. - More throttle. It's 60.

Sixty-five. - Sixty-five.

Seventy. - It's 70.

Seventy-five. - It's 75.

And something momentarily cuts out. I believe we are airborne.

We are airborne, ladies and gentlemen. I don't believe that Hughes...

... meant this to be. I don't know.

And we were really up in the air. We were really up in the air.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Hughes mammoth aircraft...

... has flown this afternoon in Los Angeles Harbor.

Well, it certainly looks at this moment that Howard Hughes will be around...

... the United States for quite some time to come.

We must understand that technologies like these are the way of the future.

That's enough questions. TWA and Hughes Aircraft are delighted...

...to have you come here and witness this wonderful sight.

Excuse us for just a second. All right.

So you feel like going to Paris? Now?

TWA is starting up flights to Europe.

I thought I might pilot the first one. Ought to be some fun.

Lots of shopping in Paris. I'll buy you anything.

You can buy me dinner. How about that?

Dinner, then. We got a date?

Okay, baby, you got a date.

I'll be back in a second, but don't you go anywhere, now. I mean it.

All right, listen, boys. Something new. Jet airplanes.

You know about jets? No, but it sounds expensive.

Oh, it will be, but we gotta get started.

Come on, walk with me.

Whoever can start utilizing jet technology...

...on commercial airliners is gonna win. What do you know about the science?

I know a little. I can work something to show you. Basic turbine stuff.

Noah, who are those fellas?

Do they work for me?

Everybody works for you, Howard.

Lockheed worked on the F-80. Let's get Bob Gross and see if he can help us out.

What, now? Of course now.

We gotta get into it. Jets are the way of the future.

It's 4:30. I talked to Bob last week. He's in New York.

So it's 7:30. He won't be in the office.

We'll figure out what hotel he's at. Do you want a call...

...or you want some kind of meeting? We want a meeting, don't we?

Do you want me bring him out here tomorrow, then, Howard?

The way of the future. Howard?

Howard? The way of the future.

The way of the future. Let's take a walk, Howard.

Way of the future. Give me a hand.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

All right, stay here. I'll be right back. You understand, Howard?

The way of the future.

Guard the door. I'll get a doctor. No one sees him like this.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

The way of the future. The way of the future.

The way of the future.

You are not safe.

When I grow up...

... I'm gonna fly the fastest planes ever built...

... make the biggest movies ever...

... and be the richest man in the world.

The way of the future.

The way of the future.

The way of the future.

The way of the future.

The way of the future.