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A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s.
[last lines] Howard Hughes: [repeating over and over again] The way of the future...
Ava Gardner: You listened to my phone calls? Howard Hughes: No! No! No! Honey I would never do that! I'd never do that! I... I just read the transcripts, that's all.
Katharine Hepburn: Men can't be friends with women Howard. They must posses 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, ah, male sex all over.
Howard Hughes: You don't care about money because you've always had it.
Howard Hughes: I want ten chocolate chip cookies. Medium chips. None too close to the outside.
Howard Hughes: Come in with the milk. Come in with the milk. Come in with the milk.
Howard Hughes: Does that look clean to you? Ava Gardner: Nothing's clean, Howard. But we do our best, right?
Katharine Hepburn: What's that on the steering wheel? Howard Hughes: Cellophane. If you had any idea of the crap that people carry around on their hands. Katharine Hepburn: What kind of crap? Howard Hughes: You don't wanna know.
Mrs. Hepburn: We don't care about money here. Howard Hughes: That's because you have it.
Doctor: [after detailing Hughes's terrible injuries in the plane crash] He's getting blood transfusions now, but, uh... Noah Dietrich: Whose blood? Doctor: I'm sorry? Noah Dietrich: Whose blood? Doctor: From our stock. Noah Dietrich: Oh, he's not gonna like that. Doctor: Mr. Dietrich... I doubt he's ever gonna like or dislike anything again. I'm terribly sorry.
Howard Hughes: Actresses are cheap in this town, darlin'. And I got a lot of money. Katharine Hepburn: Please, Howard, this is beneath you. Howard Hughes: No no. This is exactly me. You come over here out of the blue and tell me you're leaving me for someone else and you have the nerve to expect graciousness? Katharine Hepburn: I expected a little maturity, I expect you to face this situation like an adul... Howard Hughes: DON'T TALK DOWN TO ME! Don't you EVER talk down to me! You are a movie star, nothing more!
Jack Frye: So you want me to bribe senators? Howard Hughes: I don't want them bribed, Jack. I want it done legally. I want them bought.
Howard Hughes: [as Hepburn leaves him] Actresses are cheap in this town - and I got a lot of money.
Howard Hughes: Look at me, Kate. Stop acting. Katharine Hepburn: Ha. I'm not acting. Howard Hughes: I wonder if you even know any more. Katharine Hepburn: Don't be unkind.
Howard Hughes: [pensively weighing options] I could do that. TWA Executive: Do what? Howard Hughes: Buy it. TWA Executive: You wanna *buy* the airline? Howard Hughes: Well why not? We don't want a bunch of pencil-pushers gettin' in the way of us makin' our plane now do we? TWA Executive: No... Howard Hughes: [walking away] You call Noel Dietrich. You tell him to start buying! TWA Executive: [yelling after him in shock] Hang on Howard! You sure you don't want to stop and think about this for a second? Howard Hughes: Nope! I've got a tiger by the tail here and I'm not about to let go!
Ava Gardner: You don't own me, Howard. I'm not one of your teenage whores and I'm not some damn airplane!
Howard Hughes: Find me some clouds!
Howard Hughes: No, wait! Honey, you can't move! You can't move, you're safe here! You're in the germ-free zone now, y'understand? Ava Gardner: I'll take my chances. Howard Hughes: No, no! Honey, wait... wait, uh... [Ava removes the string barriers from the doorway and walks into the study. She turns on the light, revealing that entire room is covered with used tissues and string barriers everywhere. Silence for a moment] Ava Gardner: Love what you've done with the place...
[Howard is getting attention after flying around the world in 3 days] Katharine Hepburn: You know, fame is supposed to be *my* turf.
Katharine Hepburn: I've been famous - for better or worse - for a long time now... I wonder if you know what that really means. Howard Hughes: I got my fair share of press on Hell's Angels. I'm used to it. Katharine Hepburn: Are you? Katharine Hepburn: Howard, 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. Howard Hughes: Kate, they can't get in here. We're safe. Katharine Hepburn: They can always get in. When my brother killed himself there were photographers at the funeral. There's no decency to it.
Howard Hughes: Sometimes I truly fear that I... am losing my mind. And if I did it... it would be like flying blind.
Howard Hughes: Pull back on the wheel a bit. Katharine Hepburn: GOLLY! Howard Hughes: I don't think I've ever met anyone who uses the word Golly.
Howard Hughes: What the *hell* does a senator from Maine need to fly to Peru for?
Spencer Tracy: Trouble with Mr. Hughes? Katharine Hepburn: There's too much "Howard Hughes" in Howard Hughes. That's the trouble.
Howard Hughes: Do you know those men? Do they work for me? Noah Dietrich: Everybody works for you, Howard.
Noah Dietrich: Get a doctor! No one sees him like this!
[on "The Outlaw"] Glenn Odekirk: Howard, you really think they're gonna let you put out a whole movie just about tits? Howard Hughes: Sure. Who doesn't like tits?
Ava Gardner: Get that crazy bitch away from me!
Howard Hughes: You have called me a liar and a thief and a war profiteer.
Howard Hughes: That's just what we do in my business.
Howard Hughes: I'm Howard Hughes, the aviator.
Juan Trippe: If you let him testify at that hearing, the whole world will see what he's become. They should remember him for what he was.
Howard Hughes: Don't tell me I can't do it; don't tell me it can't be done!
Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: ...we would like him to reappear. Would you ask him to return? Howard Hughes: No, I don't think I will. Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: Will you try to have him return? Howard Hughes: No, I don't think I'll try. Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: You don't think you'll try? Howard Hughes: No, I don't think so.
Howard Hughes: 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? Professor Fitz: They move, Mr. Hughes! Clouds move. That's what they do. They move!
Howard Hughes: I feel like a little adventure. Katharine Hepburn: Do your worst, Mr. Hughes.
[from trailer] Howard Hughes: I'm in a street fight, and I'm not going to lose.
Howard Hughes: Will you marry me? Ava Gardner: You're too crazy for me.
Howard Hughes: [talking of Juan Trippe] He owns Pan-Am. He owns Congress. He owns the Civil Aeronautics Board. But he does not own the sky.
Howard Hughes: [doesn't hear what Kate says] Excuse me? Katharine Hepburn: Well, if you're deaf, you must own up to it. Get a hearing aid, or see my father. He's an urologist, but it's all tied up inside the body, don't you find? Howard Hughes: Mmm. Katharine Hepburn: Me, I keep healthy. I take seven showers a day to keep clean, also because I'm so vulgarly referred to as "outdoors-y." Well, I'm not "outdoors-y," 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?
Professor Fitz: Well, the cumulonimbus formations about which you speak that look like... Howard Hughes: Giant breasts full of milk. I want clouds, damn it. Professor Fitz: 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. Howard Hughes: 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! Hell's Angels Pilot: Welcome to Hell's Angels.
Noah Dietrich: Nice day. Howard Hughes: Yeah, very funny. Noah Dietrich: Listen, I got a call from Houston. They're getting real nervous about all this. Howard Hughes: Stop showing them the damn bills, Noah. Noah Dietrich: That would be illegal, Howard. Howard Hughes: Shit, no. Maybe it's a little bit naughty.
Glenn Odekirk: 352 on your last run! Howard Hughes: She'll go faster.
Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: [talking of Howard Hughes] I'll have him dragged here to Washington. I want to see the whites of his lies.
Katharine Hepburn: Can't you just eat ice cream out of a bowl, like everyone else?
Juan Trippe: [walks away from TV showing the Hughes investigation trial] Switch it off. Pan-Am Employee: The hearings aren't over yet. Juan Trippe: The hearings *are* over. [Is looking at a map of the globe] Juan Trippe: The airline bill will be defeated in the senate. TWA will beging flights over New York to Paris, leaving over Moscow to Japan, to Hawaii, to Los Angeles... to New York. [Realizes that Pan Am's monopoly is finished] Juan Trippe: Fuck!
Katharine Hepburn: I've got a better idea, take me flying! Or better yet, I'll take you flying! Howard Hughes: Do your worst, Miss Hepburn.
Howard Hughes: I care very much about aviation.
Katharine Hepburn: [flying Howard's plane] Howard, there's a rather alarming mountain heading our way.
Howard Hughes: Stop there, if you please, Miss Domergue. Have you had surgery, Miss Domergue? Faith Domergue: No. Howard Hughes: Do you have scars of *any* kind? Faith Domergue: No. Howard Hughes: 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. Now very nice. You move well. Live with your family, do you? Faith Domergue: Yes. Howard Hughes: That's nice. Tell me somethin'. How old are you, Miss Domergue? Faith Domergue: Fifteen. Howard Hughes: Holy Mother of God.
Jack Frye: You want me to bribe senators? Howard Hughes: I don't want them bribed, Jack. I want this done legal. I want them *bought*.
[first lines] Allene Hughes: Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e. Young Howard Hughes: Quarantine. Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e. Quarantine.
Glenn Odekirk: We installed the 450 radial, but the struts won't take the vibration. Minute we go contact, the struts start craking at the attach points. Howard Hughes: Dammit, Odie, if the 450's too big, figure something else out! Glenn Odekirk: We've done everything - we've rebuilt her from top to bottom. If we drain the fuel tank for a couple of runs she might make 180 mph. Howard Hughes: I want minimum 200. Glenn Odekirk: Yeah, well, I want a date with Theda Bara, but that ain't gonna happen either. Howard Hughes: Don't be so sure... OK, OK, OK, this is a simple engineering problem. We just gotta think it out. [pause] Howard Hughes: So if the struts won't sustain the engine we need - then we gotta get rid of them. Glenn Odekirk: Then the top wing falls off. Howard Hughes: Then let it. Glenn Odekirk: What? Howard Hughes: Who says we need a top wing? [pauses] Howard Hughes: Who says we need *anything*? [Glenn is warming up to Hughes' idea] Glenn Odekirk: A monoplane... Howard Hughes: A cantilevered monoplane. They're doing it in France. To the hell with the top wing and the struts... Glenn Odekirk: 550 Whitney Wasp engine... Howard Hughes: 100 octane fuel will give us a top horsepower of - what? Glenn Odekirk: Seven hundred. Howard Hughes: Squeeze it to a thousand and we got the fastest plane ever built. Glenn Odekirk: You know, I just gotta say... we've already spent over $200,000 rebuilding this plane. Howard Hughes: To the hell with it. [smiles] Howard Hughes: Tear it up, Odie. [Glenn takes a sledgehammer and annihilates the struts on the top wing; the top wing falls off]
Ava Gardner: Oh, a box of trash! You shouldn't have.
Ava Gardner: ...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...
Howard Hughes: 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? [cigarrete girl smiles] Howard Hughes: 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?
Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: [about Hughes] Well, we have a long list of particulars. Chief among them is that he defrauded the American government of $56 million while we were 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.
Ava Gardner: [infuriated to learn that Hughes was tapping her phone lines to keep an eye on her] What do you wanna know, Howard? Was I screwing Artie Shaw last night? Was I screwing Sinatra the night before? You bet! Everyone told me you were a goddamn lunatic, but I didn't listen! It's no wonder Katie Hepburn dumped your demented ass! Howard Hughes: [exploding] SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH! [Howard knocks Ava to the ground, but she rebounds quickly and knocks him down] Ava Gardner: Get out, you pathetic freak! [he struggles to get back up, holding his cane; she follows him as he slowly heads for the door] Ava Gardner: GET OUT!
[Howard takes Kate to the Cocoanut Grove] Katharine Hepburn: Your kind of a joint, is it? Wouldn't have thought. Howard Hughes: Yeah, well, they're open late. I go to a hot dog stand on La Cienega, too; they're open 'til around 4. Katharine Hepburn: Are they? How marvelous!
Howard Hughes: [Attempting a take-off of the Spruce Goose] Power coming up! Glenn Odekirk: Power coming up! [Howard pushes on the throttles] James McNamara: [On the radio] Howard Hughes has just alerted us. Asked everyone to hold on. Tremendous horsepower kicking up. Howard Hughes: [Continuing to push on the throttles] Let me hear it, Odie! Glenn Odekirk: 25 miles per hour! 30! James McNamara: Here we go. Here we go... Glenn Odekirk: 35! James McNamara: ...The airspeed indicator has moved up to 25... 30... 35... Glenn Odekirk: 40! James McNamara: ...As he pushes the throttle, that's 40... Glenn Odekirk: 45! James McNamara: ...45. More throttle. That's 45... Glenn Odekirk: 50! James McNamara: ...50. It's 50 over a choppy sea... Glenn Odekirk: 55! James McNamara: ...55. That's 55... Glenn Odekirk: 60! James McNamara: ...More throttle, that's 60... Glenn Odekirk: 65! James McNamara: ...65! Glenn Odekirk: 70! James McNamara: ...That's 70... Glenn Odekirk: 75! James McNamara: ...75! [Howard finishes pushing the throttles forward, the plane suddenly stops shaking as it takes off. There's a pause before everyone on the plane starts applauding] James McNamara: And something momentarily cuts out, I believe we are airborne. We are airborne, ladies and gentlemen. I don't believe Howard Hughes meant this to be, I don't know. And we were up in the air. We were clearly up in the air. James McNamara: Ladies and gentlemen, the Hughes mammoth aircraft has flown this afternoon in Los Angeles harbor. And it will personally look, at this moment, that Howard Hughes will be around in the United States for some time to come.
Howard Hughes: You're the tallest woman I have ever met. Katharine Hepburn: And all sharp elbows and knees. Beware.
Noah Dietrich: I've gotta tell you, the board over in Houston has been getting a little concerned about the cost of this operation out here. Howard Hughes: [grimacing] Ah! Would you stop showing them the books, Noah? Noah Dietrich: That's illegal Howard. Howard Hughes: [smiling] Well, maybe it's a little naughty. Noah Dietrich: We're incorporated in Houston. The board has to see the books. Howard Hughes: Well, incorporate a new division out here. We'll call it Hughes Aircraft. Get into that, will ya?
Howard Hughes: Thats just what we do in my buisness.
Noah Dietrich: You've just placed the largest order for aircraft in the history of the United States, Howard! I've got a bill here from Lockheed-Martin for forty million dollars! Do you think I've got that just sitting around in petty cash?
James McNamara: Well, it certainly looks at this moment that Howard Hughes will be around the United States for quite some time to come.
Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: All right, let's get down to business. Let's talk turkey. My investigation... [He nearly bursts into laughter] Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: My investigation has turned up a lot of dirt. It could be really embarassing if this stuff got out. I'd like to save you from that embarassment. Howard Hughes: That's very kind of you, Owen. Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: My committee has the power to hold public hearings. I'd like to spare you from that. Howard Hughes: [smirks] Would you, now? [Brewster abruptly drops his silverware] Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: Look, do you wanna go down in history as a war profiteer, Howard? Is that what you want? Howard Hughes: [gravely] What do you want, Owen? Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: You agree to support my C.A.B. bill, and I won't hold public hearings. Howard Hughes: I can't do that, Owen. Can't do that. The C.A.B. bill would kill TWA. Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: Sell T.W.A. to Pan Am. You'll get a good price. You'll get a fair price, I'm telling you. Howard Hughes: And then...? Then you won't go public? Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: Right. That's right. The investigation's closed. Nobody knows a thing. It's better for everybody. [pause] Howard Hughes: You know, Owen, I'm still wondering one thing. The picture of the llama you got last year. Where'd you sail from? Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: [disinterested] We didn't sail. We flew. Howard Hughes: You flew? Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: Yeah. Howard Hughes: Ah. [Brewster stops chewing abruptly, realizing what Howard's implying] Howard Hughes: [leans in] Are you sure you want to do this, Owen? You want to go to war with me? Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster: It isn't me, Howard. It's the United States government. We just beat Germany and Japan. Who the hell are you? Howard Hughes: [getting up from the table] You tell Juan Trippe something for me, all right? Tell him thanks for the flowers. And he can kiss both sides of my ass. [leaves]
Howard Hughes: I read in the magazines that you play golf. Katharine Hepburn: On occasion... Howard Hughes: How 'bout nine holes? Katharine Hepburn: *Now*, Mr. Hughes?
Howard Hughes: [repeating over and over again] Show me all the blueprints. Show me all the blueprints. Show me all the blueprints... show me all the blueprints... show me all the blueprints... show me all the blueprints...
Katharine Hepburn: Let me take the wheel.
Howard Hughes: Little Howard likes citrus.
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