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The Aviator concentrates on Hughes during his prime when he was a leading figure in Hollywood, business, and aviation. The movie does capture the personality of Hughes who was a complex, tireless, and charismatic figure who captivated a generation. It also captures the man’s essential loneliness and his growing mental instability. However, its explanation for the cause of his mental health problems is too simplistic. The movie does portray Hughes as a great womaniser but neglects to show that he was actually married for some of the film. It also portrays him as a great aviator and there is some truth to this. Scorsese’s motion picture does capture the brilliance and his slow descent into mental illness and even alludes to his later years that were marred by instability, when he lived as a virtual recluse. However, The Aviator, fails to address many issues in Hughes life such as his often-controversial business practices and the dark side of his womanizing.
Fay, Stephen, Lewis Chester, and Magnus Linklater. Hoax: the inside story of the Howard Hughes--Clifford Irving affair (New York, Viking Adult, 1972).
Brown, Peter Harry, and Pat H. Broeske. Howard Hughes: The Untold Story (New York, Da Capo Press , 2004).