movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Patrik.
Movie starts with a kid standing in a bath. His mother comes to wash him with a special soap and she mentions that he should be very wary of diseases.
Then, we skip to a desert where older Howard (Leonardo DiCaprio ) is trying to make a gigantic movie (Hells angels), but he is having problems because he needs more cameras for his aerial scenes. He says hell get the cameras. After, he interviews Noah Dietrich and offers him much more than he is now making to become his accountant. Howard says he got a good deal because he is giving him 5 times more money but hell work ten times as much.
That night Howard goes to a bar to ask Mr Mayer (MGM) to borrow cameras. The man laughs at him, his project and the idea of lending cameras to competition. Howard stays cool and goes to meet his relations guy to discuss his big project. Howard has some problems hearing as they speak. A waitress comes and Howard easily seduces her.
The next part of the movie shows Howard struggling to make his movie. He argues a lot with Noah because he is spending so much money on this film and Houston(?) is asking for details. But he persists and continues to film sequences in the air. At the same time the press is criticizing the project. Howard analyses his movie and doesnt understand why the planes are so slow while everything was going so fast out in the air. He realizes that he actually needs a point of reference for his planes to look fast. He sums Noah to find the best meteorologist out there. He offers the man a generous annual salary to produce clouds that would make his planes look faster. For weeks, nobody is working waiting for clouds to appear. This is costing him a fortune. Finally, the Professor finds clouds in Oakland and they fly there to film the sequences. But, again, Howard is not satisfied with the movie and decides his movie should have sound. They review the entire movie to add sound at a very expensive price again. All along, Noah is warning Howard about the expenses. Howard wants to make it perfect. Finally this very expensive movie is released.
At the premier, Howard is nervous, he briefly shakes the fabric of his pants and seems disturbed by the flashes of the camera. He accompanies Jean Harlow (Gwen). Again he has some problems hearing the questions of the journalist but in the end all is fine and the movie is a success.
So he starts shooting his next movie when he meets Kate Hepburn (Cate Blanchett). They go play golf and she is shown as a bit special, being very affirmative. They become romantically involved.
During that time Howard focuses on building planes with his loyal engineer. He wants to build a perfect plane to travel very fast. He is very touchy with his engineer because he wants perfection. But in the end the reward is worth the effort because he breaks the record of the fastest plane travel. He manages to go around the world in record time and becomes a legend. One night he goes to a club with Kate and starts touching his pants again when he sees Kate being friendly with Mr Mayer. We can see he doesnt like it much, but then Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale), as she passes, mentions to him not to be worried because Kate is only working on her image and promoting herself. Howard goes to the bathroom, takes out his special soap from the beginning and washes his hands excessively. They eventually leave and go for a plane ride that thrills her.
Howard is always building planes for the army with his money and the governments and with Lockheed and other partners. One night he meets with a rep from TWA. They have a big project but it seems they will need approval from TWAs board. To solve this problem, Howard decides to buy out TWA. Therefore we are introduced to Juan Trippe (Alec Baldwin), president of Pan Am who doesnt see from a good eye the arrival of Howard in this business. He orders his employee to get some dirt on Howard.
Howard then starts his project to build Hercules, a gigantic plane for the army. (much like a B-52)
With Kate, he goes to meet her parents. This is not going very well as Kates ex husband is there. At dinner, they keep asking him questions but he doesnt have time to answer. When he finally gets to speak, they cut him off. He gets mad and tells them all off. Slowly, the relationship deteriorates and she comes in one day to announce that she is leaving. He gets mad and tells her that in the end she is just an entertainer. After that he will be romantically involved with Ava Gardner.
Later, Lockheed comes with an idea for a plane to carry people. Howard puts an order right away, but Juan Trippe doesnt like it a bit. It is very competitive between the two men. Around that time, Howard also meets with a journalist that has taken some controversial pictures of Kate and her new Spencer Tracy. He buys out the journalist with money and by threatening him a little because he didnt want to sell.
One of the planes Howard was building for the army is ready to test. He makes the test and all is fine but at the end of the try out, he has problems and ends up crashing in the middle of Beverly Hills. This accident almost kills him as he is burned over 60% of his body, his heart moved on the other side of his body, etc. But he survives and enters in a war with Juan Trippe. One day they meet in a restaurant with Juan and a TWA boss. Juan is trying to get some information on Howards intention with the new planes from Lockheed. Juan figures Howard is going for the Mexican market and such but Howard reveals that he will challenge Pan Am and will offer travelling to Europe. Juan is upset and informs Howard that he just bought the next 40 planes from Lockheed. Howard goes to the bathroom, takes out his special soap and washes his hands again and again and again.
Howard and his engineer continue to build the Hercules. But the engineer is having problems because Howard is thinking so much on every details and his decisions are long to make. Howard gives a break to his engineer, telling him to go home to relax. But Howard also asks for a concierge to get fired because he was looking at Howard, bit of paranoia. On top of it, he needs to mortgage everything he owns to keep TWA alive.
From that point on, Juan wants a special law to be passed so no one could compete against him for overseas traveling. He writes the special law and bribes a senator (Alan Alda) to collect dirt and bring Howard down since he will oppose this law. So the Senator uses his powers to bring Howard down, including using the law to investigate Howards offices. The Senator openly accuses Howard of fraud, using the governments money to build planes that he never delivered to the army and laughing at his stupid giant plane. One day the Senator invites Howard to dinner to convince him to let everything go and sell TWA to Juan Trippe or else he will bring him in front of a committee. At that dinner, Howard notices a painting that the Senator purchased in the Caribbean. The Senator planned raw fish for dinner and intentionally put a fingerprint on Howards glass. This freaks out Howard but he remains calm and insists that he will never sell TWA. After he leaves, he really freaks out because of the dirt.
He then goes into retreat in his movie lab. He doesnt wash, his nails are very long, he keeps repeating over and over that he wants milk, the only think he actually drinks. He urinates in milk pots that he aligns on one of the walls. He stays there for a long time until Juan Trippe comes to visit to convince him once again to sell TWA. After that he comes out and goes home.
Ava Gardner visits him and we see how freaked out he is become. He has secured parts of his home from germs with cords tied all around the house. Ava sees this and helps him wash and prepare for his hearing in front of the commission lead by the Senator.
At this hearing, Howard admits almost everything that he is accused of, but challenges the Senators real intentions. He starts asking questions to the Senator and mentions his affiliation with Juan Trippe that gave him free flights to the Caribbean (the painting). Then he also reveals how much money of his own he put on his projects which is way more than the government has ever given him. He also mentions how other companies received more money and never delivered either. How this is all about Pan Am. He tells the members that he was never in it for the money, it was about his passion, flying, that he was an aviator.
During all this, he touches his pants again.
We then see Juan Trippe in his office saying to someone that the law will not pass and TWA will fly to Europe. He says FUCK!
During this hearing, Howard also tries to fly his giant Hercules. After all is done, it is a success in the end. But as they celebrate, Howard starts repeating something over and over and over. Then Noah takes him to a bathroom and goes for a doctor. Howard looks at himself in the mirror and we are taken back to the beginning as a young Howard stands in a bath. He tells his mother: Im going to make movies, planes and be the richest man