By Bartee Haile.
After two years of battling censors and teasing the public with a titillating ad campaign, Howard Hughes premiered his much-anticipated western "The Outlaw" at a San Francisco theater on Feb. 4, 1943. The Houston millionaire was barely 20 years old, when he went to Hollywood in 1925 to make a name for himself in motion pictures. Advised by his father to trust an old family friend, the novice invested $40,000 in a movie that never sold a ticket. Actor Ralph Graves assured young Howard that "Swell Hogan," a dull tale about a heart-of-gold derelict, would knock 'em in the aisles. But the bad script was even worse on celluloid, and Hughes hid the only print to keep the fiasco from ever being shown.
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