Tuesday 25 April 2000

Humphrey Bogart

TCM's star of the month for Dec 2009 is Humphrey Bogart, to celebrate what would have been his 110th birthday on 25 Dec, at least according to Warner Brothers.

Humphrey Bogart is chiefly known for his immortal portrayal of Rick Blaine in Casablanca, and for his powerful performances as Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon and Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep that defined the hardboiled detective on screen. While these are three of Hollywood's great iconic performances, I've learned that he did far more.

He also started out far before his time. His first few years in Hollywood saw him miscast horribly by a studio that didn't understand what he could do. Eventually he became a gangster in The Petrified Forest and stayed one for some years, mostly supporting James Cagney and Edward G Robinson. His best gangster roles can be found in Dead End, Angels with Dirty Faces and The Roaring Twenties.

After becoming a true Hollywood star with The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, Bogart made four films with his wife Lauren Bacall. All are memorable, especially The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not and Key Largo, the latter of which also reunited him with Robinson.

Bogart admirably chose to play the bad guy on occasion, something that few Hollywood stars would have done at the time. He was memorable as a killer in Conflict and The Two Mrs Carrolls, and especially as a greedy gold prospector in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

He was even successful in comedy in Sabrina and opposite Bette Davis in a number of early chick flicks leading up to Dark Victory. He was less believable as a cowboy in The Oklahoma Kid, which saw Cagney out of place too. Miscasting wasn't reserved exclusively for his earliest roles. It's hard to believe after Dead End that people couldn't see where his talents lay, but somehow he was cast in a bizarre role in The Return of Doctor X, as a Mexican bandit in Virginia City, and, of all things, the lead in the hillbilly wrestling musical comedy known as Swing Your Lady. These ones just have to be seen to be believed.

Here are links to what's already here at Apocalypse Later, with some older reviews from my far less substantial 2006 blog at Hal and Dee at the Movies and links to the IMDb pages for each film. Ratings are for films watched since 2004.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Reviews at Apocalypse Later
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Up the River 1930 5 5 John Ford IMDB
Love Affair 1932 4 4 Thornton Freeland IMDB
Big City Blues 1932 4 4 Mervyn LeRoy IMDB
Two Against the World 1936 5 5 William C McGann IMDB
China Clipper 1936 4 4 Ray Enright IMDB
Isle of Fury 1936 3 4 Frank McDonald IMDB
Black Legion 1936 4 4 Archie Mayo IMDB
The Great O'Malley 1937 4 4 William Dieterle IMDB
Swing Your Lady 1938 4 5 Ray Enright IMDB
Crime School 1938 5 4 Lewis Seiler IMDB
You Can't Get Away with Murder 1939 4 4 Lewis Seiler IMDB
The Return of Doctor X 1939 3 3 Vincent Sherman IMDB
The Maltese Falcon 1941 7 7 John Huston IMDB
The Big Shot 1942 5 6 Lewis Seiler IMDB
Casablanca 1942 7 7 Michael Curtiz IMDB
The Big Sleep 1946 7 7 Howard Hawks IMDB
Dead Reckoning 1947 6 6 John Cromwell IMDB
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948 7 7 John Huston IMDB
Tokyo Joe 1949 4 4 Stuart Heisler IMDB
In a Lonely Place 1950 7 7 Nicholas Ray IMDB
Sirocco 1951 4 4 Curtis Bernhardt IMDB
The African Queen 1951 7 7 John Huston IMDB
Battle Circus 1953 6 6 Richard Brooks IMDB
The Desperate Hours 1955 6 6 William Wyler IMDB
The Harder They Fall 1956 6 6 Mark Robson IMDB

Old Reviews at Hal and Dee at the Movies
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Bullets or Ballots 1936 6 6 William Keighley IMDB
Marked Woman 1937 6 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
San Quentin 1937 6 6 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Kid Galahad 1937 5 5 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Racket Busters 1938 4 4 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Invisible Stripes 1939 5 5 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Virginia City 1940 4 Michael Curtiz IMDB
It All Came True 1940 6 6 Lewis Seiler IMDB
High Sierra 1941 5 Raoul Walsh IMDB
They Drive By Night 1940 6 6 Raoul Walsh IMDB
The Wagons Roll at Night 1941 3 Ray Enright IMDB
All Through the Night 1942 7 7 Vincent Sherman IMDB
Across the Pacific 1942 5 5 John Huston IMDB
Action in the North Atlantic 1943 5 7 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Sahara 1943 7 7 Zoltan Korda IMDB
Passage to Marseille 1944 5 6 Michael Curtiz IMDB
Knock on Any Door 1949 5 6 Nicholas Ray IMDB
Chain Lightning 1950 4 4 Stuart Heisler IMDB
The Caine Mutiny 1954 7 7 Edward Dmytryk IMDB

Rated Not Reviewed
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Three on a Match 1932 5 6 Mervyn LeRoy IMDB
The Petrified Forest 1936 5 Archie Mayo IMDB
Dead End 1937 7 6 William Wyler IMDB
Men are Such Fools 1938 4 4 Busby Berkeley IMDB
The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse 1938 7 7 Anatole Litvak IMDB
Angels with Dirty Faces 1938 7 7 Michael Curtiz IMDB
King of the Underworld 1939 5 Lewis Seiler IMDB
The Oklahoma Kid 1939 5 5 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
Dark Victory 1939 6 6 Edmund Goulding IMDB
The Roaring Twenties 1939 7 6 Raoul Walsh IMDB
Brother Orchid 1940 6 6 Lloyd Bacon IMDB
To Have and Have Not 1944 7 7 Howard Hawks IMDB
Conflict 1945 7 7 Curtis Bernhardt IMDB
The Two Mrs Carrolls 1947 6 6 Peter Godfrey IMDB
Key Largo 1948 7 7 John Huston IMDB
Beat the Devil 1953 6 6 John Huston IMDB
Sabrina 1954 5 5 Billy Wilder IMDB
The Barefoot Contessa 1954 6 Joseph L Mankiewicz IMDB

1 comment:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

"Conflict" (1945) is my all time favorite Humphrey Bogart movie it has an incredible re-watchability factor that all his other films no longer have any more, even "Casablanca".