Posts Tagged ‘humphrey bogart’

Humphrey Bogart – Greatness Passes

Monday, September 9th, 2013

January, 1957Humphrey Bogart who would, in 1999, be named as the Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute, has died.

The screen legend, who had been in failing health since the mid-1950’s, suffered from cancer of the esophagus. Having refused to see a doctor about a persistent and increasingly serious cough until January of 1956, the resulting surgery, in March, to remove his esophagus, two lymph nodes, and a rib proved to be too late.

After slipping into a coma, Humphrey Bogart died at his home in Holmby Hills, California, on January, 14th. A simple funeral was held at All Saints Episcopal Church with Bogart’s cremated remains interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery.

Director John Huston delivered the eulogy during the ceremony attended by many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Ronald Reagan, David Niven, James Mason, Marlene Dietrich, James Cagney, Gregory Peck, Joan Fontaine, Danny Kaye, Jack Warner, and Billy Wilder.

Buried with the actor was a small, gold whistle that Bogart had given to Lauren Bacall before they were married. The inscription was part of a quote from their first film together, To Have and Have Not: “If you want anything, just whistle.”

Humphrey Bogart’s impact on motion picture history was best stated by John Huston who said: “There will never be another like him.”

Dark Passage

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Dark Passage [Blu-ray]

Tagline – Two of a kind!… Tough!… Torrid!… Terrific!

Starring – Humphrey Bogart (Vincent Parry), Lauren Bacall (Irene Jansen), Bruce Bennett (Bob), Agnes Moorehead (Madge Rapf).

Released – September, 1947

Directed By – Delmer Daves

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – Vincent Parry, convicted of murdering his wife, has just escaped from San Quentin prison by stowing away in a garbage truck. He is out to prove his innocence.

Eluding police, Parry hitches a ride with a man named Baker. While driving, a radio broadcast announces the escape and Baker realizes that he may have given a lift to the escaped convict. His suspicions provoke Parry into knocking him out and stealing his clothes. While attempting to hide the unconscious Baker, and planning to steal his car, another motorist stops.

Painter Irene Jansen, who somehow knows Parry’s name, offers to help him. She brings Vincent to her San Francisco apartment and tells him that she had followed his trial very closely and believes him to be innocent. She goes on to tell him that her father was also wrongly convicted of his wife’s murder and ended up dying in prison.

Irene goes out to buy some new clothes for Vincent while he remains in her apartment. There is a knock at the door and a woman asks for Irene. Vincent, without opening the door, tells her that Irene is not home. This, however, was not just any woman’s voice. Vincent recognizes the voice to be Madge Rapf, a former flame, who testified against Vincent at his trial. This coincidence is more than a little too suspicious.

When Irene returns, Vincent asks about her relationship with Madge. Irene tells him that she is dating Madge’s former friend Bob. This explanation raises more questions then it answers for Vincent.

Later that evening, Vincent leaves Irene’s apartment to begin his search for evidence that might help clear him. He is picked up by a taxi driven by a man named Sam who also recognizes Vincent and is sympathetic to his situation.

Sam tells Vincent that he can’t successfully search to clear his name with a face that just about anyone in the city will know. He suggests Vincent see Dr. Walter Coley, a plastic surgeon, who can alter his appearance.

Vincent agrees to the idea and arranges to stay with his only friend George Fellsinger while he heals from the surgery. Dr. Coley performs the operation and Vincent, with his face wrapped in bandages and unable to speak, returns to George’s apartment. When arriving he finds his friend dead.

Vincent returns to Irene’s apartment noticing Baker’s car parked outside. Too weak to think of this as anything other than a coincidence he collapses at her door. Irene brings him inside and begins to nurse him back to health.

It isn’t long before Vincent and Irene learn that he is now suspected of murdering George Fellsinger.

Once healed, Vincent checks into a hotel using the name Alan Lynell. He has been followed and is soon accosted by Baker who demands $60,000 in blackmail money to keep quiet. Vincent tells Baker that he has no money, but Baker informs him that Irene is wealthy and he can get the money from her. If Vincent does this, Baker will get him a fake passport.

While driving to Irene’s apartment, Vincent overcomes Baker and questions him. Baker tells him that he was followed by someone in an orange convertable when Vincent went to his friend George’s apartment.

Another struggle ensues between the two men and Baker falls over a cliff to his death. Now, not only will Vincent have to prove himself innocent of killing his wife, but also innocent of George’s murder, and now Baker.

It’s beginning to look as if Vincent was better off in San Quentin. And as for Irene Jansen, her sympathy for Vincent’s dilemma is a mask for an agenda all her own.

NOTABLE: Dark Passage was the third of four films made by husband and wife Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

This was the first motion picture where Humphrey Bogart would wear a full hairpiece. Bogart’s hair, at this time, was rapidly falling out due to a severe vitamin deficiency.

Dark Passage is notable for the first third of the film being shot from the point of view of Bogart’s character. His unseen face is not seen clearly until the scene where he removes the bandages from his character’s plastic surgery and looks into a mirror.

At the time of the films production, Humphrey Bogart was Hollywood’s highest-paid actor earning in the neighborhood of $450,000 a year.

httpv://youtu.be/O1ZcLFW2UvI

 

Dead Reckoning

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Dead Reckoning

Tagline – He Doesn’t Trust Anyone… especially Women!

Starring – Humphrey Bogart (Capt. Warren “Rip” Murdock), Lizabeth Scott (Coral “Dusty” Chandler), Morris Carnovsky (Martinelli), Charles Cain (Lt. Kincaid).

Released – January, 1947

Directed By – John Cromwell

Produced By – Colombia Pictures Corporation

Distributed By – Colombia Pictures Corporation

Description – Just after the conclusion of World War II, Capt. “Rip” Murdock and Sergeant Johnny Drake are ordered to report to Washington, D. C., where the two are to be honored for their duty to their country. Drake is to receive the Medal of Honor, and Murdock the Distinguished Service Cross.

Then something strange happens, Johnny Drake disappears.

His friends disappearance is a total surprise to Murdock and he is determined to find out just what happened and why. With the clues he has, Murdock is able to track Johnny to Gulf City where he learns that Johnny has burned to death in an automobile accident.

Murdock also learns that Johnny had joined the Army using an assumed name in order to avoid a charge of murder. Johnny was accused of killing a Mr. Chandler, a rich older man, because Johnny was in love with Chandler’s younger wife “Dusty.”

Additional information leads Murdock to a local bar wanting to question Louis Ord who had been a witness during the murder trial. Ord tells Murdock that Johnny had given him a letter that he wanted given to him.

While at the club, Murdock also meets “Dusty” Chandler along with club owner Martinelli. During this meeting, Murdock’s drink is drugged and when he wakes up in his hotel room the next morning he has company. The dead body of Louis Ord has been planted there.

Just before the police arrive at Murdock’s hotel room, directed there by an anonymous tip, Murdock is able to conceal the corpse. The police question him and, finding no body, leave.

Determined to find out who killed his friend and who just tried to frame him for the murder of Ord, Murdock teams up with “Dusty.” It is his belief that Martinelli is behind the murders and that he killed Ord hoping to get his hands on the letter.

Murdock breaks into Martinelli’s office looking for the letter only to find Martinelli’s safe already open and empty. After noticing the scent of jasmine perfume in the air, the same kind worn by “Dusty,” Murdock is knocked unconscious.

He awakens in the hands of Martinelli, who has the letter and believes Murdock can understand the code the letter is written in. Luckily, Murdock escapes.

Things continue to get darker and more dangerous for Murdock and there are still a great many surprises to be learned. “Dusty” is now a suspect, but she still claims innocence. While she admits to killing her husband she says it was in self defense and that Martinelli has been blackmailing her ever since.

Things still don’t add up for Murdock when he finds “Dusty” just might be a bigamist and that a large inheritance waits at the end of a murderous rainbow.

NOTABLE: The role of Coral “Dusty” Chandler had originally been intended for Columbia’s top box office draw Rita Hayworth. However, Hayworth was feuding with studio head Harry Cohn and was to be cast in estranged husband Orson Welles picture The Lady from Shanghai.

Lizabeth Scott’s singing was dubbed by Trudy Stevens.

In the train scene, after they discover that Drake is to receive the Medal of Honor, Murdock quips that maybe the president will let Drake “sit on top of his piano”. This is a reference to a then-scandalous photo of Harry Truman playing piano with a leggy blonde on top that was taken at the National Press Club in 1945. . Who was that blonde? The blonde was Lauren Bacall.

httpv://youtu.be/5HiuXaPLUpc

 

Dead End

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Dead End (DVD)

Tagline – THE GREATEST GANGSTER THRILLER THAT EVER EXPLODED FROM THE SCREEN!

Starring – Sylvia Sidney (Drina), Joel McCrea (Dave), Humphrey Bogart (‘Baby Face’ Martin), Wendy Barrie (Kay), Claire Trevor (Francie), & The Dead End Kids

Released – August, 1937

Directed By – William Wyler

Produced By – The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Distributed By – United Artists

Description – A lot can happen of the East Side of New York in 24 hours. Along side the luxury apartments built by the wealthy, to take advantage of the picturesque East River, are the filthy tenements that house the poor and destitute.

At the end of the block is a dock on the East River that is the territory of the Dead End Kids, a small gang of youths that are already on their way to a life of crime. Tommy Gordon is the leader of the gang and idolizes Baby Face Martin, a former resident, who has graduated to “full-fledged” mobster.

Tommy has a sister, Drina, who dreams of marrying a rich stranger who will take her and Tommy out of the slum before Tommy turns out no better than Baby Face, who just so happens to have returned to his old stomping ground to visit his mother and old girlfriend.

Dave Connell also lives in the neighborhood. He is a childhood friend of Drina and an unemployed architect who gets by taking odd jobs. Dave is in love with Kay Burton, but not even love is simple here. Kay is a rich man’s mistress who, although she loves Dave, knows that he could never provide her the lifestyle that she desires.

Their hard life is about to get a little harder. Tommy and the gang decide to rough up one of the rich kids who lives in the luxury apartments. The boys father intervenes and Tommy stabs him in the arm and must go into hiding from the police.

As for Baby Face, his mother rejects him due to his life as a gangster. While visiting his former girlfriend Francie, Baby Face is disgusted by her current life. Francie has become a prostitute and is sick with syphilis.

With his homecoming visit a dismal failure, Baby Face Martin decides to kidnap the rich kid for ransom in order to have made his trip somewhat rewarding. From this point on everyone’s life seems destined for disaster.

NOTABLE: Dead End received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Claire Trevor), Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography.

Claire Trevor’s Oscar nomination was a bit of a surprise considering her time on screen was limited to one scene lasting under five minutes.

Director William Wyler had hoped to shoot the film on location, but Producer Samuel Goldwyn insisted it be done in the studio. The result was such a convincing re-creation that Art Director Richard Day received an Oscar nomination.

Although it is clear in the story that the character of Francie is a prostitute suffering from syphilis the censors required that the actual terms of her employment and disease be veiled.

Dead End is based on an original Broadway play that ran for 687 performances.

The role of Baby Face Martin was given to Humphrey Bogart after first being refused by actor George Raft. Bogart was chosen after his performance, a year earlier, in the film The Petrified Forest.

Dead End provided the film debuts of Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Gabriel Dell, Bobby Jordan, Bernard Punsly, Leo Gorcey, David Gorcey. The group would later evolve into The East Side Kids and then the Bowery Boys. In total, they would appear in seven films.

httpv://youtu.be/ppbpAf4hlTo

Kid Galahad

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Kid Galahad

Starring – Edward G. Robinson (Nick Donati), Bette Davis (Louise “Fluff” Phillips), Humphrey Bogart (Turkey Morgan), Wayne Morris (Ward Guisenberry).

Released – May, 1937

Directed By – Michael Curtiz

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – Ward Guisenberry is a quiet and shy young man who, as we will soon find out, packs quite a punch. It is his hope to save enough money to buy a small farm.

He takes a position as a bellhop and his first night on the job will drastically change his modest ambition. While doing a little extra work mixing drinks at a party thrown by boxing manager Nick Donati, Ward comes to the rescue of a woman who is being insulted.

Unknown to Ward is the fact that the woman is the girlfriend of Donati, Louise “Fluff” Phillips. The guy doing the insulting is Sam McGraw a fighter owned by gangster Turkey Morgan. The confrontation is short as Ward knocks the professional fighter out cold.

Now, Nick Donati knows a good thing when he sees it and wants Ward to become a fighter. Donati promises Ward that this will be a quick way to earn the money he needs to buy that farm.

Ward agrees and, although Fluff tries to talk him out of getting involved in the fight game, Kid Galahad is born.

Embarrassed by his fighter being knocked out by a nobody, Turkey insists on a rematch between Ward and McGraw. The fight is held and Kid Galahad, to the surprise of most, wins again. However, he better hold off on the celebration. Turkey’s men are now looking for him with violent revenge on their mind.

Fluff sends the kid to Nick’s family farm to hide out in spite of Nick’s rule to never involve his family with the boxing game. While there, Ward easily charms Nick’s mother and kid-sister Marie. When Nick learns that Ward is hiding at his family’s farm he is furious and immediately brings him back to the city.

Nick protects Ward from Turkey’s gang and the young fighter begins a successful career as Kid Galahad. This is where things begin to get complicated. During this time, Nick’s girlfriend Fluff, and his kid-sister Marie, have both fallen for Ward. A situation that infuriates Nick.

To get back at Ward, Nick arranges a championship fight for the young man. A fight that he is not ready for. Disaster and a murderous confrontation will soon follow.