Well, November has arrived, which means it’s time for our final “Star Of The Month” blogathon of 2021 featuring that great actor, Humphrey Bogart!
Table Of Contents
Quick Film Career Bio
Birth: December 25, 1899
Death: January 14, 1957
After appearing in quite a few theatrical productions, Humphrey DeForest Bogart made his screen debut in the 1928 short The Dancing Town. After doing another short (Broadway’s Like That from 1930), he signed with the Fox Film Corporation, where he made his first film Up The River, alongside his new friend Spencer Tracy (also making his movie debut). However, over the next few years, he only got a few minor roles onscreen, and spent a lot of time traveling between Hollywood and the Broadway stage. Things changed when he made an impression in the stage play The Petrified Forest (both on audiences and the play’s star, Leslie Howard). When it came time to make the movie, Warner Brothers wanted Leslie Howard to reprise his role, but planned to recast one of their own stars in Bogart’s role of Duke Mantee. When Leslie Howard insisted on Bogart being cast (or else he would leave), Warners gave in, resulting in Bogart receiving rave notices, and a new long-term contract with Warners. Of course, he still hadn’t quite hit the big time, as he would still be playing supporting roles to some of the bigger stars at the studio or the lead in smaller “B” pictures.
Things started to change when, after some of the bigger actors turned it down, he got the role of Roy Earle in High Sierra. While that alone didn’t make him a big star, he did meet writer John Huston. That same year, Huston made his directorial debut with The Maltese Falcon, and the role of Sam Spade was offered to Bogart (after George Raft turned it down). The movie turned out to be a big hit, allowing Bogart to negotiate a better contract with Warners. While the film established him as a star, particularly in the new film genre of film noir, the second World War had begun, so he was now being cast in war pictures. One of them, Casablanca, also became a big hit, and turned him into a romantic leading man as well (not to mention receiving his first nomination for the Best Actor Oscar). Even with that, he still found himself stuck here and there with a few weaker scripts.
On a personal level, he soon met his future (fourth and final) wife, Lauren Bacall, and the two of them were paired up for To Have And Have Not (1944). After he divorced his third wife and married Bacall, they were paired up again for The Big Sleep (with some later retakes required to allow their chemistry to shine even more). Amongst his other films at this time, Bogart and Bacall were paired up for two more films, Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948), to great effect. Around that same time, he made The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948) (which, while not an immediate hit since it lacked a love interest or a clear hero, would become one of his best-loved films). Amidst all this, he had to deal with the House Un-American Activities Committee, when he opposed their harassment of screenwriters and actors, which forced him to distance himself slightly by writing an article (“I’m No Communist”) for Photoplay magazine.
He started trying to go more independent by forming his own production company (Santana Productions). As he finished out his contract at Warners with films like Chain Lightning (1950) and The Enforcer (1951), he started doing films for Santana Productions, most of which were distributed by Columbia Pictures. He also made The African Queen, for which he was nominated for (and won) the Best Actor Oscar. Within the next few years, he enjoyed some success, particularly with The Caine Mutiny (1954), for which he lowered his usual fee to appear in (and received his third and final Oscar nomination). Most of his films at Santana didn’t do too well, so he was forced to sell off the company. Still, he kept moving ahead, making a few big films like Sabrina and The Barefoot Contessa, as well as making a few small radio and TV appearances. However, at this time, his health was starting to go downhill, due in part to his life-long habits of drinking heavily and smoking. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and, despite surgery and chemotherapy, he passed away on January 14, 1957, after having slipped into a coma.
This is a list of all the films that I personally have reviewed from his filmography so far. Obviously, I will be adding to it throughout the month of November, and it is my plan to add to it as I review more and more of his films even beyond this month’s celebration.
Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)
The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948)
Entries For This Month
Thoughts From The Music(al) Man –
The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948)
Since this blogathon lasts a month, I’ll keep the rules here in case anybody is still interested in joining in:
- At this point, I am not putting any restrictions on topics related to the various stars, whether it be any of their films, or biographies, lists of favorites, etc.
- These celebrations are intended as tributes to these stars, so I would ask that any participating posts be respectful of the stars themselves. Obviously, if you don’t care for that specific star, that would probably not be a good month to join in.
- I’m requesting that all posts would be new material, and not any previously published ones.
- As previously indicated, these celebrations of the stars and genres will last a whole month each, so you will have that whole month to work with. I myself will be publishing about four or five posts per month (depending on the number of Sundays and whether there are any recent disc releases that would fit the bill), so you can decide how many you want to do (within reason).
- If you are interested in joining, I would certainly suggest you either comment on this post, email me at email@example.com, or, for the Facebook savvy, contact me at my FB page. And feel free to use the banners I have put together (I’m still unsure of how much space I will have to work with over time on pictures, so for now I am doing one each).