Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Humphrey Bogart Blogathon

Samantha of Musings of a Classic Film Addict and Diana of Sleepwalking in Hollywood have teamed up for a blogathon on Humphrey Bogart. Long story short, I chose to write (to the surprise of no one familiar with my approach) about his three Oscar-nominated performances. Those films in question are:

(1943, dir. Michael Curtiz)
Lost to Paul Lukas in Watch on the Rhine
(1951, dir. John Huston)
(1954, dir. Edward Dmytryk)
Lost to Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront

(More after the jump!)


His first nomination surprisingly had him in a role different from his usual noir tough guys. As he would show with some of his later films -- like with at least one of his collaborations with Lauren Bacall -- there was a soft side beneath that tough exterior.

His Rick Blaine states throughout Casablanca that he works for no one. But as the film progresses, we learn it's because he's concealing a broken heart. ("Of all the gins joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.") And let's be honest: haven't we all put on a brave face in the midst of troubling times?



His second nomination resulted in Bogart's only win. And seeing as his fellow nominees included the likes of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, his win showed that his generation of actors may have been beginning to retire but not all of them were going down that route immediately.

His Charlie Allnut is someone who tends to go by his own rules. It's once Rose Sayer is by his side that he begins to soften. And like Rick Blaine, Charlie shows a gentler nature underneath his normally caustic attitude.



His final nomination came when there was a changing of the guard for leading men in Hollywood. As is the case every ten to fifteen years, the industry needed fresh blood. (A number of Bogart's co-stars in this -- and whom Bogart lost the Oscar to -- only bolster this claim.) And as he shows with his Lt. Cmdr. Queeg, Bogart sure as hell wasn't going down without a fight.

Of course as we now know, Bogart wouldn't be around for much longer. Just a matter of weeks after turning fifty-seven, his years of heavy smoking and drinking caught up with him. Hollywood may have lost one of its most popular stars but Bogart's legacy lives on nearly sixty years after his passing.

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