I Should Never Have Swiched from Scotch to Martinis: Humphrey Bogart – Last Words.

So, who would’ve thought that Bogie, that dressed-up dude with a Borsalino hat slung low down, just enough to cover one eye and make you wonder what it’s hiding, who would’ve thought the dame-saver who shot wise-cracks just as fast as he shot guns would’ve been such a funny guy? Even as he lay there on the crumpled bed, dying, the faint aroma of scotch – or was it martini – lingering in the room; not even his wife, not even the great whistle-blower herself, Lauren Bacall, could wrench the cigarette from his lips or the bottle from his mind. So, in the words of someone – I forget who, but what does it matter – here’s looking at you, kid.

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Considered by some as one of the greatest films ever made, and also as the first true film noir, The Maltese Falcon has all the fantastic, pacy banter, the femme fatale (Mary Astor), the quick-thinking detective (Bogie) and the shady characters (the terrific Peter Lorre) which define its genre. Watch it or miss out.

The Big Sleep (1946)

A prime example of film noir, Howard Hawk’s directed this, the first adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s great crime novel (it was later re-made in 1978 with a fantastically aging Robert Mitchum playing the famous Philip Marlowe character.) Watch the Bogie and Bacall phenomenon as they smoulder on-screen.

Casablanca (1942)

Love and virtue wrestled it out in this Michael Curtiz directed picture. This was a much-troubled shoot, with writing and directing issues that meant the actors often didn’t know which lines were going to be handed to them the next day. Apparently the famous last line of “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” was written after shooting had been completed, meaning Bogie had to do some dubbing work a month or so later…

The African Queen (1951)

Fantastic production by John Huston, shot largely on location in Uganda and the Congo. A missionary worker and a small steamboat owner are thrust together by the outbreak of World War I when German soldiers begin laying siege to British missions. Drama, adventure, romance and comedy. Brilliant. And particularly funny for some reason when you watch it at the BFI. Presumably it’s all the nerds who get the gentle ‘in’ jokes. Which is why we’re swatting up, now…

****Bogie Box Set Available to Buy In Store****

Box Set includes: Casablanca, Treasure of Sierra Madre, Maltese Falcon, High Sierra

posted by Dixie Turner

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