Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Bogie Man Will Get You

In one half-hour, Turner Classic Movies will continue with their Star of the Month salute to Humphrey DeForest Bogart, on the 110th anniversary month of his birth (his actual birth date being December 25th). Here’s the lineup for today (with movies not currently available in the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives in green):

6:00 AM San Quentin (1937)

A convict's sister falls for the captain of the prison guards. Cast: Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. BW-70 mins, TV-PG, CC

7:15 AM Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse, The (1938)

A doctor plots crimes so he can study criminal psychology. Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Anatole Litvak. BW-87 mins, TV-PG, CC

8:45 AM Crime School (1938)

A crusading warden sets out to improve conditions at a reform school. Cast: The Dead End Kids, Humphrey Bogart, Gale Page. Dir: Lewis Seiler. BW-85 mins, TV-G, CC

10:15 AM Men Are Such Fools (1938)

An ambitious secretary uses the men in her life to turn herself into a radio star. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Wayne Morris. Dir: Busby Berkeley. BW-69 mins, TV-G, CC

11:30 AM Racket Busters (1938)

A mobster tries to take over the trucking business. Cast: George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Allen Jenkins. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. BW-71 mins, TV-G, CC

12:45 PM Swing Your Lady (1938)

A wrestling promoter stranded in the South pits his star grappler against a lady blacksmith. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Frank McHugh, Louise Fazenda. Dir: Ray Enright. BW-77 mins, TV-G

2:15 PM Dark Victory (1939)

A flighty heiress discovers inner strength when she develops a brain tumor. Cast: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Edmund Goulding. BW-104 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS

4:15 PM Invisible Stripes (1939)

On his release from prison, a crook tries to stop his brother from following in his footsteps. Cast: George Raft, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. BW-81 mins, TV-G, CC

5:45 PM King Of The Underworld (1939)

A lady doctor gets mixed up with a criminal gang. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Kay Francis, James Stephenson. Dir: Lewis Seiler. BW-67 mins, TV-PG, CC

7:00 PM Bogart: The Untold Story (1996)

Stephen Bogart hosts this one-hour special on the life and career of his legendary father, Humphrey Bogart. Cast: Host: Stephen Bogart C-46 mins, TV-G, CC

8:00 PM Oklahoma Kid, The (1939)

A cowboy sets out to avenge his father's lynching. Cast: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Rosemary Lane. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. BW-81 mins, TV-PG, CC

9:30 PM Roaring Twenties, The (1939)

Three WWI Army buddies get mixed up with the mob in peacetime. Cast: James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Raoul Walsh. BW-107 mins, TV-G, CC

11:30 PM They Drive by Night (1940)

Truck driving brothers are framed for murder by a lady psycho. Cast: George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Raoul Walsh. BW-95 mins, TV-PG, CC

1:30 AM High Sierra (1941)

An aging ex-con sets out to pull one more big heist. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ida Lupino, Arthur Kennedy. Dir: Raoul Walsh. BW-100 mins, TV-G, CC

3:30 AM Virginia City (1940)

A rebel spy poses as a wild West dance hall girl. Cast: Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-121 mins, TV-G, CC

I love the description for Bogart: The Untold Story, by the way: “Stephen Bogart hosts this one-hour special on the life and career of his legendary father, Humphrey Bogart” and then the time is given as 46 minutes. And yes, I know what you’re thinking—“Iv…you don’t have a copy of Dark Victory?” I think I did at one time but offered it up for sale on eBay some time back; it’s not really one of my favorites (and in actuality, it’s more a Bette Davis pic than a Bogart vehicle) due mainly to that atrocious brogue Bogart is forced to adopt as the Irish stableman. (Accents really weren’t Humphrey’s meat; I suspect the reason they made Charlie Allnut Canadian in The African Queen [1951] was so Bogie didn’t have to pass himself off as a British subject.) But since I made a vow to try and collect as many of Bogart’s movies as I can, I’m going to record Victory for keeps.

I had planned to do a write-up of the Bogart films I watched last week but the only one I’ve gotten around to seeing is Kid Galahad (1937)—again, I have this one in one of the Warner DVD box sets but I think last Wednesday was the first time I’d seen it in its entirety. I enjoyed the hell out of it; Edward G. Robinson is a fight promoter who vows to make bellhop Wayne Morris a heavyweight champion but goes berserk when Morris starts cuddling up to Robinson’s sister (Jane Bryan) in a romantical kind of way. Davis is Robinson’s chanteuse girlfriend (though her rendition of The Moon is in Tears Tonight was dubbed); Bogart Robinson’s gangster rival—and the usual suspects at Warner Bros. are present and accounted for, including Harry Carey (aces as Morris’ trainer), Ben Welden, Joseph Crehan, Veda Ann Borg, Frank Faylen and Matt Hinrichs fave Joyce Compton (I also spotted Don DeFore and Horace McMahon, too). Bogie and Bette don’t interact too much in this one—but that’s why we have Marked Woman (1937) on hand.

My cousin Kathy is on Facebook and paid me a flattering compliment by stating that she, too, is a huge Bogart devotee (her favorite film, like mine, is Casablanca) and remarked that she is also willing to sit through any picture with Bogart in it. Hal Erickson asked if that meant Swing Your Lady (1938), which will be on later today and is considered by many to be Bogart’s worst film. I haven’t seen it but I plan to record and watch it—let me just say that it’s going to have to be pretty awful to beat the Bogart flick I consider to be the actor’s nadir: The Return of Doctor X (1939).

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1 comment:

Stacia said...

I haven't watched my recording of "Kid Galahad" yet, but I did catch "Dark Victory" and "They Drive By Night" again yesterday. Both are good, but both have moments which just don't make sense to me. Like in DV when Bette calls for the dogs before she goes upstairs and then IMMEDIATELY tells them to go away. Or in TDBN when Ann Sheridan just sits in the truck looking bored as another truck crashes and burns. I see stuff like that on re-watch and think "Buh? Why?"