theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
I have enjoyed watching classic movies from the golden age of Hollywood for a long time now, often at a local theatre not too far down the road from me. What I love most about its welcoming atmosphere is the art deco interior and thrilling feeling of yesteryear. Every year they play many of my favourite movies, with the screen filled with the biggest movie stars like James Cagney, Burt Lancaster and Humphrey Bogart, all with the biggest egos but often with the greatest work ethic and integrity for their profession. Humphrey Bogart often stands out as the actor that everyone has tried to emulate but have failed miserably. How does someone like Humphrey Bogart, who is often cited as the greatest actor of all time, continue to remain in a class of his own ? I believe it is because he was truly one of a kind. Often it was cited too because he commanded the respect of Hollywood by his performances and his ability to make the audience believe that he was playing someone of great importance. But Bogart was no saint. He was a flawed man with many demons and vices – a womanizer, a heavy drinker and often unruly as a schoolboy to name a few. But it was this rough around the edges persona that eventually contributed to the legend that is Humphrey Bogart. Like all good stories, Bogart’s began on Christmas Day, 1899, in New York City and ended on January 14th, 1957, in Los Angeles. In between he lived a rich life on and off the screen, but it wasn’t always like that. In the beginning, there would be a long apprenticeship, hard work and failure before a black bird made him a star.
In the film The Caine Mutiny, one of Humphrey Bogart’s later films, his character Captain Queeg says to one of his subordinates “…there are four ways of doing things on board my ship. The right way, the wrong way, the Navy way, and my way. They do things my way, we’ll get along…” I often wonder how much of this was true of Humphrey Bogart’s life as he struggled to get along with the many different people in his early years of life. Often dismissed as an underachiever, he had no real desire to study and learn. Bogart simply just refused to kowtow to expectations set for him. His somewhat unaffectionate parents…
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