Tuesday: Humphrey Bogart
Here's Looking at You, Kid
Tuesday, January 3 • 7 • 100m
The Maltese Falcon
John Huston, 1941 • Considered by some to be the first “true” noir film, Bogart plays to perfection the ultimate hard-boiled detective, Sam Spade. Centered around Spade’s dealings with three people who are all seeking a famed jewel-encrusted falcon statuette, The Maltese Falcon’s twisting plot, masterful suspense, and brilliant performances make it as excellent as it is influential. Mary Astor’s Brigid O'Shaughnessey embodies the epitome of the classic femme fatale, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet make for perfect villains, and John Huston, in his directorial debut, distills and perfects the essence of noir.
Tuesday, January 10 • 7 • 102m
Michael Curtiz, 1942 • The American Film Institute cites Casablanca as the second-best film ever made (after Citizen Kane), and while “best” is a qualification that is both debatable and completely unquantifiable, it’s hard to deny that Casablanca is a really, really good movie. Chock-full of quips that have become some of the most famous movie lines ever (“We’ll always have Paris”), and showcasing some great performances, Casablanca is a melodrama that somehow also manages to be a whole lot of fun. Of all the cinemas in all the towns in all the world, you should probably walk into ours.
Tuesday, January 17 • 7 • 100m
To Have and Have Not
Howard Hawks, 1944 • Legend has it that To Have and Have Not was born of a drunken bet between renowned director Hawks and Ernest Hemingway, who wagered that Hawks couldn’t make a good film out of what he considered to be his worst novel. We can only assume that Hemingway lost the bet. A wartime adventure-romance set in Martinique, made in part to capitalize on the wild success of Casablanca, and co-written by William Faulkner, To Have and Have Not stars Bogart as cynical fishing-boat captain Harry Morgan, and a 19-year-old Lauren Bacall in her first screen role—the pair met on the set.
Tuesday, January 24 • 7 • 116m
The Big Sleep
Howard Hawks, 1946 • Bogart plays another private eye, this time the classic Raymond Chandler character Phillip Marlowe, to Lauren Bacall’s not quite femme-fatale, Vivian Rutledge. So convoluted is the story that it’s said that not even the filmmakers were entirely sure what the central mystery’s solution was or how certain events transpired. Fortunately, the confounding plot doesn’t damage the film’s greatness. One of four movies that Bogart and Bacall made together, The Big Sleep showcases the pair at their best: the innuendo-filled verbal jousting of their characters is legendary, and makes things like plot seem totally superfluous.
Tuesday, January 31 • 7 • 106m
Delmer Daves, 1947 • Bogart plays Vincent Parry, a man locked up in San Quentin for the murder of his wife. He escapes prison, and is picked up by a stranger named Irene (Lauren Bacall), who offers him her apartment as a hideaway. She quickly grows to believe his claims of his own innocence. As intrigue and conspiracy swirl around him, and the police close in, Vincent must fight to keep his newfound freedom—and find the person who really killed his wife. The first third of the film is shot entirely from Bogart’s perspective, his face never seen. A stark and picturesque thriller, Dark Passage features a standout performance from Bacall.
Tuesday, February 7 • 7 • 126m
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
John Huston, 1948 • Bogart plays Fred Dobbs, a down-on-his-luck American in Mexico, who with his friend Bob Curtin (Tim Holt) and an old prospector named Howard (Walter Huston) set out to strike it rich, searching for gold in the Sierra Madre mountains. The trio are plagued by bandits and the harsh conditions, but soon greed and paranoia take hold, and the relationship between the three becomes more tenuous. Will the trio succeed in making their fortunes, or will betrayal and distrust—or perhaps outside forces—destroy their dreams of riches?
Tuesday, February 14 • 7 • 100m
Knock on Any Door
Nicholas Ray, 1949 • "Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse," says Nick Romano (John Derek), a young man accused of murdering a police officer in cold blood in this dark courtroom noir. Bogart plays Andrew Morton, his lawyer. Morton is compelled to take the case in part because he handled—and bungled—the trial of Nick’s father years earlier, and sent the innocent man to prison. Having grown up in the same slum as Nick, Morton tries to point out the ways in which society traps impoverished young people into lives of crime. Bogart co-founded his own production company to produce this tense social melodrama.
Tuesday, February 21 • 7 • 94m
In a Lonely Place
Nicholas Ray, 1950 • Nicholas Ray’s adaptation of the novel by the same name was not a commercial success upon initial release—many considered it too dark for mainstream audiences—but was received well critically, and regard for it has only grown in the years since. Bogart, as Dixon Steele, a bitter screenwriter accused of murder, gives one of the finest performances of his career, as does Gloria Grahame, playing the neighbor who loves him, all masterfully directed by Ray. A grim and twisted commentary on Hollywood life, as well as a classic work of film noir, In a Lonely Place showcases some of cinema’s greats in their finest form.
Tuesday, February 28 • 7 • 89m
Beat the Devil
John Huston, 1953 • Co-authored by director John Huston and Truman Capote, Beat the Devil parodies the noir style and Huston’s earlier film, The Maltese Falcon. A group of criminals, including Bogart, are stranded in Italy, waiting to travel to Africa to claim land rich in Uranium. Written day-to-day during filming, Beat the Devil (a strange hodgepodge of comedy, thriller, and crime drama) ultimately spoofs a style that Huston himself helped invent. Though now blessed with a small cult following, Beat the Devil was a commercial failure, as well as a critical one, and Bogart lost a fair amount of his own money bankrolling it.
Tuesday, March 6 • 7 • 128m
The Barefoot Contessa
Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954 • At the funeral of a countess, those who knew her recall her past. Bogart plays Harry Dawes, a once-successful film director and writer, eventually reduced to working for Kirk Edwards, an unpleasant millionaire who has decided to make a film. Harry casts a beautiful nightclub dancer, Maria, played by Ava Gardener, in the lead role, and when the film is a hit she becomes a star. Press agent Oscar Muldoon recounts her affair with a wealthy playboy, before dissatisfaction, despite her great fame, leads her to seek love with an Italian count.
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