Monday, October 8, 2007


A Film Buff Confession:

I don't really like Humphrey Bogart.

Sure - I think he's great in The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon - two of my favorite movies - and I he's fine in To Have and Have Not and Casablanca, but I think he's unbelievable and (worse) pretty stiff in most of his other major performances.

I mean: watching him in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is, for me, kind of painful, mainly because Walter Huston is there acting rings around him without breaking a sweat. Bogart, on the other hand, sweats and twitches and bugs out his eyes. Because, you know, greed is driving him crazy. Really crazy. So crazy that he just starts sweating and twitching and eye-bugging.

Now, in my book, two great performances and two good performances is certainly something. But, again, in my book, it falls quite a bit short of legendary/all-time great/etc.


Robby K. said...

I really haven't seen much Bogart other than Maltese Falcon, but I really liked him in Key Largo. He was really good as a war-weary guy who didn't really care about anything really deeply anymore. And not in the easy sense of, "he's sleepwalking through the film" but that he looks haunted and tired even at the very beginning of the movie.

But I'll grant you that he's no Boris Karloff or Richard Basehart.

Brennan said...

Don't even start on "The African Queen." Terrible.

Jon Hastings said...

In the comments section of one of the posts at (I think) Andy Horbal's blog, people got to talking about the "classics" that they just couldn't get through and a number of people brought up The Big Sleep as a movie that, no matter how many times they tried, they ended up dozing off while watching. I love The Big Sleep, but, for me, The African Queen does the same thing. I've tried to watch it a number of times and never managed to stay engaged past the first 30 minutes.

The Derelict said...

I'm not really supposed to be blogging (damn real life!), but what about Bogey in Ray's In a Lonely Place?

And I always thought Bogart was in fourth place in Key Largo, behind Robinson, Trevor, and Barrymore.