Tag Archives: Humphrey Bogart

The Set of 400: #74 – My Favorite Roulette Wager on 22

Today! Because there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade –

Casablanca (1942)

Directed Michael Curtiz (x2)

Starring Humphrey Bogart (x3), Ingrid Bergman (x4), Claude Rains (x2), Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet (x2), Peter Lorre (x3), Conrad Veidt, Madeleine LeBeau, Dooley Wilson, S.Z. Sakall, Leonid Kinskey, John Qualen (x2)

Okay, okay, I can hear what you’re thinking:

“Oh, Casablanca? Like the greatest movie ever made is on this guy’s list? Oh, edgy choice, Joe. Way to go. Who’s in your top 100 favorite bands? Let me guess, The Beatles? Great work. Why the hell do I keep reading this thing?”

“What new is he gonna say about Casablanca? Oh, wait, I’ve got it – that the songs are great. That seems like the fun new spin he’ll throw on this. I mean, he put Evita on here, so clearly he focuses way too much on music. Maybe he’ll tell us what a great movie star Humphrey Bogart was. Maybe he’ll quote that whole final scene on the tarmac. Maybe he’ll just drown us in 500 words about Louie kicking that Vichy bottle. My goodness – Casablanca! What an asshole!”

Total doofus

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The Set of 400: #89 – My Favorite Gent From Frisco

Today! Because I couldn’t be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it’s possible to get another. There’s only one Maltese Falcon –

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Directed by John Huston

Starring Humphrey Bogart (x2), Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre (x2), Elisha Cook Jr. (x3), Gladys George, Ward Bond (x2), Barton MacLane, Lee Patrick, Jerome Cowan

I had a kick for a few years where I would buy people replica movie props as gifts. I don’t know why, it seems like kind of a cool idea, right? Like, you know someone is into a movie and you find some random junk an Etsy store threw together and boom! Box checked on that gift occasion! Got my wife a “Don’t Fuck with Mr. Zero” t-shirt that she never wears in public from this concept! But I think my favorite item I handed out in this weird stretch was a replica Falcon to my dad one Christmas, which came wrapped sort of like in the movie, and does look pretty authentic, to the grainy 1941 film anyway. It still awkwardly sits near the fireplace at my mom’s house, totally not going with any decor scheme attempted. I’m gonna recommend slapping a Santa hat on that guy next year – maybe that’ll help.

Based on the classic Dashiell Hammett novel, The Maltese Falcon is Bogart cool at its peak. At a stretch, he made Falcon, Casablanca, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo (with a bunch of lesser fare thrown in), cementing his iconic style of unflappable toughness and half-lisp mumbling. And sure, Casablanca is better, and also features Greenstreet and Lorre in very similar roles (They appeared in nine movies together! Greenstreet only made 23 films total in nine years working!), but Falcon has gritty, San Fran crime noir backstabbing at its core, with the most sought after treasure in history hypnotizing the entire criminal underworld.

Best pals?

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The Set of 400: #302 – My Favorite Bullet Removal

Today! Because in my last case, I had to throw my own brother out of an airplane –

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)

Directed by Carl Reiner

Starring Steve Martin (x2), Rachel Ward, Carl Reiner, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Ladd, Barbara Stanwyck, Ray Milland, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Cary Grant (x3), Ingrid Bergman (x3), Veronica Lake (x2), Bette Davis, Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Fred MacMurray (x2), James Cagney, Joan Crawford, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, George Gaynes, William Conrad, Edmond O’Brien

The great pairing of Carl Reiner and Steve Martin produced this noir spoof, intercutting Martin’s detective Rigby Reardon with actors/characters from hard boiled crime films of the ’40s for a new mystery adventure. Almost twenty different films compose Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, including Suspicion, Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, The Big Sleep, and #370 Notorious, providing plenty of long-dead screen legends new comic opportunities, and new chances at joining the prestigious Two- and Three-Timers club!

Martin and Ward, as the femme fatale Juliet, make a great straight-faced team, and do all the heavy lifting in the movie, with the only exception maybe being the heroic work of career comedy film editor Bud Molin. The worry about this movie on paper (in retrospect) is how can any of this footage actually be matched up, using 1982 technology? Sure, at the time, it must’ve seemed like this was a possibility, but now – can you imagine hearing about this concept for a movie from 35+ years ago and thinking it would work? Is this the first you’re hearing about this movie, and you’re in some manner of disbelief right now? Well, rest assured, it totally pays off. The movie doesn’t do a lot of complicated inserting of characters into old footage – à la Forrest Gump – instead filming new scenes that function against the existing footage. A lot of it is funny phone conversations, but they’re almost equally effective with same room sequences. And Martin has the patter down, so that the mismatched conversations actually sound like they’re happening – not just in context but in style and rhythm. It’s a hell of an achievement.

It’s also the rare dark-haired Martin role

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