Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TCM Star of the Month For December: Humphrey Bogart

Every Wednesday for the month of December, TCM is devoting the entire day to films/specials featuring my favorite actor hands down... Humphrey Bogart. For those who aren't that familiar with the films of Bogart, this tribute serves as an excellent introduction. In addition to including most of the classics for which Bogie is best known (The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Big Sleep, etc.), the 64-film retrospective also features many of his lesser known films that are also worth checking out. Below are synopses on a handful of these films, with the year in parentheses, followed by the date and time it will air. All times are EST.

Crime School (1938)- In one of his rare pre-stardom roles where he plays a good guy, Bogie stars as a Deputy Commissioner of Correction who uncovers the deplorable conditions at a boys reform school. Co-starring with Bogart are The Dead End Kids. 12/9 at 8:45 am

King of the Underworld (1939)- A lady doctor (Kay Francis) gets mixed up with a gang headed by a Napoleon-quoting killer (Bogart). 12/9 at 5:45 pm

They Drive By Night (1940)- Bogie co-stars with George Raft as brothers struggling to make it in the trucking business. Lending excellent support are Alan Hale as the fun-loving owner of a trucking business and Ida Lupino as his conniving wife. 12/9 at 11:30 pm

The Wagons Roll At Night (1941)- A circus manager (Bogart) turns a farm boy (a young Eddie Albert) into a star lion tamer. 12/16 at 1 pm

Across the Pacific (1942)- A U.S. agent tries to thwart plans to blow up the Panama Canal. This film reunites Bogie with two of his co-stars (Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet) from The Maltese Falcon. 12/16 at 2:30 pm

All Through the Night (1942)- In this action comedy, a gang of racketeers turn patriotic to crack a Nazi spy ring. This film also features 3 actors who later gained sitcom fame: William Demarest (My Three Sons), Phil Silvers (Sgt. Bilko), and Jackie Gleason (The Honeymooners). 12/16 at 4:15 pm

Knock On Any Door (1949)- Bogie stars as a defense attorney representing a juvenile delinquent on trial for murder. His client is played by John Derek, who later moved behind the camera and married a trio of sex symbols (Ursula Andress, Linda Evans, and Bo Derek). 12/23 at 6 pm

Dark Passage (1947)- A man (Bogart) falsely accused of his wife's murder escapes prison to search for the real killer. This film (which also features Lauren Bacall and Agnes Moorehead) is unique due to its subjective camera work (for the first half of the movie, the action is seen from the point of view of Bogart's character). 12/23 at 12 midnight

The Harder They Fall (1956)- In his last film, Bogart plays a cynical former newspaper columnist hired by a fight promoter (Rod Steiger) to become a press agent for an inexperienced heavyweight boxer. This tough, realistic exposé of the boxing world gets added credibility from its casting of former heavyweight champions Jersey Joe Walcott and Max Baer. 12/30 at 4:30 pm

Deadline U.S.A. (1952)- A crusading newspaper editor fights to expose a gangster and stop his paper from being sold. Look for Jim Backus (Thurston Howell III of Gilligan's Island) in a supporting role as one of the reporters for the paper. 12/30 at 8 pm

The Left Hand of God (1955)- A priest employs unorthodox, but effective methods to aid a Chinese mission. Also in the cast are Gene Tierney, E.G. Marshall, Agnes Moorehead, and Lee J. Cobb (as a Chinese warlord!) 12/30 at 9:45 pm

For an article on Bogart and a complete list of his films TCM will be showing this month, please click here.


Lori said...

I must admit, I'm tempted. :-) Most of these do sound rather interesting . . .

Penny said...

"Of all the gin joints in all the world you had to walk into mine.."
He's dreamy

Anonymous said...

I only know his most popular work! It's a shame that I'm not familiar with his whole life let alone his "lesser knowns"- but I'm afraid of becoming obsessed!


Malcolm said...

Lori: If you end up checking any of these out, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Penny: I had a girlfriend in college who also found Bogie attractive. "Casablanca" to me is tops when it comes to movie quotes.

Stagg: You should think about giving some of his lesser known movies a try. If you wind up becoming Bogart obsessed, I can recommend a good therapist... she did wonders for me!

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