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Bogart Paperback – November 29, 2011
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This is the kind of book that is difficult to put down; a well written book that moves along giving a non-judgmental view of its famous subject. What I came away with was a much broader portrait of Humphrey Bogart and the realization of how unhappy he was. An interesting revelation was that despite his success as an actor there was some regret that he not become a writer. An aspect of Bogart's life that I wish was better covered was his personal likes and dislikes. As in Lauren Bacall's autobiography, this book revealed that he was very fond of Bach and Debussy and the music of both composers was played at his funeral. This was certainly different from his tough guy image! So, although I learned a great deal about his battles with Jack Warner and Mayo and his passionate defense of the First Amendment, it is a portrait lacking a spark of life.
The book goes into detail about his childhood and his parents, who were both drug addicts and near alcoholics. As the book progresses, one can vividly see how his parents affected Humphrey Bogart's personality, making him introverted but also instilling in him the qualities of a gentleman and the Victorian ideal of doing what must be done.Read more ›
A.M. Sperber's generally excellent biography shows that Bogart the icon and Bogart the man shared many similar traits. Though the son of a wealthy doctor and his artist wife, there was a dark side to Bogart's outwardly pampered life. His mother was distant, his father was addicted to morphine, and the young boy and his sisters, one of whom suffered from mental illness, were abused by the servants. Bogart was an academic failure with little hope for success until distinguishing himself on Broadway with his classic portrayal of Duke Mantee in "The Petrified Forest."
But even when Hollywood beckoned, life didn't get easier for the insecure actor. While James Cagney, George Raft, Paul Muni, and Edward G. Robinson were "stars" who got the best roles Warner Bros. had to offer, Bogart was taken for granted, a mere contract player who played supporting roles in the important projects, and spent years buried in a series of undistinguished B flicks churned out on the Hollywood assembly line. Well paid, especially by Depression era standards, he nonetheless struggled to support his ailing sisters and to pay off his late father's debts.Read more ›
Several things are left out of the book, and I wonder why. One is the fact that Mr. Lax states that Bogart's sister was a great financial responsibility for him as she was in a private sanitarium for mental illness. In 1955 Frances Bogart Rose was a patient in the Metropolitan State Hospital (for the mentally ill) at Norwalk, California. She was allowed occasional visits to the Bogart home, but her return was always a concern because of the heavy drinking at Bogart's home and its effects on her. Perhaps it was at an earlier time that she was in a private sanitarium, but Mr. Lax gives the reader the impression it was for life. Since Bogart, who died in 1957, left her no bequest in his will (in spite of leaving small bequests to the household cook and his secretary), one can assume he knew she in some way would be cared for during her lifetime
Another issue not covered is Bogart's involvement with women during his mariage to Bacall, which even Bacall speaks of in her autobiography, stating she did not find out about some of the women until after Bogart's death (perhaps the best documented claim is about the young lady who cut his children's hair, a total opposite from Ms. Bacall). Yet the author points out Ms. Bacall's attractions (and in the case of Adlai Stevenson, she obviously had fallen in love).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very interesting but goes into too much boring detail about the political aspects of the day(anti communism investigations etc)Published 5 months ago by Ari The Fonz
Currently reading this book. Great story and I always love the behind the scene gossipPublished 6 months ago by Michael L. Rubens
This was a fantastic read about Bogart. What a complex man and actor is was.Published 7 months ago by Susan D. Roberts
A very detailed and fascinating account of not only Bogart's life and movies, but also the studio system and the atmosphere in Hollywood during the blacklist/McCarthy era.Published 18 months ago by Ann Herrick
Quite detailed, well-written, this bio grabbed me right from the start when it described Bogart's mistreatment by his wealthy parents in the early years of the 20th Century. Read morePublished 18 months ago by William E. Adams
Excellent bio of AFI's #1 pick for Most Popular Male Movie Star of All Time. And a great seller, GoodWill.
A very fine bio of Bogart and his tribulations. I'll not repeat what's already been said but I would be remiss if I didn't point out some glaring inaccuracies. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Pep