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Humphrey Bogart (Great Stars) [Kindle Edition]

David Thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

'Look, I'm hardly pretty, he seems to say. I sound like gravel; I look rough and tough; and, honest, I don't give you the soft, foolish answers the pretty boys will give you. You may not like what I say, but you better believe it.'

He became a legend as 'Bogie', the world-weary, wise-cracking outsider, but in reality Humphrey Bogart was plagued by doubts and demons. He was born upper-class yet made his name playing mavericks, drank with the rat pack and met four wives on set - including his great love, Lauren Bacall - yet always mistrusted stardom. Here David Thomson, one of film's most provocative writers, reveals the man behind cinema's greatest icon.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist



David Thomson is, without doubt, the greatest living film historian. (ALLEN BARRA, Los Angeles Times)

Product Details

  • File Size: 4730 KB
  • Print Length: 132 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846140765
  • Publisher: Penguin (August 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846140765
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846140761
  • ASIN: B002RI9AB8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,032,712 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogie and All March 3, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
David Thomson has written four brief biographies of four super-stars of The Golden Age Of Hollywood (1930-1950) -- Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper, and this -- and they are all beautifully written and all worth reading.

This one tells us nothing we do not already know, but then, nothing more can be known, because Bogie was an odd and unknown quantity. As I write, Lauren Bacall still lives, but Lauren Bacall was married to Bogie, and to be married to someone is in one sense to take them for granted and not see them at all, and in another sense it is to keep one's own counsel about them. And artists also keep something important of themselves to themselves with which to do the work, so in that sense all of them are even a bit more unknowable even than the rest of us.

The book reviews for us Bogie's odd beginning as the son of well-to-do Manhattanites, and notes that he went to Trinity and Andover, and didn't do well. He broke free of that privileged world, but never lost its values. He always referred to himself as a 19th Century person, for he was born then: Katharine Hepburn called him a gent.

On the screen, and often off the screen, he was a roustabout and a drunkard and frequently and egregiously offensive. Many people hated him. But he had loyal friends and a noble disposition.

He was not a great actor. Marlon Brando said Bogart was not a good actor at all, although very effective in certain parts. and I concur. As tough guys in the 40s films when, himself in his 40s, he finally became a star, he is unchallengeable. Key Largo, The Desperate Hours, The Big Sleep, To Have And To Have Not, Beat The Devil, Casablanca, and The Maltese Falcon are Bogart at his most choice and useful, though Key Largo is better perhaps as a demonstration of Edward G.
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