4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
More excellent Bogart,
This review is from: Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 2 (The Maltese Falcon Three-Disc Special Edition / Across the Pacific / Action in the North Atlantic / All Through the Night / Passage to Marseille) (DVD)
Warner Brothers have produced another outstanding collection of Humphrey Bogart films from his peak years in the forties. Individual reviews can be viewed elsewhere, but here is a summary of what you get:
- The 3 Disc collection of "The Maltese Falcon" contains an outstanding restored print of the 1941 masterpiece and two earlier versions for comparison. The first one, made in 1931, is a typical pre Hays code (1934) production which adheres quite closely to the book. Sam Spade, as played by the smooth Ricardo Cortez, is notably promiscuous here. The 1936 version, "Satan Met a Lady", is an absurd comedy version of the story and the film which finally prompted Bette Davis to walk out on her contract. The DVD set contains a detailed commentary about the 1941 version and an excellent documentary about Dashiel Hammett and the films.
- "All Through the Night" is a comedy/thriller in the vein of "The Thirty Nine Steps" with Bogart as a Damon Runyon character who gets involved with fifth columnists. The film is well made but corny.
- in 1942, "Across the Pacific" was a sort of follow up to "The Maltese Falcon" with many of the same cast members directed by John Huston and an excellent screenplay with the febrile Mary Astor slinging barbs with a very relaxed and confident Bogart. The film deteriorates in the end to an absurd climax when Bogie singled-handedly destroys the Japs but it is still great entertainment.
- "Action in the North Atlantic" is Warner Brothers tribute to the marines and is very cliched. Lloyd Bacon, another underrated assembly line director, masterfully directs the action and there is a superb vignette from Ruth Gordon as the Captain's wife.
- "Passage to Marseille" is a superbly made (directed by Michael Curtiz) film about the Free French and a group of convicts escaping Devil's Island. It surmounts most of the cliches and a great ensemble cast provide gripping entertainment. There is a also a romance for Bogie with Michele Morgan which is clearly cribbed from "Casablanca".
All the DVDs contain excellent prints and there are some great extras, including a commentary from Vincent Sherman who directed "All Through the Night" and some blooper reels. Once again, Warners have provided outstanding value.