How Bogart became Bogie: The making of an icon

HumphreyBogartStephen Whitty of the Star-Ledger has posted an article over at NJ.com about one of my all-time favorite movie stars, Humphrey Bogart.

From the article:

Close your eyes and you can still see him.

The fedora, pulled low. The trench, belted tight. The shoulders hunched up, and the eyes squinting with suspicion. The right hand, with a bourbon in it, or a Chesterfield, or just pulling, ruminatively, at one ear.

He was and remains Bogie, now and forever.

But he started as Humphrey Bogart — an undistinguished Broadway actor turned unheralded Hollywood newcomer, a journeyman stuck playing dumped boyfriends and cringing gunmen for 10 long years.

And then three movies — “High Sierra,” “The Maltese Falcon” and “Casablanca” — turned Bogart into Bogie. And — as a brand-new Blu-Ray set proves — into the enduring, most modern masculine icon Hollywood ever created

You can read the rest of the article HERE.

From Wikipedia:

Humphrey DeForest Bogart (December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957) was an American actor and is widely regarded as an American cultural icon. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema.

After trying various jobs, Bogart began acting in 1921 and became a regular in Broadway productions in the 1920s and 1930s. When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart turned to film. His first great success was as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936), and this led to a period of typecasting as a gangster with films such as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and B-movies like The Return of Doctor X (1939).

Bogart’s breakthrough as a leading man came in 1941, with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, his performance in Casablanca raised him to the peak of his profession and, at the same time, cemented his trademark film persona, that of the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side. Other successes followed, including To Have and Have Not (1944); The Big Sleep (1946); Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948), with his wife Lauren Bacall; and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); In a Lonely Place (1950); The African Queen (1951), for which he won his only Academy Award; Sabrina (1954); and The Caine Mutiny (1954). His last movie was The Harder They Fall (1956). During a film career of almost 30 years, he appeared in 75 feature films.