bogart fest begins

By Doug Cummings
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 5, 1996

Humphrey Bogart has become such a Hollywood icon that virtually anyone can name him by sight. But how many of us have actually seen his work? The tough, laconic actor who personified hard-boiled detectives and disillusioned wise crackers of the '40s can often connect with today's youthful audience. Bogart's characters viewed prosperous post-war America with an aura of self-protective distrust and self-sufficiency that fits the attitude of many of today's audiences.

Starting Tuesday, Gallagher Theatre will be showing four of Bogart's most famous films. The series also displays the talents of three of Hollywood's most respected directors: John Huston ("The African Queen," "The Asphalt Jungle"), Howard Hawks ("Scareface," "Rio Bravo") and Michael Curtiz ("Angels with Dirty Faces"). The screenings will be held every Tuesday and Wednesday at 5 p.m. and admission is $2. For more information, call Gallagher Theatre at 621-3102.

"The Maltese Falcon" (1941)

Tuesday & Wednesday, 5 p.m.

Director John Huston's first film is often cited as the first major success of the film noir genre. The film, based on Dashiell Hammett's novel, follows detective Sam Spade as he investigates the murder of his partner. Soon he finds himself in the midst of mysterious characters who lead him on a hunt for the jeweled falcon of Malta. Huston has explained in interviews how he storyboarded the entire film so that his crew would believe he had his first directing assignment under control and the film began a long and productive relationship between Bogart and Huston.

"Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948)

Feb. 13-14th, 5 p.m.

Huston's second collaboration with Bogart also features Huston's father, Walter, as an old prospector living in the hills of Mexico. The two received Academy Awards and the film, which depicts the adventures and double crossings befalling some prospectors searching for gold, has become an adventure classic. The film also provides the line "Badges? We don't need any stinking badges!" that Mel Brooks re-used to popular effect in "Blazing Saddles."

"The Big Sleep" (1946)

Feb. 20-21, 5 p.m.

Bogart, as Raymond Chandler's famous detective Philip Marlowe, stars opposite Lauren Bacall in this film noir classic directed by Howard Hawks. The screenplay, by William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett (a famous science fiction author), has been a model for mystery plots ever since. Marlowe investigates a mysterious employee of a general who has disappeared with a mobster's wife. Its view of a seedy, corrupt Los Angeles filled with drug dealers, murderers and sexual innuendo is brought to vivid life by Hawks' usual penchant for quick plots and breezy one-liners. Hawks and Faulkner claimed the plot was so complex, they never figured it out.

"Casablanca" (1942)

Feb. 27-28, 5 p.m.

One of the best-loved romances of all time, "Casablanca" is a tour de force of heartfelt performances and shimmering black-and-white cinematography. Bogart plays Rick Blaine, a disillusioned cafe owner in French-occupied Morocco, whose past love, Ingrid Bergman, visits with her husband, an escaping leader of the Nazi resistance. Emotions, politics and friendships collide in Michael Curtiz's legendary romantic thriller.