Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bogie and Bacall - The Signature Collection |
The Big Sleep / Dark Passage / Key Largo / To Have and Have Not
Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
They met on the WB lot. The year was 1944. "I just saw your screen test," Bogart said to Bacall. "I think we're going to have a lot of fun together." And so it began... Listed as the Greatest Male Star of All Time and one ... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of....
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 04/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set of films featuring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall is sheer heaven for classic film fans. Each film is fabulous by itself, and watched together over a short period of time will really give any film lover a sense of why so many people love Bogie and Bacall. It is also an excellent example of two great directors in their prime. Howard Hawks, who has never fully received the credit he deserves for the many film masterpieces for which he was responsible, helmed two of these films, and John Huston directed another. This DVD set includes both the first and last of the couple's films together.
While "Dark Passage" is perhaps a level below the other three, there is a terrific ending which makes up for some slow spots. Having it included here makes the cycle of films the two made together complete. Lesser Bogie and Bacall is still better than most anything else out there. "Dark Passage" is a good film for fans as entertainment, but the other three are true film classics.
First, we have Hawks' "The Big Sleep." It is one of the most unique adaptations of a detective novel ever brought to the screen. Watching this film is one of the true joys of being a film buff. This is extraordinary entertainment that grabs your attention quickly and keeps it until the final shot. It is exciting and engaging, and a favorite of all detective film fans.
Director Howard Hawks turned Raymond Chandler's most popular story into an absolutely mesmerizing celluloid masterpiece. Raymond Chandler's complex novel was adapted for the screen by William Faulkner. We may never know for sure who committed one of the murders in this blurry crime noir, but like all Hawks' films, it is so incredibly entertaining we really don't care. It is full of sharp dialog and dreamy images much like the aftereffects of a drinking binge.
The story itself moves at a terrific clip, and there is so much going on you might get lost if you blink. Humphry Bogart is Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, and from the moment he arrives to talk to General Sternwood and gets mixed up with his daughters this is a film classic. One would think with a young and sultry Bacall getting tangled up with Bogart in their first film together, they would be everything in this film; they are not, however, as Martha Vickers gives a performance that has you thinking about her in every scene, even when she isn't present. She steals every scene she is in and is one of the most memorable dolls in noir history.
Bacall portrays the General's sultry older daughter, Vivian, but it is the sexy and thumb sucking younger daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers) whom Marlowe meets first. She leaves an immediate impression on both the viewer and Marlowe: as he tells the General: "Yeah, we met. She tried to sit in my lap and I was standing up." The very sick Sternwood wants Marlowe to look into a little matter involving blackmail and his daughters.
As Marlowe follows the trail of gambling debts, he finds one body after another and tries to extricate the daughters from the mess. Marlowe and Vivian have a spark that gives him incentive to get the job done, but he may not be able to head off the rollercoaster headed for the little kitten Carmen, who may turn out to have some very large claws. Dorothy Malone has a brief but sexy role as a clerk who shares more than a drink with Marlowe.
Hawks filmed this as moody dream of dialog and images hard to forget. Bogart's Marlowe has his hands full trying to keep Carmen out of trouble. The sparks that begin to fly between he and Carmen's big sister, Vivian, is complicated by her involvement with some of the players for the other team. Trying to find a way to keep the fast rising body count from getting any higher, while keeping Vivian and her little sister Carmen in the clear, will take some dangerous turns for Marlowe.
Bacall has never been more beautiful or inviting than when she is slumped down in the seat of Bogart's car, just waiting for him to kiss her. You have to see this film to really appreciate it. No description could ever do it justice. You'll never see anything else like it in American cinema. A true noir classic, and one of Howard Hawks' masterpieces. A must see film for noir fans.
The same could be said of the second film in this collection directed by Howard Hawks, "To Have and Have Not." The summer of 1940 in Martinique as people began to choose sides is the setting for another Howard Hawks masterpiece. William Faulkner, who had adapted Raymond Chandler's complex novel for the director's other Bogart screen classic, "The Big Sleep," expanded a thin Hemingway story with writing partner Jules Furthman into another. This is sort of "Casablanca" with grit rather than gloss, and is just as enjoyable. "To Have and Have Not" does, in fact, outshine that film with its upbeat ending, and marks the real contrast between the two films, despite their similarities.
Bogart is Harry Morgan, trying to stay neutral about the local politics while he and his pal Eddie (Walter Brennan) take tourists ocean fishing in the waters of Martinique. His pal Frenchy (Marcel Dalio) wants him to use his boat to pick up a couple that will put him square in the middle of all that's going on both in Martinique and the rest of the world as the Germans make their move across the globe.
Morgan is fending off getting involved just fine until his latest fishing customer gets knocked off by accident before he can pay up. Complicating things further for Morgan is a newcomer named Marie Browning (Lauren Bacall) who sort of attaches herself to him from the moment they meet. She has come from Brazil by way of Trinidad and ends up in Martinique only because she doesn't have money to go any further. They seem a perfect fit despite all the sparring between them; a point driven home by her response to Eddie's question about bees. The viewer knows at that moment that she and Harry are a match made in Hollywood heaven.
Brennan is just terrific as Harry's old pal in constant need of a drink to keep the shakes at bay. He thinks he's looking after Harry when in fact it's Harry who's looking after him. The trademark male world of Howard Hawks is much in evidence here, as Bogart's autonomy begins to crack only when he finds his match in Bacall. Like many of Hawks' characters, Morgan lives by his own code and his own rules, and only breaks them out of loyalty to someone else. Another Hawks trademark of the sizing up of people from the inside out is also much in evidence here. Bogart and Bacall never even speak the other's name in this film: she calls him "Steve" and he refers to her as "Slim" throughout the entire film.
When Harry finally agrees to pick up Frenchy's pals in the Resistance to earn enough money to get Slim home, he gets more than he bargained for in more ways than one. It convinces Slim to stay on because she now knows for sure that "Steve" is the right guy. She gets a job singing for the piano player at the Hotel Martinique, Cricket (Hoagy Charmichael). And after a patrol boat takes a potshot at one of his passengers, his very beautiful wife begins to warm up to Harry in a big hurry, causing a bit of jealousy on Slim's part. Doloros Moran is very nice and quite pretty as that wife, Hellene de Bursac.
There are a ton of great exchanges between Bacall and Bogart here, the most famous being the "just whistle" scene. There are many others equally as good, however, including an exchange about strings that has Bacall walking around Bogart, and a great line from Bacall about walking home if it weren't for all that water. It is this latter exchange, and one other about Slim's lack of a reaction when being slapped that Hawks uses to highlight the personal baggage both Harry and Marie are bringing to the table.
A young Bacall looks gorgeous in gowns by Milo Anderson, and Sid Hickox's photography gives the film a real feel of a tiny island with palm trees lining the streets. Bogart's Harry will eventually engage in the fight when he decides he likes the people on one side and doesn't like the people on the other side. It is very much both a Hawks and Bogart type moment, the personal moral code of the anti-hero coming fully into play.
This is a fun film with great characters, lots of atmosphere, and an ending the polar opposite of "Casablanca." The song "How Little We Know" from Hoagy Charmichael and Johnny Mercer never amounted to much compared to the more famous "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca," but works nicely with the mood Hawks created for his second film with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. If you're looking for a big dose of Bogie and Bacall, and want the kind of ending "Casablanca" didn't have, then "To Have and Have Not" is a sure bet to please you. A fine film and a true screen classic.
Last but by no means least is the somber, "Key Largo." John Huston crafted this very fine film with the underlying theme of isolation from a play by Maxwell Anderson. The backdrop of a gangster taking over a hotel in the Florida Keys is filled with inner emotional depth rather than a lot of action, making this the most mature and realistic of romances Bogart and Bacall would have on screen.
Major Frank McCloud (Bogart) shows up at the Largo hotel in the Keys to see his war buddy's father and widow to give them some news about how George died a hero. McCloud himself is disillusioned from trying to save the world and has been drifting since the war in both a personal and literal sense.
Nora (Bacall) had been drifting before she met George and begins to feel this same connection to Frank as they talk about their lives since the war. There is a maturity here as Huston shows a deeper aspect to caring about someone instead of the fireworks of physical attraction. The themes of loneliness and isolation run through every aspect of this film.
Frank once again must decide whether to save the world when the Largo is taken over by fallen gangster Johnny Rocco (Robinson). Rocco was once big and despite his deportation back to Cuba by the United States government as an undesirable, plans to be big again. Frank had gone to war as an idealist, hoping to rid the world of gangsters like Rocco but now views it as a lost cause.
But as Nora keeps telling Frank, your head may say one thing but your whole life says another. As the tension of being held hostage as a hurricane approaches the sweltering Keys builds, Frank slowly begins to go with his whole life rather than his head, breaking his own personal isolation from the fight he gave up. The turning point comes when Rocco humiliates his former girlfriend Gay Dawn by making her sing for a drink and then refuses to give her one when she comes across.
Claire Trevor gives a great performance as a girl much like Nora who got hooked up with the wrong guy and became a lush. She will have her own turning point when she slips Frank a gun before he takes Rocco and his pals back to Cuba. Lionel Barrymore gives a good performance also as George's disabled father, holding on to his son's memory and his beliefs.
A great score by Max Steiner complements the lonely mood of this film perfectly. Bacall is terrific as she waits for Frank to return against the odds, so she can open up the shutters of her loneliness and let the light in once more. This is a somber and mature film that deserves to be viewed more than once. Bogart and Bacall fans will love this film but find more here than just Bogie and Bacall. A minor masterpiece and one you need to own.
Three of these are are among the finest ever made, and the fourth is as good or better than many films made during the same time period. This set of films is for romantics, and no one is more romantic than noir lovers. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are the image of a noir couple in the minds of many moviegoers, and fans will find a lot to love here with this magnificent collection."
A fine box set that does not obsolete the previous snap-case
Rudolf Schmid | Kensington, CA | 11/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 1940s Hollywood power couple of Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) and Lauren Bacall (1924-) made four excellent films together:
(1) To have and have not (1944)--11/03 snap-case DVD UPC 012569584327, 7/06 keep-case DVD UPC 012569676862
(2) The big sleep (1946)--2/00 snap-case DVD UPC 012569502628, 7/06 keep-case DVD UPC 012569676817
(3) Dark passage (1947)--11/03 snap-case DVD UPC 012569584228, 7/06 keep-case DVD UPC 012569676824
(4) Key Largo (1948)--2/00 snap-case DVD UPC 012569501027, 7/06 keep-case DVD UPC 012569676848
The 1944 movie is a World-War-II film whereas the others are film-noir flicks. [Incidentally, Bacall played opposite Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe in How to marry a millionaire (1953). The film has an in-joke: the Bacall character says: "I've always liked older men. Look at Roosevelt, look at Churchill, look at that old fella what's his name in The African Queen. Absolutely crazy about him." Bacall is referring to her real-life husband, Humphrey Bogart.]
The box set "Bogie & Bacall: The signature collection" (DVD 7/06) collects the four Bogart-Bacall movies in a convenient slip case to house appropriately four plastic keep cases but awkwardly four cardboard snap cases. The four films in the box set come in plastic keep cases and are
also available separately. The previous releases were in cardboard snap cases but are still available. The exteriors of the respective snap and keep cases are virtually identical, those of The big sleep DVD varying the most, but only for the "special features" note. The earlier snap cases each have inside a chapter index and additional photo. The newer keep cases lack scene indices. I compared the four DVDs in the snap-case editions with the four DVDs in the keep-case editions. The DVDs for each movie are identical. It is important to note that the DVD for The big sleep is two-sided:
Side A (114 min) = 1946 theatrical-release version
Side B (116 min) = 1944 pre-release version with 18 minutes that were either reshot or deleted from the theatrical release
Side B of the keep-case DVD is not clearly labeled as such.
Warner was remiss in not issuing with the box set a brief booklet on Bogart and Bacall.
In conclusion, if you have the four snap-case editions, they are not outdated, and with reasonable care the cardboard snap cases wear well. However, if you are a Bogart collector lusting for the nice slip case for the quartet of films, get the box set with the plastic keep-case editions and give your snap-case editions to a friend or relative."
You know how to whistle, don't you Steve?
D. James | Melbourne, Australia | 04/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This long overdue collection of the four films Bogie and Betty made together is an absolute must have for fans of both Forties flicks and of course the greatest romantic screen-team in Hollywood history. Starting with 'To Have and Have Not', which was Lauren Bacall's debut film, as has been said many times before one can literally watch the pair fall in love on-screen a la Garbo and Gilbert in 'Flesh and the Devil'. The story is pure Hemingway with wonderful support from Walter Brennan and Hoagy Carmichael among others.
Next came 'The Big Sleep', a wonderful (if not baffling!) film noir adapted from the popular novel by Raymond Chandler. Betty never looked more glamourous and sexy than she does in this one.
Their third film togather was the highly underrated 'Dark Passage', another noir gem expertly directed by the equally underrated Delmer Daves with superb support from Agnes Moorehead and Bruce Bennet. Bogie plays a framed innocent man just escaped from San Quentin who is aided and abetted by Bacall after winning her trust.
The fourth and unfortunately last film with the pair is 'Key Largo', more in the vein of 'To Have and Have Not' than the previous two. The best supporting cast of all four films includes Claire Trevor (who won Best Supporting Actress), Lionel Barrymore and Edward G. Robinson in one of his last tough-guy gangster roles. In her book, Bacall describes the experience of making this film as one of the happiest memories of her career with daily afternoon tea served in her dressing room!
The price of this set considering the high-quality of the prints and the marvellous and relevant extras included by Warner's makes this set excellent value for money. Don't think twice, get it!"
If You Want Them, This Is It
Stephanie DePue | Carolina Beach, NC USA | 06/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Bogie and Bacall -- The Signature Collection," brings us the four movies the near-legendary Hollywood stars, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, made together, from first, Howard Hawks's 1944 "To Have and Have Not," in which the couple, just meeting, literally fall in love on screen, through probably their best together, 1946's "The Big Sleep," again directed by Hawks; their strangest, 1947's "Dark Passage," written and directed by Delmar Daves; and their last, the 1948 "Key Largo," directed by John Huston.
All four films are made by Warner Brothers, in black and white; all but "Dark Passage" made entirely on studio back lots, despite the ostensible tropical settings of "To Have and Have Not," and "Key Largo." In most, Bogie plays a character that will be familiar to his fans from his previous work, particularly the great wartime hit "Casablanca" that directly preceded "To Have." We see some of the familiar Warner Brothers company of supporting players in these films, and some well-known, highly-esteemed actors, but the pictures belong to Bogie and Bacall, as they fire up the screen, as lovers and then newly-marrieds.
"To Have and Have Not," supposedly resulted from a bet between Hawks and Ernest Hemingway, famed American author of the book on which it's based. Hawks said he could get a good movie from Hemingway's worst book, which this was. Hawks did so, with a screenplay by another famed American novelist, William Faulkner, and Jules Furthman. The picture, however, is an effort to remake "Casablanca," without Ingrid Bergman, or the earlier movie's sterling supporting cast. Set on a French-speaking Caribbean island, with Vichy French and Free French at war. Almost-heroic Free French fighter, and his wife. Bogie as Henry (Steve) Morgan, hardboiled antihero who sticks his neck out for nobody. Hugely talented American singer-songwriter Hoagy Carmichael as Cricket, singing piano player. Despite his many beautiful compositions, he just doesn't hold the screen as did Dooley Wilson, playing Sam, singer of "As Time Goes By," in the earlier film. Walter Brennan thrown in playing his stellar drunk, Eddie, asking people "Was you ever stung by a dead bee?" He's treated with romanticizing kid gloves by all concerned. And the breathtaking 19-year old Bacall, as Marie (Slim) Browning, who's just landed on the island because she's run out of money. She's given a snazzy check suit, and some snappy dialogue. Remember "You know how to whistle, don't you?" She even sings; legend says she was dubbed by Andy Williams, but that's not necessarily true. They say her part was beefed up when the studio execs saw what was happening onscreen. Sid Hickox's noirish cinematography also contributes greatly to a sexy, old-fashioned, rather routinely plotted, World War II thriller, combining romance, faraway adventure, and a macho Hemingway hero.
"The Big Sleep," 1944, was the second film made by the golden trio, Bogart, Bacall and Hawks. The screenplay, again, was by novelist Faukner, based, this time, on a detective novel of the same name by the Californian author Raymond Chandler. This noir mystery thriller also casts a backwards eye at "Casablanca." Here, Bogie plays Philip Marlowe, Chandler's existential, street-smart, courageous private eye, called to investigate efforts to blackmail the aging, incapacitated, wealthy General Sternwood about one of his daughters. Both the General's daughters, the old man admits, are wild, and have the vices of their class, but Carmen, played by Martha Vickers, is most troublesome; Vivian, played by Bacall, gambles, and seems, carelessly enough, to have recently misplaced her husband, of whom the General was fond. Still, in this picture, Vivian has great rooms and clothes, and a nifty white coupe convertible. Supporting players include Dorothy Malone, Peggy Knudsen, Bob Steele, Lash Canino, and Elisha Cook. Max Steiner contributed the atmospheric score. The notoriously complicated, difficult to follow plot is frequently interrupted by girls admiring Bogie, and stopped dead so Bacall can sing. The screenplay cleans up its source material considerably, still, it was considered an unusually violent and amoral movie for its time. Treatment of Los Angeles is moody; night scenes are shadow and fog, daylight scenes slightly, menacingly overblown. Nobody played harried and world-weary better than Bogart.
1947's "Dark Passage," noir thriller, was written and directed by Delmar Daves, based on a novel by David Goodis, who wrote the novel on which "Shoot The Piano Player" is based. It's set in San Francisco of the 40's, and may be the best screen treatment of that city at that time. Once again, Sidney Hickox's noirish cinematography takes full advantage of its flavorful setting, hills, bay, staircase streets. The building in which Bacall's character, Irene Jansen, supposedly lives, and its glass elevator, and her duplex apartment, are masterpieces of the "moderne" style then highly popular. Bogart plays Vincent Parry, a doctor unjustly convicted of killing his wife; at the film's opening, he's just escaped from San Quentin, coming home to clear himself. For the first hour, we never see him, only see everything through his eyes, then a new filmic technique. The gimmick is, he has plastic surgery so as to no longer be recognizable; he then becomes the Bogart we know. Housely Stevenson plays the plastic surgeon Dr. Walter Coley: his scenes are treated in a most Frankensteinian way. The plot takes some truly odd turns: we're to believe that Agnes Moorhead, who is surely riveting, could give Bacall a run for her money in the Bogart stakes. As if. Bacall doesn't sing, but she looks sensational, and has, in addition to that apartment, some stylish clothes and jewelry -- note the Mexican opals. She's also got an eye-catching, memorable "woody" station wagon.
"Key Largo," 1948, directed by John Huston, was the last screen pairing of our two leads. It's based on a stage play by Maxwell Anderson, nominally set in the tropical Florida Keys. A wheelchair-bound Lionel Barrymore plays James Temple, owner of the island hotel; Bacall plays Nora, his widowed daughter in law. Bogart plays Frank Mc Cloud, who fought the Italian campaign alongside the Temple boy until he was killed. Mc Cloud goes to visit the Temples off-season, and discovers that a powerful hurricane's coming. And that they are being terrorized by Edward G. Robinson, one of the great movie villains, playing gangster Johnny Rocco. Clair Trevor, playing Gaye Downs, Rocco's moll, former nightclub entertainer, gets to sing this time. She does an acapella "Moanin' Low," a song popularized by Libby Holman in the early 30's, and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for it. Bogart plays an unusually quiet version of his "I stick my neck out for nobody character." But, such are the burdens of marriage, Bacall is uncharacteristically demure. She doesn't appear to be wearing makeup, her eyes are downcast, and her wardrobe seems to consist of one --dowdy-- outfit. She doesn't have those lines, either: Barrymore and Robinson get them this time.
These four films are the components of this collection. There will be no more by our two great leads, and they were certainly among the screen's most incendiary lovers. If you want them, this is it.