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TomJH

Bogart Vs. Cagney Vs. Robinson

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Here's a link to YouTube for a brief Italian newsreel on a 1951 trip that Bogart and Bacall took to Venice.

 

 

 

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That must have been around the time that Bogart was filming *The African Queen* , maybe right after the filming was finished.

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That's right, mrroberts. Bogart and Bocall took their Venice vacation in May, 1951.

 

article-2396583-1B4858DC000005DC-355_634x1135.jpg

 

I'm not quite certain about the exact period of The African Queen seven week shoot, except that Bogie's third wife, Mayo Methot, died during it. (Mayo's death date is listed as June 9th).

 

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By the way, according to TCM's information on this film, it had been a famed husband-wife acting team that RKO had once been considered casting for this material, Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester. (Sounds like good casting to me).

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They did location shooting in Africa and other scenes in England so maybe there was a break between. Charles and Elsa would have been great casting, I'm kind of sorry that didn't happen. I wonder if Laughton would have been physically up for the location work though.

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mrroberts, I'm not certain when it was that RKO had possible rights to African Queen but, if it had been far earlier than when Huston actually filmed it, it probably would have been a studio made production, rather than African location work. That would have made it a far easier experience for an actor like Laughton, whom I can easily see revelling in the semi-comic role of Charley Allnut.

 

I don't know if Elsa could have brought the same depth to her role that Hepburn did, but I can still see her having a fine time in the part of Rosie.

 

We got a great film with Bogart and Hepburn, but maybe it was at the expense of another very interesting film that it might have been with two other great performers.

 

Speaking of interesting . . .

 

WilderBogartNivenSpiritLouis_sm.jpg

 

I really like this photo, which I found listed as taking place at the wrap party for Billy Wilder's Spirit of St, Louis. Bogie looks like he may be in one of his boozy tough moods, and Niven is obviously loving the moment. If this photo was, indeed, taken in relation to the Wilder film, then it must have been very shortly before Bogart's death (the film would be released three months after his funeral).

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Recently we discussed Bogart's last film *The Harder They Fall* which TCM shows on occasion. It is said that he already was suffering considerable discomfort from his illness and just doing the film was quite an effort for him. Bogart always was a thin guy and in his later years of life you can really see his "age" in his facial appearance. So when I watch that last film he really doesn't look any different than he did in films from 3 or 4 years earlier. But once he became too ill to work any more his health really deteriorated rapidly. Just when would Bogie have made his last public appearance? Maybe right around the time *The Harder They Fall* had its premiere?

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A good question, mrroberts. Since I don't have any books on Bogart, I can't answer it, though.

 

Because of his disease, Bogie did have a dramatic weight loss in his final weeks, dropping to something like 90 lbs or so. It must have been heart breaking for his friends to see him like that yet, right to the end, he still insisted upon entertaining them in his home. (Tracy and Hepburn visited him the day before he died, I believe).

 

But you're right. Judging Bogie by his appearance in Harder They Fall, he looks relatively good, considering the circumstances.

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I would certainly agree that Bogart really started to physically show his age in his later years, when he was 50 he looked 60, etc. But his appearance doesn't necessarily reflect his state of health at the time. In the early 1950's he maintained a very active film career so his health wasn't a serious issue just yet.

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I imagine that Bogie's marriage to Lauren Bacall helped him feel a lot younger. She helped him to settle down to a large degree and become a family man, even if he still insisted upon the drinking and nightclubbing. Can you image how much he really would have aged if he had continued to be married to Mayo Methot?

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If Bogie had stayed married to Mayo we might have had an early version of "Gunfight at the O K Corral" ;)

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Bogart had health issues while married to Mayo. He lost a lot of hair and this was said to be due to stress, as well as too much drinking.

 

Lauren and the children helped him settle down and this improved his health.

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I don't know how you can improve your health if you are smoking 5 packs of unfiltered cigarettes a day. Maybe they were, as the commercial said, good for his T-zone, whatever that is.

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Tonight (Monday) one of "Bob's Picks" is *The Sea Wolf* . Way to go RO ! I think this film should make it to the "Essentials" list, and I'd like to hear Drew's opinion of this great film.

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Robert Osborne made this observation about Edward G Robinson (and for Ida Lupino as well) when he gave his introduction for *The Sea Wolf* . That a possible explanation as to why Eddie never even got an Oscar nomination was that he consistently gave such strong performances that no single performance ever really stood out. On the surface that might sound like ridiculous reasoning but I would agree with Bob, Robinson set such a high standard of acting that the audiences would expect nothing less from him. Maybe politics and the lack of studio promotion for Eddie's efforts played a hand too. Robinson could have gotten at least a nomination for maybe a dozen performances over his career. The final injustice is that the Academy didn't give him an honorary award years before it did. When he finally got that recognition he richly deserved it was too late for him to appreciate it.

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mrroberts, I also saw Robert's comment that both Paul Muni and George Raft had previously turned down the Sea Wolf roles that eventually went to Robinson and Garfield.

 

I am soooo glad that it worked out that way.

 

Eddie G. gave so many great performances throughout his career but I've always felt that, for me, Wolf Larsen is THE Robinson performance.

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Well Robinson wasn't even nominated for The Sea Wolf and I don't see how one explains that.

 

Ok, Copper winning for York is understandable (performance of a lifetime), so what about the other nominations: Grant in Penny Serenade, Huston in All That Money Can Buy, Montogomery in Here Comes Mr. Jordan, and Welles in Citizen Kane.

 

I would of replaced Grant with Robinson, but crying in a movie might of put Grant over Robinson. Robinson character wasn't a likeable chap in The Sea Wolf, did that play a part?

 

Being consistantly good should at least earn one some nominations. Maybe WB just didn't 'market' Robinson??? Something stinks here!

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Advertising and promotion have always been behind who or what gets a nomination. And it may even play a part as to who gets the award itself. I don't believe Mr Warner was ever very big on promoting his products for these awards. Probably someone else here can better illustrate this; how many Warner films or actors were getting nominations and awards in this time period (30's, 40's) ? I just don't believe Robinson was ever "pushed" to get any academy recognition. And after he left the studio what were his chances of ever getting a nomination for any of his work? Its like so many things in life, if you're not in the click, forget it.

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I don't see how you draw that conclusion from what I said. The choices of who gets nominated are at least in part determined by who gets the biggest build up from the studio or some other source. So the better performance may get short changed, like Robinson, and others, probably did at times.

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I wasn't responding to your 2:12 PM post. I was responding to your 1:42 AM post....and incidentally, "your", means Mr. Roberts, not "finance". This is getting confusing.

 

Edited by: finance on Mar 11, 2014 3:58 PM

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Finance, you're often quick on the draw so I assumed that your 2:16 post was a reply to my 2:12 post. But it wasn't, your 2:16 post was in reply to my 1:42 post, now you have me confused ;) So are you Abbott or am I Abbott ? ( and the other guy must be Costello). Nevertheless, Edward G Robinson should have had about a dozen best actor nominations and at least three wins. And I bet that RO would agree with me.

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I'm not sure if Spartacus ever had enough free time to make 42,000 posts on this TCM message board. ;)

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