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Bogart Vs. Cagney Vs. Robinson


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*The African Queen is actually my least favorite Bogart movie (because the ending is so utterly predictable),*

 

Whoa, Andy, you really do hate that ending, don't you? While I concede that the final chapter of the film has always been my least favourite aspect of the production, I still have to say that I love the film because of the strength of its two stars performances (probably, in fact, my favourite work of Katharine Hepburn). The film is a skillful blend of adventure and humour, and also presents, I feel, a very touching portrait of middle aged love.

 

But, come on now, you like African Queen less than Two Mrs. Carrolls? Less than Chain Lightning? Less than Return of Dr X? Less than . . . well, you get my drift.

 

But we're in agreement, at least, about Dark Passage. There was a thread about that film not so long ago, so, if you recall it, you'll know that there are a lot of fans of that film noir effort on these boards.

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I can't even watch The African Queen (I sat through it once and gave up after half an hour the second time) because at bottom it's a hackneyed theme with certified Happy Breen Code ending. I suppose it's not really the "worst" Bogart movie by any objective standard, maybe not even in the bottom half, but it's the one I'd least like to sit through again. Give me Bugs Fenner or Glenn Griffin anyday.

 

The irony is that I love pretty much everything about the real life Katharine Hepburn, and I'm a huge Bogart fan. But that movie just doesn't work for me.

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Come on, finance, I did modify my "one word categorization" by saying that is was a huge generalization and that one word will never accurately describe any actor.

 

Bogart was not always "cool" either. But that's the image that's stuck with him. However, I can't think of a Cagney role where he wasn't "energetic". He's the only one where the word I chose for him fits all his work, even when he was older.

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Well, in spite of that giganitic "NO" I just posted, Edward G. Robinson was a gangster leader of sorts, and most certainly an intellectual ( a respected doctor doing a study on criminal behaviour) in *The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse*.

 

Actually, there are lots of cerebral gangsters.

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Energy is such a good word for Cagney. Verbally and physically full of energy. Many posts ago in response to one of Tom's great posts, I used the word emphatic to describe Cagneys portrayls. I think that's a good word too, his deliveries were given with such surety (I hope I'm expressing this correctly) he always made the audience feel that he believed in what he was saying.

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Actually, there are lots of cerebral gangsters.

 

There sure have been, and in fact this criminal mastermind was 100% cerebral, since his spirit was ruling the underworld from the great beyond:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRVXZheAHt7BfQVo97KA_l

 

 

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> {quote:title=crazyblonde7 wrote:...}{quote} I agree with MissW. on how she summed things up but I will add that Cagney was the most versitile and the most talented of the three.

crazyblonde, truly, I am not "stalking" or "picking on " you. I appreciate your love for this great actor.

And every individual's opinion is their opinion, which they have every right to possess and express.

 

However, I just can't "go" with such definitive statements as one actor out of those three being "the most versatile and the most talented..."

I like them all, I feel all three were "versatile and talented" in different ways. I tend to avoid "ultimate" declarations like the above quote, because the world is so full of a number of things...

Eddie G. and Bogart were equally talented, and both displayed as much "versatility" in their roles as did Cagney.

I like James Cagney a lot, I'm not taking anything away from him.

 

I cannot speak for Tom, who began this thread. But the way I interpreted his thread title was not as a kind of competition between the three actors, more as an excuse to examine and discuss the work of all three, all of them equally deserving of our attention.

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I want to take a poll. You're going on a cruise ship. Who do you want as the ship's Captain ? Bogart (as in The Caine Mutiny), Cagney (as in Mister Roberts), or Eddie G. (as in The Sea Wolf) ? This isn't going to be like The Love Boat !!

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What a great question! I would pick Bogart for Caine. Why? Well as Ferrera said, if the crew only showed him some loyalty he might of held up. i.e. the root cause of his problems could be dealt with more so than the other two captains (especially EGR in The Sea Wolf).

 

 

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Van Heflin was sort of a semi-gangster in Johnny Eager and was a

real bookworm. Dr. Mabuse was a pretty brainy guy and a definite

criminal mastermind. Bet he had read Faust, likely more than

once.

 

Whenever anyone challenged Eddie's intellectual bona fides, he'd grab

one of his French Impressionist paintings and hit them over the head

with the frame, 'Whaddaya mean I ain't no brainiac you mug.'

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MissW. I expressed in many of my posts that I love all 3 actors. I stated Cagney as being the most versatile and the most talented just like you said Bogart was the cool one. Many others have stated that Cagney was the most versatile, some said Bogart was and some said EGR was. How come you didn't reply to their posts. I feel all 3 men were versatile but to me Cagney was a little more versatile and talented than them.

 

 

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I think it was your use of the words "most talented" that irked me. There's no question, James Cagney was tremendously talented. Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Roginson equally so, just in different ways.

They're all great, and as I said before, although I cannot speak for Tom, I interpreted his thread title as simply a great way to initiate a discussion about all three actors - who are, in my opinion, all very talented, and all very different. One is not better than another, I don't even really compare them.

It's the old "apples and oranges (and maybe peaches?)" connundrum.

 

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I agreed with you that Bogart was cool but so was Cagney and EGR. I think Cagney as the gangster Rocky Sullivan was very cool. EGR in Smart Money was cool. About this Subject, Bogart vs. Cagney vs. Robinson some of us interpreted it as a comparison and some of us didn't. I don't think it matters. It's great that everyone can come here and give an opinion and share their knowledge. Also, I may hate the movie Casablanca and you may love it. Everyone has different tastes. Because someone says it's the greatest movie doesn't mean it is. Everyone has a movie that is the Greatest to them and not to others. Even my mom doesn't like Casablanca. It isn't even on her list of greatest movies. If Casablanca is your favorite I respect that. I won't knock it, it's just not my type of movie.

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When you say 'One is not better than another', is the reason because you don't feel any actor is 'better' than another (i.e. that use of that term is folly when discusing actors), or because you feel all 3 actors are about equal as it relates to talent and ability? e.g. with this group of 3 'one is not better than another' but any of the 3 are better than George Raft.

 

 

 

 

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I started this thread to give posters the opportunity to discuss what I suspect remain to be three of the most respected actors of the studio system days. Asking if posters may have had a preference among them, while I understand it could turn it into a competitive issue for some, was really just a way to try to stimulate a more involved discussion of the three stars.

 

Here's a picture that I never saw before, early '30s it would appear, and not exactly the kind of image you expect to see. That's Chester Morris in between two of our favourites.

 

.tumblr_ltagnbQnDg1qehzu2o1_500.jpg

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