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TomJH

Bogart Vs. Cagney Vs. Robinson

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Hmmmm...perhaps..."I Never Sang For My Father"(1970) starring Humphrey Bogart and James Dean?

 

(...well, seein' as how we're 'resurrecting the dead' here, I figured why not throw in the kid who would've been 40 by then here too!) ;)

Maybe we can throw Errol in as the distinguished but devastatingly handsome younger brother of Bogart and uncle to James Dean ;) (I'm just assuming by the title "I Never Sang For My Father" that the "I" would be James Dean and "Father" would be Bogart).

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Maybe we can throw Errol in as the distinguished but devastatingly handsome younger brother of Bogart and uncle to James Dean ;) (I'm just assuming by the title "I Never Sang For My Father" that the "I" would be James Dean and "Father" would be Bogart).

 

Yep Speedy, Dean would have taken the Gene Hackman role of the middle-aged man in constant search for his father's love, and with Bogie taking the Melvin Douglas role as the somewhat cold, distant and dominating father in this re-imagined 1970 drama.

 

(...sorry though, I don't recall there being a character in this story that's a good fit for Errol) ;)

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Interesting question, mrroberts.

 

Unlike Cagney and Robinson who became stars overnight, Bogart toiled for years (five, to be precise) at Warners in largely unrewarding supporting mug roles. Jack Warner never considered Bogie to be star material.

 

Years later, after becoming a major star, Bogart would cry while viewing one of his favourite films, the 1937 A Star Is Born. This, I feel, is probably because he identified so much with the plight of alcoholic, washed up Norman Maine. So the obsession with remaining "on top" was very important to him. (More so, I think than with Robinson, who accepted supporting roles, or Cagney, who took second billing to both Doris Day and Henry Fonda in a pair of 1955 releases).

 

It's interesting that, much as Bogie revelled in his drinking (with a strong reputation as being snarky and a guy who liked to goad other people when he was in his cups) it never impacted his professionalism on the set of a film, to the best of my knowledge. And this is in total contrast to his earlier days as a stage actor in which his drinking did affect his performances and reliability, with the result that he lost some acting assignments.

 

I suspect the reason for this may have been that the young Bogart was just another struggling actor when on the stage, adding to his resentment and frustration and, presumably, providing another excuse to drink, but once he got to Hollywood he settled down to do professional business (though still a hard drinker - is that a nice way of saying alcoholic?). Certainly, though, once he became a star Bogart did not let his drinking affect his work, and the desire to remain a star may have been a major motivating factor for him. 

 

Bogart took great pride in the craft of being an actor (though that wasn't always reflected in his stage days). However, I suspect to a man like him, toiling for years in supporting roles, he would have interpreted a return to those kind of parts as the beginning of the road to semi-oblivion. He knew only too well the stories of other fallen Hollywood stars. I suspect it was professional insecurity that primarily drove Bogart, though ego would have something to do with it, as well. That he could have excelled as a great supporting character actor there is no doubt. I suspect (pure speculation on my part) that he would have been more inclined to have accepted lesser film assignments that still gave him top billing, rather than go the character route, as had Robinson.

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Interesting question, mrroberts.

 

Unlike Cagney and Robinson who became stars overnight, Bogart toiled for years (five, to be precise) at Warners in largely unrewarding supporting mug roles. Jack Warner never considered Bogie to be star material.

 

Years later, after becoming a major star, Bogart would cry while viewing one of his favourite films, the 1937 A Star Is Born. This, I feel, is probably because he identified so much with the plight of alcoholic, washed up Norman Maine. So the obsession with remaining "on top" was very important to him. (More so, I think than with Robinson, who accepted supporting roles, or Cagney, who took second billing to both Doris Day and Henry Fonda in a pair of 1955 releases).

 

It's interesting that, much as Bogie revelled in his drinking (with a strong reputation as being snarky and a guy who liked to goad other people when he was in his cups) it never impacted his professionalism on the set of a film, to the best of my knowledge. And this is in total contrast to his earlier days as a stage actor in which his drinking did affect his performances and reliability, with the result that he lost some acting assignments.

 

I suspect the reason for this may have been that the young Bogart was just another struggling actor when on the stage, adding to his resentment and frustration and, presumably, providing another excuse to drink, but once he got to Hollywood he settled down to do professional business (though still a hard drinker - is that a nice way of saying alcoholic?). Certainly, though, once he became a star Bogart did not let his drinking affect his work, and the desire to remain a star may have been a major motivating factor for him. 

 

Bogart took great pride in the craft of being an actor (though that wasn't always reflected in his stage days). However, I suspect to a man like him, toiling for years in supporting roles, he would have interpreted a return to those kind of parts as the beginning of the road to semi-oblivion. He knew only too well the stories of other fallen Hollywood stars. I suspect it was professional insecurity that primarily drove Bogart, though ego would have something to do with it, as well. That he could have excelled as a great supporting character actor there is no doubt. I suspect (pure speculation on my part) that he would have been more inclined to have accepted lesser film assignments that still gave him top billing, rather than go the character route, as had Robinson.

...except that his wife, Mayo Methot, had a career which advanced even less than his, unlike in A STAR IS BORN (and she also out-drank him).

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I suppose that at a point Bogart would have at least conceded to sharing a top billing spot with a younger actor like Paul Newman. But he would have lost the ability to carry a major film on his own.  I can't imagine that television would have been an option, like it was for Barbara Stanwyck in THE BIG VALLEY series.  

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I suppose that at a point Bogart would have at least conceded to sharing a top billing spot with a younger actor like Paul Newman. But he would have lost the ability to carry a major film on his own.  I can't imagine that television would have been an option, like it was for Barbara Stanwyck in THE BIG VALLEY series.  

Why not?

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...I can't imagine that television would have been an option(for Bogart), like it was for Barbara Stanwyck in THE BIG VALLEY series.  

 

 

Why not?

 

 

THIS is "why not" !....

 

 

VirginiaCity.jpg

 

(...well, IF we're still talkin' about a WESTERN TV series, anyway...I mean, EVEN his fellow NYC boy, Jimmy Cagney, looked more natural than Bogie did in this kind'a get-up, ya know!) ;)

 

LOL

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Don't you think Bogie could have been a "Ben Cartwright" type of tv  character?  Actually, my reference to Barbara Stanwyck and THE BIG VALLEY wasn't meant to limit Bogie to a western. He could have been a big city cop/detective/private investigator type.   But I don't think the weekly grind of doing a tv series would have appealed to Bogart.

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Aside from Bogart, few major, or formerly major, "A" male stars from the Hollywood Golden Era got into the grind of a television series. Some of them made the occasional television appearance, of course, often for the promotion of a film. Bogie himself made a very funny appearance on The Jack Benny Show, one of (I believe) only two TV appearances by him (the other being a revival of The Petrified Forest, with his wife and Henry Fonda).

 

Both Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda come to mind as actors who later dabbled with a TV series of their own. The point being, though, that it was rare for it to happen.

 

There was also the stigma that came in the early television days of an actor working on television, rather than film, so Bogart, very concerned with staying on top (not that that makes him particularly unique) would have been highly aware of the perception that he had really slipped as a star if he started doing a television series.

 

Edward G. Robinson did a lot of television work during the '50s at a time when, unlike Bogart, his career had clearly slipped (but no TV series). Cagney did a little TV work, probably the most noteworthy being his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show when he recreated a scene as the Captain in Mr. Roberts.

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(I mean, EVEN his fellow NYC boy, Jimmy Cagney, looked more natural than Bogie did in this kind'a get-up, ya know!) ;)

 

I understand stand why people find the perception of "city boy" Cagney amusing in a western. Bogart added to it at the time of The Oklahoma Kid by saying that Jimmy wearing that big cowboy hat looked like a mushroom.

 

However, Cagney loved the country, where he would eventually retire and, I believe, raise horses. If you take the time to watch him in The Oklahoma Kid you may notice that he was actually a very good horseman.

 

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18122cc0-32f7-46a0-934e-fe91bb20b34a_zps

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Don't you think Bogie could have been a "Ben Cartwright" type of tv  character?  Actually, my reference to Barbara Stanwyck and THE BIG VALLEY wasn't meant to limit Bogie to a western. He could have been a big city cop/detective/private investigator type.   But I don't think the weekly grind of doing a tv series would have appealed to Bogart.

 

I know, Mr.R.  I figured you didn't mean to limit Bogie's possible move to a '60s TV series to just a Western.

 

My posting of Bogie in that outfit was just a case of me not being able to resist the obvious, ummm let us say, "oddity" of people seeing him in that genre. In fact and as I recall, within that tribute to him that Lauren Bacall narrated years ago and which TCM recently aired again, even she made note of his rather strange casting in the films "Virginia City" and "The Oklahoma Kid".

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...Cagney did a little TV work, probably the most noteworthy being his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show when he recreated a scene as the Captain in Mr. Roberts.

 

Actually Tom, I would say Jimmy's most noteworthy television appearance would probably be his final appearance before the cameras in the title role of the 1984 made-for-television movie "Terrible Joe Moran".

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Actually Tom, I would say Jimmy's most noteworthy television appearance would probably be his final appearance before the cameras in the title role of the 1984 made-for-television movie "Terrible Joe Moran".

Yes, you're right, Dargo. I forgot about that (and if I will myself strongly enough, I may be able to do it again. A very depressing film, based on my ancient memory of it).

 

I recall co-star Art Carney warning TV viewers before the film first aired that they were not going to see the same Cagney they remembered from before. Quite an understatement.

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It's pure speculation but if Bogie had lived into the 1970's I think perhaps he may have tackled some of the sort of roles that went to Fredric March and Melvyn Douglas in the 60's and 70's.

Presidents, Patriarchs...

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I know, Mr.R.  I figured you didn't mean to limit Bogie's possible move to a '60s TV series to just a Western.

 

My posting of Bogie in that outfit was just a case of me not being able to resist the obvious, ummm let us say, "oddity" of people seeing him in that genre. In fact and as I recall, within that tribute to him that Lauren Bacall narrated years ago and which TCM recently aired again, even she made note of his rather strange casting in the films "Virginia City" and "The Oklahoma Kid".

Given Humphrey Bogart's love of sailing he might have been a good "skipper" for a show like Gilligan's Island or The Bailey's Of Balboa (how many remember that one?) :lol:

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In the early days of television I can understand that for most prominent movie stars working there would have been a big demotion , at least in their own eyes. But by the mid 60's television was certainly big business (I think we discussed this thought a long time ago on another thread), major tv stars were  making  very big money and received as much public status as any movie star. However doing a weekly series was hard work with  long hours, and to some would have seemed monotonous playing the same character all of the time. And yet to those who did a lot of stage work (like Mr Henry Fonda) would tv have been much different?  The point to be made is that as these major film stars got older, and assuming they still wanted to work steady, television may have been their only option. Or do smaller and smaller character type roles in films.

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Given Humphrey Bogart's love of sailing he might have been a good "skipper" for a show like Gilligan's Island or The Bailey's Of Balboa (how many remember that one?) :lol:

 

LOL

 

Yeah, OR how about instead of Gavin Macleod at the helm of The Love Boat...BOGIE?!!!

 

Can't you see it all now?...

 

Humphrey-Bogart-Captain-Queeg-The-Caine-

"I tried to run the ship properly and by the book, but Gopher, Doc and Julie fought me at every turn!"

 

LOL

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It's pure speculation but if Bogie had lived into the 1970's I think perhaps he may have tackled some of the sort of roles that went to Fredric March and Melvyn Douglas in the 60's and 70's.

Presidents, Patriarchs...

Bogart as the President in SEVEN DAYS IN MAY? I don't think so.

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Bogart as the President in SEVEN DAYS IN MAY? I don't think so.

He would have been great in it.  Perfect age too.

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Bogart as the President in SEVEN DAYS IN MAY? I don't think so.

How about adding the role of President for Bogart in All the President's Men?

 

62156a85-790c-475b-b1e5-0528e5079a1b_zps

 

Don't you call me paranoid!

 

Ahh, but the coverup that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the Watergate complex DID exist, and I'd have produced that key if they hadn't of pulled me out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow burglars ...

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How about adding the role of President for Bogart in All the President's Men?

 

62156a85-790c-475b-b1e5-0528e5079a1b_zps

 

Don't you call me paranoid!

 

Ahh, but the coverup that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the Watergate complex DID exist, and I'd have produced that key if they hadn't of pulled me out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow burglars ...

Good one.

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When TCM aired the Bogart film THE HARDER THEY FALL, the next movie shown was the excellent REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT . Bogart would have been a perfect  pick for  the  Gleason character. Or Bogart could have played the Rooney character , a character similar to the one he had just done in THE HARDER THEY FALL. Bogart was best suited for those gritty, big city settings, playing the kind of hardened characters (good or bad guys) you would find there.  But  I also wish that he had had a few more light comedic films like WE'RE NO ANGELS in his career. He played very well with the ensemble cast in that film

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When TCM aired the Bogart film THE HARDER THEY FALL, the next movie shown was the excellent REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT . Bogart would have been a perfect pick for the Gleason character. Or Bogart could have played the Rooney character , a character similar to the one he had just done in THE HARDER THEY FALL. Bogart was best suited for those gritty, big city settings, playing the kind of hardened characters (good or bad guys) you would find there. But I also wish that he had had a few more light comedic films like WE'RE NO ANGELS in his career. He played very well with the ensemble cast in that film

Someone mentioned more films with Bogart and Bacall. Warner Brothers had planned to team them in a comedy,.TOP.SECRET AFFAIR. But by the time it was ready to go into production in mid 1956, Bogie's illness was too advanced for him to be able to do it, and the roles were given to Kirk Douglas and Susan Hayward, neither known for comedy. And speaking of westerns, I believe WB had earlier wanted to team them in 1947's STALLION ROAD; needless to say, they turned it down.

 

Into the future, I.don't think that Bogart would have accepted supporting character roles, nor would he have done lesser films that still afforded him top billing. Nor do I feel that he would have turned to tv. Rather, in order to protect his legacy, like other long time top male stars, i.e. Cary Grant and James Cagney, he would have probably retired sometime in the 60s, as decent roles that would not have diminished his star status dried up.

 

But here's.an intriguing possibility: doing the role of Bacall's battling husband in SEX AND THE SINGLE ROLE, done by Henry Fonda. But this was a supporting role, so I don't know that he would,'ve done it.

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Someone mentioned more films with Bogart and Bacall. Warner Brothers had planned to team them in a comedy,.TOP.SECRET AFFAIR. But by the time it was ready to go into production in mid 1956, Bogie's illness was too advanced for him to be able to do it, and the roles were given to Kirk Douglas and Susan Hayward, neither known for comedy. And speaking of westerns, I believe WB had earlier wanted to team them in 1947's STALLION ROAD; needless to say, they turned it down.

 

Into the future, I.don't think that Bogart would have accepted supporting character roles, nor would he have done lesser films that still afforded him top billing. Nor do I feel that he would have turned to tv. Rather, in order to protect his legacy, like other long time top male stars, i.e. Cary Grant and James Cagney, he would have probably retired sometime in the 60s, as decent roles that would not have diminished his star status dried up.

 

But here's.an intriguing possibility: doing the role of Bacall's battling husband in SEX AND THE SINGLE ROLE, done by Henry Fonda. But this was a supporting role, so I don't know that he would,'ve done it.

Had he lived, he still would not have been very vigorous in his sixties and seventies, so his work would have been limited.

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One thing not taken into another with this speculation of what might have happened to Bogart if he had not developed cancer is his drinking. As of the time of his death, he had been successful in devoting himself to it recreationally without it impacting his film performances.

 

But he was an alcoholic (though I rarely see that word applied to him). If he wasn't able to give up the sauce (and there is no sign that he had any desire to) sooner or later his drinking would have probably impacted his ability to perform, as it had others in the acting profession.

 

If that was the case he would have gained a reputation of unreliability among Hollywood producers, and it would definitely have impacted his employment opportunities.

 

A number of people have speculated that the heavy drinking volatile screenwriter that he played in In A Lonely Place was closer to Bogart playing himself than any other role he ever had (that's why he's so effective in the role). I think there were also more than a few reasons why Bogie identified with Norman Maine in A Star Is Born. Did the man fear that the alcoholic Maine's future could become his own? I suspect he may have.

 

dooley-wilson-humphrey-bogart-2.jpg?1397

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