Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney and George Raft. What if someone at Warner Brothers could have gotten these four greats into one movie? Wow, what a classic that would have been! They could have given it one of those typical Warner Brothers titles, “We Die As One”, “Rush Of Night”, “Four Way Stop” or “The Heat’s On Us”.
Any combination of the three actors would have had the makings for an excellent movie. Thankfully we did get several pairings of twos: Robinson and Raft, Bogart and Cagney, Raft and Bogart, Robinson and Cagney, Bogart and Robinson, Cagney and Raft.
Although they never appeared together in one film they sure made a lot of movies on their own. Here are my favorite movies from these classic Warner Brothers tough guys.
Humphrey Bogart – My favorite of the bunch. So hard to pick just a few, he made so many excellent movies. Even in some of his lesser movies he tended to give a strong performance.
The Maltese Falcon
James Cagney – Cagney and Bogart were great together on screen. It’s a real shame that they were not able to make a movie together later in their careers. Key Largo, released in 1948 starring Bogart and Robinson , is gold because Bogart and Robinson were mature actors, both at the top of their game. To have seen Bogart and Cagney together around this time period would have been fantastic.
The Roaring Twenties
Angels With Dirty Faces
The Public Enemy
George Raft – Acting wise the lesser of the four, but he had the most mainstream appeal of the group.
They Drive By Night
A Bullet For Joey
Edward G. Robinson – Hands down the most versatile of the four and the best actor in the bunch. Robinson and Bogart appeared together in five films. Although Key Largo is generally mentioned as a Bogart and Bacall movie, Robinson really steals the movie.
Bullets Or Ballots
The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse