A Warner Brothers What If

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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.

Casablanca
Dark Passage
The Maltese Falcon
Sahara
Sirocco

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
G Men
The Public Enemy
White Heat

George Raft – Acting wise the lesser of the four, but he had the most mainstream appeal of the group.

They Drive By Night
Invisible Stripes
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.

Key Largo
Bullets Or Ballots
The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse
Double Indemnity
Kid Galahad

Sahara, An Overlooked Bogart Classic

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Last year Turner Classic Movies had a special theatrical showing to commemorate the 75th anniversary of The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart. I jumped at the opportunity to see a Bogart movie on the big screen.  The Maltese Falcon is hands down one of Bogart’s best movies. It is well made, with a great cast and a star turning performance by Bogart.  Watching The Maltese Falcon had me thinking about other great Bogart movies.

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Humphrey Bogart made many movies throughout his career from 1928 to 1956. Some of the movies are all time classics and a few are duds. But the period from 1941 to 1950 produced some absolute gems: The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Big Sleep, The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, Key Largo and In A Lonely Place. Among the nearly 30 movies that he appeared in during this period there is one that is criminally overlooked. That movie would be the World War Two drama, Sahara.

In Sahara Bogart leads an eclectic ensemble cast of mostly lesser known actors. The supporting cast of characters are phenomenal. Even with the size of the cast Bogart is clearly the star. This is a well paced war movie, filled with action, tension and drama. Released in 1943, this is Bogart at the top of his game.

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I consider Sahara to be one of Bogart’s best movies. The storyline and the acting are top notch. I would place this compelling film among my top ten favorite Bogart movies. If you have not seen Sahara, I highly recommend it.

Troy T.