In one half-hour from now, Turner Classic Movies will conclude its Star of the Month tribute to the gentleman who—if the votes were properly tallied and the machines weren’t manufactured by Diebold—is probably my favorite silver screen actor of all time. I’ve only missed recording two of the Bogart films shown this month: the previously mentioned Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) and Conflict (1945)—and Conflict was my own foul-up…I was taking a shower and oblivious to the fact that it started at 1:00pm (this little snafu occurred last Wednesday).
Here’s today’s schedule (with the missing dusty TDOY archive titles in green)—all times EST:
06:00 AM Tokyo Joe (1949)
07:30 AM Chain Lightning (1950)
09:15 AM In a Lonely Place (1950)
11:00 AM Sirocco (1951)
12:45 PM Battle Circus (1953)
02:15 PM The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
04:30 PM The Harder They Fall (1956)
06:30 PM Bacall on Bogart (1988)
08:00 PM Deadline – U.S.A. (1952)
09:45 PM The Left Hand of God (1955)
11:30 PM Beat the Devil (1954)
01:30 AM The Caine Mutiny (1954)
04:00 AM Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946)
I’m particularly pumped to see Deadline – U.S.A. (1952) and The Left Hand of God (1955) in the lineup; they’re not strangers to the classic movie cable channels but since both of them are 20th Century-Fox releases they’re confined mainly to showings on the Fox Movie Channel (so I’m sure Bobby Osbo will no doubt call these two vehicles “premieres”). Deadline’s the better of the two, a solid newspaper drama with Bogie as the editor of a crusading rag about to be closed by its owners. Left isn’t the best Bogart film (but bad Bogie is better than most); he’s a “priest” who assists several Chinese villages in holding off the civil war and revolution surrounding them circa 1947.
Overall, I’ve been very happy with the offerings showcased in the Bogie festival, though there were a few glaring emissions: though most of Bogart’s early films are either unavailable or inaccessible I don’t see why TCM couldn’t have borrowed FMC’s print of Up the River (1930) along with Deadline and Left. Other noteworthy Bogies absent from the salute include Stand-In (1937; I knew I was going to regret selling my unwrapped copy on eBay), Action in the North Atlantic (1943), The Enforcer (1951), Sabrina (1954), We’re No Angels (1955; that one’s for Doc Quatermass), and The Desperate Hours (1955). (With the exceptions of Stand-In and Angels, I have the other ones on disc. I wish Enforcer wouldn’t keep falling in between the cracks; it’s a really snappy little noir.) And since TCM included several films with Bogart cameos—Lucky Stars, Road to Bali (1952) and tonight’s Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946)—they could have sneaked in Always Together (1947) and The Love Lottery (1954), too.
But enough of my incessant nit-picking. It’s time to enjoy the show!