Cast & Crew
A "Great Performances" presentation narrated by Lauren Bacall, which focuses on the life and career of actor Humphrey Bogart. The program includes film clips and outtakes, interviews with Bogart's costars, directors and friends, and footage from Bogart and Bacall's home movies.
Julius J. Epstein
Stephen Humphrey Bogart
Brynne C Ferguson
John L. Miller
Bacall on Bogart
In Bacall on Bogart (1988), Lauren Bacall gives personal insight into the life and career of her husband Humphrey Bogart. For the aspiring actress, the story began in 1944, when, fresh from the pages of Harper's Bazaar, she landed a part in director Howard Hawks' production of To Have and Have Not. For a Hollywood neophyte, the candidates for leading man were overwhelming - Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart. Ironically, Bacall was wowed by the idea of Cary Grant! Bogart, on the other hand, rated merely a so-so. She thought he was a good actor, but that was it. Nonetheless, Bogart was cast in the role. And Hawks introduced the actors on the set of Passage to Marseille (1944). It was a NOT a case of love at first sight as Bacall reports there were no fireworks at all on their first meeting.
But that changed pretty quickly. Bacall remembers being so nervous that she couldn't stop shaking during her first scene in To Have and Have Not and how patient Bogart was with her. He "believed in actors," says Bacall. "And believed in actors working together." And work together they did. No one who watches the famous "you know how to whistle" scene in To Have and Have Not could doubt Bogart and Bacall's sexy rapport. In fact, the film's script was changed to play up the romance between Bogart and Bacall's characters once the actors' off-screen romance became glaringly obvious.
The next year, during the making of their second film together, The Big Sleep (1946), Bogart and Bacall's on-screen relationship bloomed into a permanent one. The couple was married on May 21, 1945. Bacall was 20. Bogart was 45. A few years later, a son was born, and named Steve after Bogart's character in To Have and Have Not. And Humphrey Bogart became a father for the first time at age 49. A daughter, Leslie, would soon follow (she was named after Bogart's friend and early supporter, Leslie Howard, who died in 1943 when his plane was shot down by German forces).
Bogart and Howard had first appeared together on Broadway in The Petrified Forest. At the time, Bogart's experience was limited to several plays and bit parts in films. His role as tough guy Duke Mantee on stage in The Petrified Forest was a breakthrough role for the actor. But when it came time for a cinematic adaptation, Warner Bros. thought perhaps resident bad guy Edward G. Robinson would be better for the part. It was at Howard's insistence that Bogart made the jump to the big screen as Duke Mantee. And Bogart never looked back from there. As Bacall points out in Bacall on Bogart, it was the "first step toward the development of the Bogart character."
Bacall on Bogart features clips from many of Bogart's films, from hits like Casablanca (1942), The Maltese Falcon (1941) and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre(1948) to lesser known titles like Bullets or Ballots (1936) and Big City Blues (1932). It also includes candid footage of an off-screen Bogart, including a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Beat the Devil (1953) and home movies of Bogie on his boat The Santana where he "just drank and griped" during the difficult production. There's also a clip from the 1951 Academy Awards ceremony with Bogart receiving his first and only Oscar for The African Queen (1951).
The documentary includes interviews with famous names like Ingrid Bergman, Katharine Hepburn and John Huston. But perhaps the most interesting words come from Bacall herself. She talks about the difference between the Bogie persona and the man to whom she was married. "Off screen he bore little resemblance to the parts he played. He was a gent." And Bacall reflects on her relationship with Bogart, saying, "he changed me. He was my teacher, my husband, my friend. In his life and his work, Bogie was integrity, truth and courage. He taught me how to live. That it was okay to trust. He taught me how to keep going no matter what."
Bogart died on January 14, 1957. He'd been planning to do a fifth film with Bacall called Melville Godwin USA. But it was not to be. Still, as John Huston said, "he's a much bigger star today than when he was alive. He's become what amounts to a cult figure."
Host: Lauren Bacall
Director: David Heeley
by Stephanie Thames
Bacall on Bogart
TCM Remembers Van Johnson - Important Schedule Change on TCM In Honor To Salute VAN JOHNSON
The new schedule for the evening of Tuesday, December 23rd will be:
8:00 PM In the Good Old Summertime
9:45 PM A Guy Named Joe
12:30 AM Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
2:30 AM The Last Time I Saw Paris
4:30 AM Thrill of a Romance
Van Johnson (1916-2008)
Van Johnson, the boyish leading man whose clean cut, All-American appeal made him a top box-office draw for MGM during World War II, died on December 12 in Nyack, New York of natural causes. He was 92.
He was born Charles Van Dell Johnson on August 25, 1916, in Newport, Rhode Island. By his own account, his early childhood wasn't a stable one. His mother abandoned him when he was just three and his Swedish-born father offered little consolation or nurturing while he was growing up. Not surprisingly, Johnson found solace in singing and dancing lessons, and throughout his adolescence, he longed for a life in show business. After graduating high school in 1934, he relocated to New York City and was soon performing as a chorus boy on Broadway in shows such as New Faces of 1936 and eventually as an understudy in Rodgers and Hart's musical, Too Many Girls in 1939.
Johnson eventually made his way to Hollywood and landed an unbilled debut in the film version of Too Many Girls (1940). By 1941, he signed a brief contract with Warner Bros., but it only earned him a lead in a "B" programmer Murder in the Big House (1941); his contract soon expired and he was dropped by the studio. Johnson was on his way back to New York, but as luck would have it - in the truest Hollywood sense - friends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz introduced him to Billy Grady, a lead talent scout at MGM, which was currently Ball's new studio. Johnson was signed up and almost immediately MGM had a star on its hands.
It might have been slow going at first, with Johnson playing able support in films such as Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant and The War Against Mrs. Hadley (both 1942). By 1943 the studio capitalized on his broad smile and freckles and starred him in two of the studio's biggest hits: A Guy Named Joe and The Human Comedy. Those two films transformed him into a boxoffice draw with a huge following, particularly among teenage girls. A near fatal car accident that same year only accentuated the loyalty of his fans, and his 4-F status as the result of that accident created an opportunity for him when so many other leading actors of the era (James Stewart, Clark Gable) were off to war. Johnson was quickly promoted as MGM'sleading man in war heroics and sweet romancers on the big screen: The White Cliffs of Dover, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (both 1944), Thrill of a Romance, the episodic Week-End at the Waldorf (both 1945), and a musical remake of Libeled Lady entitled Easy to Wed (1946).
Hits though these were, it wasn't until after the war that Johnson began to receive more dramatic parts and better material such as supporting Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in the political farce State of the Union (1948). other significant roles included the well-modulated noir thriller The Scene of the Crime, the grim war spectacle Battleground (both 1949), the moving domestic drama Invitation (1952) in which he played a man who is paid to marry a woman (Dorothy McGuire) by her father. Before he left MGM, he closed his career out in fine form with the sweeping musical Brigadoon, co-starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse; and the lilting soaper The Last Time I Saw Paris (both 1954) with Elizabeth Taylor.
After he left MGM, the parts that came Johnson's way weren't as varied, but he had his moments in The Caine Mutiny (1954), the beguiling romance drama Miracle in the Rain (1956) with Jane Wyman; and his lead performance in one of the first successful made for-TV-movies The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1957). By the '60s, Johnson returned to the stage, and played the title role in London's West End production of The Music Man. He then returned to Broadway in the drama Come on Strong. He still had a few good supporting parts, most notably as Debbie Reynolds' suitor in Norman Lear's scathing satire on marital differences Divorce American Style (1967); and television welcomed his presence on many popular shows in the '70s and '80s such as Maude, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and of course Murder She Wrote. There was one last graceful cameo in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), yet for the most remainder of his career, Johnson worked mainly on the dinner theater circuit before retiring from showbiz completely by the mid-90s. He is survived by a daughter, Schuyler.
by Michael T. Toole