|Vintage Pulp||Sep 19 2021|
Casablanca drifts 2,500 miles east and loses a little something along the way.
Above you see a nice French poster for the Humphrey Bogart adventure Sirocco, which we touched upon briefly several months back. As we noted then, Columbia Pictures promoted the film as being, “beyond Casablanca...” but Sirocco comes up short in that department. How could it not? It's like saying, “beyond chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream,” or “beyond a raspberry gin Ricky,” or “beyond the 2003 Hurricanes-Buckeyes NCAA Championship Game.” These things are not possible. But Sirocco is actually pretty good anyway, owing largely to its setting in 1925 Damascus, Syria (the film was actually shot in Yuma, Arizona, but the illusion worked adequately).
Plotwise, local independence fighters are trying to drive out French occupiers via any means deemed necessary, including what we call today terrorist bombings. Bogart plays Rick from Casablanca, except he's named Harry Smith. But he's the same cynical, opportunistic, womanizing lone wolf he was before, who instead of running a bar, runs guns. He has no ideology in his profession, except love of money, and will work for whoever can hire him, Syrian or French. As the situation in Damascus grows increasingly fraught he finds himself unwillingly stuck between the locals and the occupiers. He also finds himself in a love triangle with slinky Märta Torén and a French military officer played by Lee J. Cobb.
The movie quickly coalesces around what we like to think of as the big three Bogart plot devices: romantic feelings threaten to upset his hard-won cynicism, he must make a choice between desire and conscience, and he must beat the clock if he hopes to get out of Dodge with his skin intact. Beyond Casablanca? Columbia pretty much strip mined Casablanca, is what happened. Even so, Bogart had few serious misses in his career, and Sirocco isn't one of them. Fans will get to see him doing exactly what made him an icon, and for that reason alone we think it's worth a watch. After premiering in the U.S. in mid-1951, it opened in France today the same year.
FranceSyriaDamascusArizonaYumaColumbia PicturesSiroccoHumphrey BogartMärta TorénLee J. CobbZero Mostelposter artcinemamovie review
|Hollywoodland||Sep 18 2021|
Royal Crown helps consumers to stay awake at the movies.
Lauren Bacall brings her special brand of smoky sex appeal to this magazine advertisement for Royal Crown Cola, made as a tie-in with her 1946 film noir The Big Sleep. RC was launched in 1905 by Union Bottling Works—a grandiose corporate name for some guys in the back of a Georgia grocery store. The story is that the drink came into being after grocer Claud A. Hatcher got into a feud with his Coca Cola supplier over the cost of Coke syrup, and essentially launched RC out of equal parts entrepreneurialism and spite. Union Bottling Works quickly had a line of drinks, including ginger ale, strawberry soda, and root beer.
However humbly RC Cola began, the upstart had truly arrived by 1946, because The Big Sleep, co-starring Humphrey Bogart, was an important movie, and Bacall was a huge star. She was only one jewel in the crown of RC's endorsement efforts. Also appearing in ads were Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake, Joan Crawford, Virginia Mayo, Paulette Goddard, Gene Tierney, Ann Rutherford, Ginger Rogers, and others. Bacall flogged RC for at least a few years, including starring in tie-in ads for Dark Passage, another screen pairing of her and Bogart that hit cinemas in 1947. You see one of those at bottom. We can only assume these ads were wildly successful. After all, it was Bacall.
The Big SleepDark PassageLauren BacallHumphrey BogartVeronica LakeAnn RutherfordVirginia MayoJoan CrawfordPaulette GoddardGene TierneyRita HayworthGinger Rogersmagazine art
|Vintage Pulp||Jun 7 2021|
All Through the Night is Bogart at his best.
There's no single movie that made Humphrey Bogart a superstar—he built his brand with each outing. But surely All Through the Night was one of his most important pre-icon roles. You see its Italian promo poster above, which was painted by the great artist Luigi Martinati. We've featured Martinati often, and you can see his work here and here. After originally opening in the U.S. in 1942, All Through the Night premiered in Italy as Sesta colonna today in 1949. You can read more about the film here.
ItalySesta colonnaAll Trough the NightHumphrey BogartConrad VeidtKaaren VernePeter LorreLuigi Martinatiposter artcinemanazis
|Hollywoodland||May 22 2021|
It's shocking how many Hollywood stars did smack.
Everybody wants to slap somebody sometime. Luckily, actors in movies do it so you don't have to. The above shot is a good example. Edward G. Robinson lets Humphrey Bogart have it in 1948's Key Largo, as Claire Trevor looks on. In vintage cinema, people were constantly slapping. Men slapped men, men slapped women, women slapped women, and women slapped men. The recipient was usually the protagonist because—though some readers may not realize this—even during the ’40s and 50s, slapping was considered uncouth at a minimum, and downright villainous at worst, particularly when men did it. So generally, bad guys did the slapping, with some exceptions. Glenn Ford slaps Rita Hayworth in Gilda, for example, out of humiliation. Still wrong, but he wasn't the film's villain is our point. Humphrey Bogart lightly slaps Martha Vickers in The Big Sleep to bring her out of a drug stupor. He's like a doctor. Sort of.
In any case, most cinematic slapping is fake, and when it wasn't it was done with the consent of the participants (No, really slap me! It'll look more realistic.). There are some famous examples of chipped teeth and bloody noses deriving from the pursuit of realism. We can envision a museum exhibit of photos like these, followed by a lot of conversation around film, social mores, masculinity, and their intersection. We can also envison a conversation around the difference between fantasy and reality. There are some who believe portryals of bad things endorse the same. But movies succeed largely by thrilling, shocking, and scaring audiences, which requires portraying thrilling, shocking, and frightening moments. If actors can't do that, then ultimately movies must become as banal as everyday llife. Enjoy the slapfest.
Broderick Crawford slaps Marlene Dietrich in the 1940's Seven Sinners.
June Allyson lets Joan Collins have it across the kisser in a promo image for The Opposite Sex, 1956.
Speaking of Gilda, here's one of Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth re-enacting the slap heard round the world. Hayworth gets to slap Ford too, and according to some accounts she loosened two of his teeth. We don't know if that's true, but if you watch the sequence it is indeed quite a blow. 100% real. We looked for a photo of it but had no luck.
Don't mess with box office success. Ford and Hayworth did it again in 1952's Affair in Trinidad.
All-time film diva Joan Crawford gets in a good shot on Lucy Marlow in 1955's Queen Bee.
The answer to the forthcoming question is: She turned into a human monster, that's what. Joan Crawford is now on the receiving end, with Bette Davis issuing the slap in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Later Davis kicks Crawford, so the slap is just a warm-up.
Mary Murphy awaits the inevitable from John Payne in 1955's Hell's Island.
Romy Schneider slaps Sonia Petrova in 1972's Ludwig.
Lauren Bacall lays into Charles Boyer in 1945's Confidential Agent and garnishes the slap with a brilliant snarl.
Iconic bombshell Marilyn Monroe drops a smart bomb on Cary Grant in the 1952 comedy Monkey Business.
This is the most brutal slap of the bunch, we think, from 1969's Patton, as George C. Scott de-helmets an unfortunate soldier played by Tim Considine.
A legendary scene in filmdom is when James Cagney shoves a grapefruit in Mae Clark's face in The Public Enemy. Is it a slap? He does it pretty damn hard, so we think it's close enough. They re-enact that moment here in a promo photo made in 1931.
Sophia Loren gives Jorge Mistral a scenic seaside slap in 1957's Boy on a Dolphin.
Victor Mature fails to live up to his last name as he slaps Lana Turner in 1954's Betrayed.
Ronald Reagan teaches Angie Dickinson how supply side economics work for the middle class and poor in 1964's The Killers.
Marie Windsor gets in one against Mary Castle from the guard position in an episode of television's Stories of the Century in 1954. Windsor eventually won this bout with a rear naked choke.
It's better to give than receive, but sadly it's Bette Davis's turn, as she takes one from Dennis Morgan in In This Our Life, 1942.
Anthony Perkins and Raf Vallone dance the dance in 1962's Phaedra, with Vallone taking the lead.
And he thought being inside the ring was hard. Lilli Palmer nails John Garfield with a roundhouse right in the 1947 boxing classic Body and Soul.
1960's Il vigile, aka The Mayor, sees Vittorio De Sica rebuked by member of the electorate Lia Zoppelli. She's more than a voter in this—she's also his wife, so you can be sure he deserved it.
Brigitte Bardot delivers a not-so-private slap to Dirk Sanders in 1962's Vie privée, aka A Very Private Affair.
In a classic case of animal abuse. Judy Garland gives cowardly lion Bert Lahr a slap on the nose in The Wizard of Oz. Is it his fault he's a pussy? Accept him as he is, Judy.
Robert Culp backhands Raquel Welch in 1971's Hannie Caudler.
And finally, Laurence Harvey dares to lay hands on the perfect Kim Novak in Of Human Bondage.
Key LargoSeven SinnersThe Opposite SexGildaThe KillersWhatever Happened to Baby Jane?LudwigConfidential AgentPattonThe Public EnemyBoy on a DolphinOf Human BondageQueen BeeBetrayedStories of the CenturyIn This Our LifePhaedraBody and SoulIl vigileThe MayorThe Wizard of OzHannie CaulderVie privéeA Very Private AffairEdward G. RobinsonHumphrey BogartClaire TrevorMarlene DietrichBroderick CrawfordJune AllysonJoan CollinsGlenn FordRita HayworthBette FordJoan CrawfordMary MurphyJohn PayneRomy SchneiderSonia PetrovaLauren BacallCharles BoyerMarilyn MonroeCary GrantGeorge C. ScottTim ConsidineJames CagneyMae ClarkeSophia LorenJorge MistralJoan CrawfordLucy MarlowVictor MatureLana Turner Marie WindsorMary CastleDennis MorganRaf ValloneAnthony PerkinsLilli PalmerJohn GarfieldLia ZoppelliKim NovakLaurence HarveyVittorio De SicaDirk SandersBrigitte BardotJudy GarlandBert LahrRaquel WelchRobert CulpRonald ReaganAngie Dickinson
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 14 2021|
Humphrey Bogart meets an immoveable object.
If you haven't seen Mord for betaling, better known as The Enforcer, you may want to add it to your queue. In addition to featuring yet another excellent Humphrey Bogart performance, it's a historical curiosity. Central to its plot is Murder, Inc., a group of killers-for-hire used by organized crime gangs. Murder, Inc. contracted anonymous killers for mob hits, leaving police with bodies but no motives and no suspects. In fact, the terms “contract” and “hit” were invented by Murder, Inc. The Enforcer is also of historical significance because showings featured a foreword in which Senator Estes Kefauver, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee to Investigate Organized Crime, talked to the audience about the mafia, which the general public was just learning about at the time.
In the film Bogart plays a prosecutor who has been trying for years to bring down a crime boss named Albert Mendoza. When a witness dies, Bogart becomes aware of the existence of Murder, Inc. (though they aren't named that in the film), which to him seems like an impossibly bizarre idea. But he keeps uncovering more traces of the group until he finally believes. The rest of the film deals with his efforts to convince (or coerce) one of the cartel's members into being a witness in order to fry Mendoza. There are some twists and turns that force Bogart to shift gears more than once, and all of this is told in flashback, after the death of his stool pigeon, which happens in the first reel to set up the plot.
As we said, Bogart is solid as always, and he's helped greatly by Zero Mostel, who's quite good as a shaky potential witness. As far as the film as a whole goes, most vintage cinema fans consider it middling Bogart, but that's plenty good enough to warrant a look. The poster you see above, which we absolutely love, was made for Denmark, where the movie's title means, appropriately, “murder for payment.” We have several other posters for the film you can see at this link, and a cool Bogart promo photo that mirrors the above image, viewable at this link. The Enforcer premiered in the U.S. in 1951 and opened in Denmark today in 1952.
But I distinctly remember being told this was a bow tie-only affair.
I guess not.
DenmarkKefauver CommitteeMord for betalingThe EnforcerHumphrey BogartZero MostelEstes Kefauvermafiaposter artcinemafilm noirmovie review
|Hollywoodland||Nov 26 2020|
In Casablanca no other place compares.
We're back in the house today—Casablanca, that is. Several days ago, on the film's Italian premiere date, we showed you some Italian posters, and today, on its U.S. premiere date, we're taking a close look at possibly the most famous fictional bar in cinema history—Rick's Café Americain. Casablanca is one of the greatest films ever made, and it's fair to say Rick's was a supporting character. Filmgoers of 1942 found themselves steeped in its otherworldly Moroccan atmosphere, as scenes were staged in its courtyard, dining room, gambling room, at its lively bar, and in Rick's roomy upstairs office and personal living quarters. We've never confirmed this, but we suspect one third of the film occurs inside Rick's Café. We have photos of every area we could find of this iconic and exotic “gin joint”—as Bogart cynically describes it—and we even turned up a blueprint.
You'd be tempted to think bars like Rick's exist only in film, but you'd be wrong. We've been to places that have exotic architecture, excellent food and drink, lively musical entertainment, well dressed internationalclientele, and the aura of being in the middle of a spy caper. The decadent colonial bar Abaco, located in Palma de Mallorca, comes immediately to mind, as does the supper club Meson Pansa Verde in Antigua, Guatemala, where they have live jazz in a converted wine cellar and a friend of ours once famously pushed his date into the pool. We've been to Rick's-like places in Mexico, the Caribbean, the Greek Islands, and, appropriately, Morocco, in both Fes and Marrakech (we're not fans of the Rick's that currently operates in Casablanca—same name, very diminished feel). But magical places do exist, which means even if Bogart's beloved café was never real, having those types of nights is possible. We recommend making it your mission to seek them out.
MoroccoCasablancaHumphrey BogartDooley WilsonIngrid BergmanMadeleine LebeauPaul HenreidClaude RainsPeter LorreSydney Greenstreet
|Vintage Pulp||Nov 21 2020|
Two Italian artists created some of the coveted posters for the classic drama Casablanca.
All of these posters are Italian promos for the classic war drama Casablanca, which premiered in Italy today in 1946, four years after it opened in the U.S. An original example of the top poster, which was painted by Luigi Martinati, sold at auction in 2017 for $478,000. The following three posters are also by Martinati. The bottom three efforts, meanwhile, are by Silvano Campeggi (who sometimes signed his work as "Nano"), and were painted for the movie's re-release in 1962. Top notch efforts all of them, for a top notch movie. See more Casablanca promos here and here.
ItalyWorld War IICasablancaHumphrey BogartIngrid BergmanLuigi MartinatiSilvano CampeggiNanoposter artcinema
|Vintage Pulp||Jul 31 2020|
Humphrey is pitch perfect as always but it's Edward who makes this movie sing.
Above, one of many promo posters for the classic drama Key Largo. This movie, as you doubtless know, is great. It hinges on Edward G. Robinson's bravura performance as a washed up gangster trying to make a comeback, but he gets ample onscreen help from co-stars Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Gomez, Claire Trevor, Dan Seymour, and others. And John Huston in the director's chair is no slouch bringing the foreground drama and hurricane background to life. Key Largo is often called a film noir. Is it though? Hmm... Bogart certainly fits the bill in terms of characterization, but since the movie lacks most other noir elements we're inclined to call it a straight crime drama. But that's just our opinion. It was first seen by the public at a Hollywood preview in mid-July 1948, and went into full national release today.
Key LargoHumphrey Bogart. Edward G. RobinsonLauren BacallThomas GomezLionel BarrymoreClaire TrevorDan SeymourJohn Hustonposter artcinema
|Vintage Pulp||Jun 13 2020|
Bogart crime drama misses the bullseye but still scores a few points.
For us there's no such thing as a bad Bogart vehicle. Every movie we've seen from him in a starring role is at least decent. Above is a poster for The Big Shot, in which he co-starred with Irene Manning. Consensus is it's not one of his best. Bogart plays a career criminal who finds it incredibly difficult to go straight, and whose best efforts are confounded when he gets tangled up in an armored car robbery. We know from the beginning it went bad because the story is told in flashback as Bogie languishes in a hospital bed. Exactly how it went wrong is where the movie attempts to deliver the thrills. Despite its status as second tier Bogart, it has a couple of memorable sequences. The first is a prison break, and the second is a chase on icy roads as Bogart's car is pursued by motorcycle cops. This was Bogart's last gangster role for a while, because he was on the verge of becoming the cinematic leading man we all know and love. He had already proved all he needed to in gangster parts, and was thrilled to leave them behind. But this film showed that he would still need the help of a compelling story, an excellent script, and solid co-stars. From this point forward, he usually got the best of all those. The Big Shot premiered today in 1942.
Humphrey, don't be rude. Look at me when I talk to you.
Turn around and look at me, Irene. I said— Oh, you're doing me, aren't you? Nice.
You've got that Bogart thing pretty much perfected, Irene. Irene?
|Intl. Notebook||May 12 2020|
Hitchcock says no festival for you this year!
The 73rd edition of the Festival de Cannes, aka the Cannes Film Festival, would have kicked off today in the south of France, but was cancelled a while back. It's just one of a wave of event cancellations that will cascade through the year. Festivals as diverse as Burning Man and San Fermin, aka the Running of the Bulls, have also been shelved. But getting back to Cannes, we thought this would be a good moment to commemorate past fests with some historical photos. Above you see Alfred Hitchcock on a boat with the town in the background, in 1972, and below are about fifty pix from the 1940s through 1970s, documenting various iconic moments, and a few quieter ones. Maybe the Cannes Film Festival will back next year, maybe not. At this point, predicting anything is an exercise in futility. But at least we'll always have the memories.
Edith Piaf sings on the terrace of the Carlton Hotel on the iconic Boulevard de la Croisette at the first Festival de Cannes to be held under that name, in 1946. Back then the event took place in September and October, but would shift to May a bit later.
Diana Dors and Ginger Rogers arrive at the fest the only way anyone should—breezing along the beachfront in a convertible, in 1956, with an unknown driver.
Kirk Douglas holds court on the beach in 1953, and Brigitte Bardot soaks up rays in the foreground.
Michele Morgan poses at the first Festival in 1946. Photo ops of this sort were essential sources of publicity for stars, and would soon become opportunities for non-stars seeking to be discovered.
Case in point. Robert Mitchum poses with actress Simone Sylva in 1954. Sylva was allegedly not supposed to be there, but shucked her top and photo-bombed Douglas in an attempt to raise her profile. It didn't work. She made only a couple of credited movie appearances after her topless stunt.
Romy Schneider and Alain Delon at the 1959 fest.
An unidentified model or actress poses in the style of Anita Ekberg from La dolce vita in 1960. This looks like it was shot at Plage du Midi, which is a beach located a little ways west of the Cannes town center.
A unidentified partygoer is tossed into a swimming pool after La Dolce Vita won the the 1960 Palme d’Or. The Festival is almost as well known for legendary parties as for legendary film premieres.
Another unidentified model or actress poses on the boardwalk in 1979. Generally, you don't have to be known to draw a crowd of photographers—you just have to be nearly bare. She's wearing lingerie, so that explains the interest, though this is modest garb for a Cannes publicity stunt. It's never a surprise to see a headline-seeking film hopeful strip all the way down to a string ficelle féminin, or thong, which is the limit of what is legal in Cannes
Sidney Poitier and Jean Seberg have a laugh in 1961. This was the year Poitier's flick Paris Blues was released, so it's possible he had jetted down from the capital for the Festival.
Philomène Toulouse relaxes on the sand in 1962 while a boy practices the classic French look of disgust he'll be using the rest of his life.
Actor Bernard Blier, 1975.
An unidentified bikini wearer boldly enjoys a lunch in a café on the Croisette, 1958.
Natalie Wood aboard a sailboat in 1962.
Grace Kelly, 1955.
Kelly times two—Grace Kelly and Gene Kelly, hanging out, also in 1955.
Sammy Davis, Jr. poses in front of a billboard promoting his film A Man Called Adam, 1966.
Joan Scott gets sand between her toes in 1955. Scott is obscure. She isn't even the most famous Joan Scott anymore. The IMDB entry for the only Joan Scott near the appropriate age is for an actress born in 1920 who didn't begin acting until 1967. The Joan Scott above doesn't look thirty-five, though, and we doubt she would have been the subject of this somewhat well-known photo without parlaying it into a film appearance before twelve years had passed. So we don't think this is the Joan Scott referenced on IMDB.
Sharon Tate, with Roman Polanski, and solo, 1968.
Marlene Dietrich brings glamour to a tiki themed bar in 1958.
Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock release caged birds as a promo stunt for The Birds in 1963.
Sophia Loren sits with husband Carlo Ponti, who was a member of the 1966 Festival jury.
Raquel Welch poses on a motorcycle in 1966.
Jane Birkin takes aim with one of her cameras in 1975.
Dorothy Dandridge frolics in 1955, when she was promoting her film Carmen Jones.
Cinematic icon Catherine Deneuve and her sister Françoise Dorléac in 1965. Dorléac died in an automobile accident a couple of years later.
Robert Redford lounges on the beach in 1972. Based on his outfit you'd think he was in Cannes to promote The Sting, but he was actually there for his western Jeremiah Johnson, which screened May 7 of that year.
Sophia Loren waves to well-wishers in 1964.
Bogie and Bacall paired up and looking distinguished in 1957.
John and Cynthia Lennon in 1965, and John with Yoko Ono in 1971. Every story John told on that second trip probably started with, “When I was here with the first love of my life...” until Yoko smacked him across the mouth.
Rock Hudson and bicycle in 1966.
Unidentified actresses pose on the beach in 1947. To the rear is the Hotel Carlton, mentioned in the Edith Piaf image, built on the Croisette and finished in 1910.
George Baker, Bella Darvi (right—your right, not his), and an unknown acquaintance have a surfside run/photo op in 1956.
Jayne Mansfield and Russian actress Tatiana Samoïlova enjoy a toast in 1958. Mansfield probably shared the story of how she once made Sophia Loren stare at her boobs, and Samoïlova said, “Cheers to you—well played, you provocative American minx.”
French actor Fernandel, whose real name was Fernand Contandin, on his boat Atomic in 1956.
Arlette Patrick figures out a different way to generate publicity—by walking her sheep on the Croisette in 1955.
A pair of water skiers show perfect form in 1955, as a battleship floats in the background.
Jeanne Moreau, for reasons that are unclear, poses on a banquet table in 1958. Most sources descibe this in such a way as to make it seem spontaneous, but we have our doubts. It's a great shot, though.
Two unidentified women take in the scene from the terrace of the Hotel Carlton, 1958. This shot is usually said to portray two tourists, but the woman on the left is the same person as in the bikini lunch shot from earlier, which tells us she's a model or actress, and both photos are staged. Like we said, publicity is everything in Cannes.
Danielle Darrieux and Sophia Loren at the 11th Cannes Film Festival, 1958.
Italian actress Monica Vitti chills on a boat in 1968.
Aspiring stars catch some rays on the Croisette beach in 1955. The two large posters behind them are for The Country Girl with Grace Kelly, and Jules Dassin's Du rififi chez les hommes, both below.
The renowned opera singer Maria Callas, 1960.
FranceCannesFestival du CannesCannes Film FestivalPalme d’OrLa dolce vitaA Man Called AdamThe BirdsAlfred HitchcockEdith PiafDiana DorsGinger RogersKirk DouglasBrigitte BardotMichèle MorganRobert MitchumSimone SylvaRomy SchneiderAlain DelonSidney PoitierJean SebergNatalie WoodGrace KellySammy Davis Jr.Sharon TateRoman PolanskiMarlene DietrichTippi HedrenGene KellyMaria CallasSophia LorenCarlo PontiRaquel WelchJane BirkinJoan ScottDorothy DandridgeRobert RedfordJohn LennonCynthia LennonYoko OnoRock HudsonLauren BacallHumphrey BogartGeorge BakerBella DarviJayne MansfieldTatiana SamoïlovaCatherine DeneuveFrançoise DorléacFernandelArlette PatrickJeanne MoreauDanielle DarrieuxBernard BlierPhilomène ToulouseMonica Vittiposter artcinema