Vintage Pulp Jun 13 2020
ONE LAST SHOT
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? 

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Hollywoodland Jan 6 2020
BULLETPROOF BOGART
Don't waste your time, sweetheart. You know as well as I do it'll bounce right off.


Who was Irene Manning aiming her gun at a few days ago? Bogart, who's so cool he can't even be bothered to pretend concern. In real life it isn't quite so easy to be hard-boiled with a gun pointed at your center mass. Did we mention the time we spent living in Central America? One day maybe we'll tell you the story of how one of us had a shotgun aimed at our spine, which preceded a home invasion, drawn knives, spilled blood, and retribution involving someone getting shot in the ass. Anyway, concerning Manning and Bogart, now the picture is complete.

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Femmes Fatales Jan 4 2020
INSULT TO INJURY
Ask me again. I dare you. Ask me if I got my jacket at Bullfighters-r-Us.


Above, a nice promo image of Irene Manning from the 1942 film noir The Big Shot. No bullfighting is involved in the movie but with a jacket like that, maybe they should have added a scene or two. More Manning here.

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Femmes Fatales Oct 1 2010
GOODNIGHT IRENE
Fear and loathing in Los Angeles.

Above, a Warner Bros. promo image for contract star Irene Manning, née Inez Harvuot, whose short career was distinguished by roles opposite Humphrey Bogart in The Big Shot and James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, seen here giving us her most convincing fearful look, 1942. 

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Vintage Pulp Jun 15 2009
SURE SHOT
Bogart delivers in one of his last gangster roles.


From the hard-hitting High Sierra to the lightweight Sabrina, for twenty-five years everything Humphrey Bogart touched turned to gold. Some of the other classic tough guys were good, but Bogart was numero uno, his world-weary mien and sardonic manner making even minor offerings watchable. The Big Shot, which was released in France under the title Le Caïd, is a good example. In this one you get Bogie as an armed robber and Irene Manning as his ex-flame trying to keep him on the straight and narrow. Few people would rank this in their top ten Bogie films, but Bogart is like sex—even when he’s mediocre he’s good. Le Caïd premiered in France today in 1949. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
September 20
1946—Cannes Launches Film Festival
The first Cannes Film Festival is held in 1946, in the old Casino of Cannes, financed by the French Foreign Affairs Ministry and the City of Cannes.
September 19
1934—Arrest Made in Lindbergh Baby Case
Bruno Hauptmann is arrested for the kidnap and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr., son of the famous American aviator. The infant child had been abducted from the Lindbergh home in March 1932, and found decomposed two months later in the woods nearby. He had suffered a fatal skull fracture. Hauptmann was tried, convicted, sentenced to death, and finally executed by electric chair in April 1936. He proclaimed his innocence to the end
September 18
1919—Pollard Breaks the Color Barrier
Fritz Pollard becomes the first African-American to play professional football for a major team, the Akron Pros. Though Pollard is forgotten today, famed sportswriter Walter Camp ranked him as "one of the greatest runners these eyes have ever seen." In another barrier-breaking historical achievement, Pollard later became the co-head coach of the Pros, while still maintaining his roster position as running back.
1932—Entwistle Leaps from Hollywood Sign
Actress Peg Entwistle commits suicide by jumping from the letter "H" in the Hollywood sign. Her body lay in the ravine below for two days, until it was found by a detective and two radio car officers. She remained unidentified until her uncle connected the description and the initials "P.E." on the suicide note in the newspapers with his niece's two-day absence.
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