The year 1939 is regarded by most film historians as the pinnacle of success and legitimacy in the short history of Hollywood’s Golden era. That year gave us the likes of Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and many more.
The manifest quality of these great classics is evident and needs no further elaboration here. There are a number of reasons for the achievements of 1939, chief of which was the great Hollywood studio system. If 1939 was a watershed year for Hollywood, then the next great shift came in 1946, Hollywood’s most successful year ever, in terms of attendance. The motion picture had grown up in the seven years since the release of Gone With the Wind. The great change of course came about with World War II, and it’s aftermath. Read more
From hard-boiled Sam Spade to cynical Rick Blaine, from wise cracking shamus Philip Marlowe to down-on-his-luck Fred C. Dobbs, Humphrey Bogart created a gallery of unforgettable characters. Appearing in over 75 films, spanning 26 years, Bogart left an indelible mark on American cinema.
Humphrey Bogart’s early career was hardly noteworthy. His roles ranged from rich playboys to seedy hoodlums. In the film The Petrified Forest (1936), Bogart, on the insistence of his Broadway co-star Leslie Howard, re-created his role of the cold-blooded killer Duke Mantee. The film was a huge success and gave a tremendous boost to his career. Although his immediate roles remained constrained to the hoodlums, and malcontents he had portrayed prior to The Petrified Forest , he remained steadfast in his pursuit of excellence.
By 1941 Humphrey Bogart was on the verge of cinematic prominence. His subsequent and now celebrated roles were about to garner Bogart the acceptance and adulation he so desperately craved. A recognition he relished, as he set out fortuitously to create the now famous “Bogart ” mystique, which would dominate the screen for the next decade. He was to remark later that there were few things about which he could feel genuine pride, and the 1941 classic The Maltese Falcon, was one of them. Read more
Femme fatale—is defined as “an irresistibly attractive woman, especially one who leads men into danger or disaster”. To me the most engaging semblance of a “femme fatale” is the stunning image of Lana Turner, as the camera pans from her ankles upward in that breathtaking shot from The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946. Read more