Life Magazine’s website currently features a slide show of classic film stars as babies. The gallery includes photos of Humphrey Bogart (can you even imagine him being a kid?), Marlon Brando, Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and James Cagney, who was practicing his gangster face even in infancy.
You were wrong, Albert Hammond – it does rain in Southern California. But that’s okay because some films are better viewed during gloomy weather.
Lindsay chose: The Big Sleep (1946)
The whole might not be greater than the sum of its parts, but the parts are stellar enough to warrant repeated viewings. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Howard Hawks, Raymond Chandler, and a noir-iffic Los Angeles combine to make an excellent rainy day film. I won’t supply a story overview because frankly, the almost incomprehensible plot is not a reason to watch. It’s the Bogie/Bacall chemistry and darkly alluring atmosphere of seedy characters and constant rain present in all of Chandler’s Philip Marlowe books that give the film its pizazz.
Alix chose: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
The Billy Wilder masterpiece Sunset Boulevard (also set in Los Angeles) tells the story of a struggling young screenwriter, played by William Holden, who becomes ensnared in the bizarre and deranged world of a former silent film star. The cinematographer deftly uses shadows to create the classic noir atmosphere, complimenting the mysterious plotline.
For those of you who think this second post about Gossip Girl is two too many (*cough* Alix), hear me out. The powers at be at GG must love classic film because week after week, the episode titles are inspired by movies from the golden age of Hollywood.
Hi, Society (High Society): 1956 remake of The Philadelphia Story starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra. You can read our review here.
Roman Holiday (Roman Holiday, 1953): Audrey Hepburn plays a princess who escapes royal life for a day, Gregory Peck is the newspaper reporter who accompanies her. Hepburn won the Best Actress Oscar for this performance.
The Magnificent Archibalds (The Magnificent Ambersons, 1942): An Orson Welles film about an upper class Midwestern family in the early 1900′s.
It’s A Wonderful Lie (It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946): James Stewart plays a man who is saved from committing suicide by his guardian angel. It’s the movie that’s always on tv during Christmas.
Gone With The Will (Gone With The Wind, 1939): My favorite all-time film. The film follows the life of headstrong southern belle Scarlett O’ Hara through the Civil War and its aftermath.
Southern Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Gentleman Prefer Blondes, 1953): Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell movie featuring the song “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”.
Enough About Eve (All About Eve, 1950): As we’ve said many times on this site: watch. this. movie. Bitingly clever script. Impeccable cast. And narration by Shere Khan (yes, from The Jungle Book).
The Lady Vanished (The Lady Vanishes, 1939): One of Alfred Hitchcock’s British films. Referenced by Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally with the line “You’re the most contemptible person I’ve ever met…”.
The Treasure of Serena Madre (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948): John Huston (Anjelica’s dad) directed this notable Humphrey Bogart film. The line “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges” in Blazing Saddles is a variation of one of the lines from this film.
Like lefse without cinnamon and sugar, Bogie sans trenchcoat just isn’t right.
Alix chose: The Big Sleep (1946)
The first two times I watched this film I had trouble keeping track of who was who and whose side they were on. Despite being slightly confused, I still thoroughly enjoyed the film. The plot has lots of twists and turns and keeps your attention the whole time. The film also proves that you should never mess with the private eye rocking the trench coat and fedora – especially when it’s Humphrey Bogart.
Lindsay chose: The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Does Bogie get any better than when he’s flanked by Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre? (faint whispher – “Bacall…”) As private detective Sam Spade, Bogart wades through a foggy mystery to decide who’s telling the truth and who’d like to give his trench just a few more breathing holes. Based on Dashiell Hammet’s novel (author of AOAC fav The Thin Man) and directed by John Huston, this film is the stuff dreams are made of.
Outraged we didn’t include Casablanca? Tell us in the comments!
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner