5 TRUE FACTS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD: HUMPHREY BOGART

HOLLYWOOD: The Studio Exec presents 5 True Facts from the Golden Age of Hollywood: 1. Humphrey Bogart.

The Golden Ages of Hollywood started at the beginning of the last century and closed in 2009, with the release of Paul Blart Mall Cop. In this new series, the Studio Exec will release five FACTS you never knew about a Hollywood legend. Cut out and collect the whole series to keep in a glossy album with laminated covers. This week:

Humphrey Bogart

Fact 1: Humphrey Bogart was the last actor to win an Oscar who was born in the Nineteenth Century. Bogart was born Humphrey DeForest Bogart on Christmas Day in 1899. He won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in John Huston’s The African Queen in 1951 after having been nominated for Casablanca, but not winning. He would also be nominated for The Caine Mutiny but would again not win.

Fact 2: Bogart began acting on the New York stage where he first made a name for himself playing hooray Henry roles in light comedies with titles like The Dancing Town and Cradle Snatchers. The line ‘Tennis, anyone?’ was made famous by Bogart, according to legend. It was a far cry from his later roles as a tough guy. But it wasn’t the movies which created the role but once more the theater. Having been in some risible films, Bogart returned to the theater in 1936 and made his breakthrough as the ruthless killer Duke Mantee in Robert Sherwood’s The Petrified Forest.

Fact 3: Almost his whole career, Bogart can thank George Raft for his unerring lack of taste when it came to choosing projects. High Sierra, Raft turned down. For The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, Bogart was often not only not the first choice but way down the list. His willingness to pick up projects and his hardworking ethic however saw him star in a series of hit films. But even for Sabrina Fair, with Bogie already a big star, he was still second pick after Cary Grant turned down the role.

Fact 4: Bogart was the original Rat Pack, which Lauren Bacall named. Bogie and Bacall became one of the most iconic romantic partnerships of Hollywood history. They starred in three movies together and a TV version of The Petrified Forest.  They were also the center of a social circle that Bacall dubbed the Rat Pack, which Frank Sinatra would popularize with a series of movies. Sinatra’s worship of Bogart probably had something to do with his pursuit of Bacall following Bogart’s death. This would even lead to a marriage proposal which never came off in the end.

Fact 5: Bogart was plagued by health problems. He had a bad back, drank too much and smoked way too much. During the filming of Beat the Devil – a follow up to The Maltese Falcon – scripted by Truman Capote and directed by John Huston, Bogart had a car accident and knocked some teeth out. Unable to use the audio, Peter Sellers dubbed all of Bogart’s role. After his diagnosis with cancer, Bogart ended up too weak to walk and had the dumb waiter in his house modified so it could carry him downstairs where he could meet well-wishers such as Frank Sinatra and Spencer Tracey.

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SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS HUMPHREY BOGART

HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the grumpy Humphrey Bogart.

Back in those early days Hollywood was a land where the sun never set.  This may have been something to do with the smog, but it was at night when the stars came out! There was always a premier to attend, a charity gala to support, or an award ceremony to get thrown out of, so if you want to know why I’ve never won a coveted Golden Globe you’ll have to ask Gene Tierney! And if she says I was fired from The Ghost and Mrs Muiryou tell her that actually I resigned before they could fire me. 

Anyway, one of my best drinking buddies in those days was dear old Humphrey Bogart. It was no secret that darling Bogie enjoyed a Scotch after work, but what is less well known is that he loved playing bingo. He spent all day long acting the tough guy, but as soon as the director shouted ‘cut’ he wanted to get his dauber out!

We had some unforgettable nights at the bingo hall, but woe betide you if you distracted him while he was playing. I once coughed in the middle of a game and when he missed the next number Bogie punched me in the face, pulled a gun and threatened to shoot me.
 Cornel Wilde pulled him off me, but we had to start the card all over again. 
I’ll never forget the night he won a cool $20! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look happier, not even John Ford when I told him I wasn’t available for Stagecoach
Bogie was always a family man, and on the way home he stopped at the all night toy store and spent his entire winnings on a model farm for the children. Whenever I popped ‘round they’d be playing with it, and his young boy was particularly taken with one of the little sheep. As he showed it to me I immediately quipped “here’s looking at ewe kid”! They moved house not long after that and sadly we lost contact, but they were a lovely family and I still think about them often. 
Not as often as I think about Hedy Lamarr, but that’s another story…

For more of Sir Edwin FLUFFER, be a peach and Click Here.

HIDDEN GEMS: 5. CASABLANCA

Hidden Gems is a series bringing to light little known filmic gems and rarities that have somehow managed to slip through the collective cinematic consciousness. You’re welcome. This week Casablanca.

Everyone knows Everybody Comes to Rick’s, the hit off Broadway play about a bunch of refugees looking for a way out of a Moroccan city during World War 2. What you might not know is that it was made into a film – called Casablanca –  and although no patch on the original play – it’s not at all bad.

Comedy Irish actor Humphrey Bogart takes the role of Rick on and Ingrid (not Ingmar) Bergman plays Ilsa, his beautiful long lost love and the woman who broke his heart, but has now turned up in his bar looking for an escape route to America with her fugitive freedom fighting husband, Victor somebody.

Many fans of the play might be shocked by some of the liberties Hollywood took with the material, but still you have to admit making the Nazis into the villains of the piece was a bold move, as was killing off the main hero Ugarte (played here by Peter Lorre) so early on in the story. Ultimately, Casablanca can be no more than a curiosity piece that would have been consigned to oblivion if it wasn’t for the interest that Everybody Comes to Rick’s completists have in it. If you can dig up a VHS, it is well worth a gander though most agree the David Soul TV series of 1983 was far superior.

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CHRIS PRATT TALKS INDIANA JONES

NEW YORK – Chris Pratt has finally confirmed in a soon to be published interview with WHACK magazine that he has been asked to play the lead in the Indiana Jones reboot.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Pratt:

A few years ago I was selling coupons door-to-door and now I’ve got the opportunity to play one of the most iconic characters in movie history but it’s not going to be easy; Ford might be knocking on but he’s tough and experienced. My aim is to take him out quickly before he can get in close.

Asked what he was talking about, Pratt elaborated:

Well the way the Hollywood casting system works is they make their top two choices fight to the death. I had to break Freddie Prinze Jr’s neck to get the part of Star Lord in Guardians but this one will be harder both psychically and emotionally.

Ford is said to be in peak condition after training for the upcoming Stars Wars VII and his agent said he is determined keep hold of the famous Fedora.

It’s not common knowledge but way back when they were casting the original movie Harrison had to fight Tom Selleck. It was a close bout but Tom finally succumbed to Harrison’s patented one-inch punch. Of course, back then it was a more gentlemanly affair and nobody fought to the death but Hollywood is a different, more brutal place these days. I remember watching George Clooney Vs Judd Nelson back in 1995. Horrible stuff. The image of George beating the twitching corpse of Judd with his own spinal column still haunts me to this day.

According to film historian Fitz Fullsome, the tradition began in 1941 when George Raft and Humphrey Bogart were up for the role of Rick in Casablanca.

It was the first and still most controversial casting fight in movie history. Raft had trained hard and looked unbeatable but Bogie sauntered in carrying a glass of scotch and kicked George right in the nuts and he went down like the Titanic. Years later when Bogie was asked by New York Times reporter Charles Lane about the incident he cooly lit a cigarette, took a puff and uttered the immortal line “Well Charlie, if all that stands between you and greatness is another man’s balls. You better kick his before he kicks yours.”

The Indiana Jones reboot is due in 2017.

PADDINGTON BEAR DUBBED

HOLLYWOOD – The bear who stars in the new movie Padington was dubbed by English actor Ben Wishaw, The Studio Exec can EXCLUSIVELY reveal.

The news came as a shock to the British films millions of young fans.

‘It’s complete ruddy bullsh*t,’ said Carl (11).

I paid good money to watch Paddington and although I had lots of fun watching his pleasant buffonry and japes, as well as scoffing some top tucker and swilling it down with lashings of ginger beer, I was devilishly put out to discover that there was some actor johnny doing all his lines. Zooks! Let the bear speak, for the love of God’s green earth.

The film’s director, Paul King rushed to explain:

We did try with Paddington’s own voice but unfortunately being from Peru he had a very strong Peruvian accent and his English left a lot to be desired. First of all Colin Firth agreed to do it, but after half a day he threw a wobbly about there being too many green M&Ms in his M&Ms jar and walked off. We had to get Q (Ben Wishaw) from the James Bond films to come in and dub over the bear’s lines.

Although rare and consider dishonest, this is not the first time an actors lines have been overdubbed by people other than themselves. Humphrey Bogart in Beat the Devil was dubbed by Peter Sellers; Darth Vader’s voice was replaced by George Lucas and Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was dubbed by Antonio Banderas.

Paddington is on current release.  

5 ACTORS WHO DIED

 HOLLYWOOD – Even in Hollywood where stars shine bright, Death, the Grim Reaper, the stretches his inimitable bony hand. Studio Exec pays his respects to five actors who died (with a list).

1. Oliver Hardy: Hilarious half of comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, Oliver Hardy died. 

2. Humphrey Bogart: One of Hollywood’s unlikeliest leading men, Humphrey Bogart initially became famous for his tough guy villains/detectives and only quite late in life proved himself a romantic lead in such instant classics as The Big Sleep and Casablanca. He stretched his acting chops in more unconventional roles like The Caine Mutiny and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but it was his iconic heroic figure which will be forever remembered. He died.

3. Audrey Hepburn: She was one of the most beautiful actress to ever grace the screen, with her glowing charm and wit she charmed audiences worldwide, be it as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or the Princess Anne in Roman Holiday. Now dead.

4. Grace Kelly: She was the silver screen queen who went on to become a princess, Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite actress and a woman of almost impossible beauty. She is the subject of a new film starring Nicole Kidman. She’ll likely die at the end or the beginning or both. In real life, she died at the end.

5. Bengt Ekerot: The Swedish actor and director was most famous for his role as Death in Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 thriller The Seventh Seal, playing chess on the beach with Max Von Sydow. In 1971 the shoe was on the other foot, however, when he died.

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