The Humphrey Bogart Collection (DVD-2003)
Reviewed by Daniel Severin
Bogart is the Number One actor of all time, according to the American Film Institute and an Entertainment Weekly readers’ poll. To honor his legacy, Warner Brothers has recently released The Humphrey Bogart Collection, a box set containing DVDs of five of his finest performances. Comprising the set
are Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Big Sleep, and To Have and Have
Not. We recently reviewed the amazing new DVDs of Casablanca and Sierra Madre on Celluloid Dreams; both editions are packed with bonus features, including commentaries, documentaries, and Bogart
and Warner Brothers-related materials.
in The Humphrey Bogart Collection are two classic noir films. In The Big Sleep, Bogart plays private detective Philip Marlowe, investigating a blackmail attempt that threatens
to scandalize a wealthy Los
Angeles family. The story
of how The Big Sleep was made is as interesting as the film itself, and this impressive
DVD chronicles it all. The disc contains the prerelease version of the film, as well as the 1946 theatrical version. You can
watch both and look for the modified and deleted scenes, or view the behind-the-scenes featurette that explains what was changed
and why before the picture was released.
Next in the
set is The Maltese Falcon, the original film noir. Bogart plays Sam Spade, a San Francisco private eye who wants to find out who killed his partner and help Mary Astor find
a famous missing statue. In a convoluted series of double- and triple-crosses, The
Maltese Falcon ushered in a new chapter in cinema history and defined the genre of film noir. The DVD also includes an
intriguing documentary on how the Warner Brothers publicity team crafted Bogart’s image using the trailers for his films.
out the set is To Have and Have Not. This is the film that brought Humphrey Bogart
and Lauren Bacall together for the first time. Love blooms on and off the screen as the couple’s relationship grows
parallel to that of their characters in the film. Set in the French colony of Martinique during World War II, the plot embroils Bogart in the struggle between French loyalists and the corrupt, German-appointed
French government. To Have and Have Not is based on an Ernest Hemingway novel and
has never been available on DVD until now. The disc’s extras include a making of the film featurette and a Lux Theatre
radio adaptation of the film, also starring Bogart and Bacall.
Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, and To Have and Have Not
are all essential viewing. Even if you’ve already seen them, the quality of the presentation, the comprehensive
supplementary materials, and the convenience of having all five films in one box, make The
Humphrey Bogart Collection a worthwhile purchase. It makes a perfect gift for any movie fan on your holiday shopping list,
or if you want to treat yourself to some four-star films from some of Hollywood’s greatest directors, you can’t go wrong with The
Humphrey Bogart Collection.