Bogart The Signature Collection: Volume 2
it for 29.99 (free shipping) - It's Swell
Films: The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition) which includes
the wonderful documentary, ”One Magnificent Bird.”
Across the Pacific, Action in the North Atlantic, All Through
the Night, and Passage to Marseille.
Plus interesting featurette accruements that compliment each film;
Call the Usual Suspects, The Free French, Hollywood Helps the
Cause, and Credit Where Credit is Due
Bluntly speaking? Bogart is probably the world’s most popular
movie star – still. His on-screen mixture of bad boy devil
may care that hides a soft heart had audiences glued. He commanded
every scene he walked into. And remains a true platinum
card carrying, U.S. Commemorative Stamp assigned, American Icon
when today, being a movie star is handed out like an Altoid mint
to a smirking disheveled half-talent neurotic that's been visually
pre-fabricated to a fit a People Magazine trend by a team of image
makers, and given a bag of cash and a short term lease to a Hollywood
Hills bungalow. Ultimately they will have a shelf life of about
two films and one scandal with culminating in a trip to a swanky
rehab. Bogart was, and is, above that; he was legit, and swell
in the acting department too - when he tried.
Though there's still a few Bogart film's out there that are "better"
than this collection, they had a point in this second thoughtful
set. The first signature collection had the Big Bogies. This set
has one major Bogie, The Maltese Falcon, as its rock
- er, diamond.
Maltese Falcon, more so then The of Treasure of the Sierra
Madre, is the most important film of Humphrey Bogart's career.
Sure, Treasure gave him a meaty role, but Falcon made him a star,
and gave him his eternal persona. But, the coolness of the set
does’t stop there. The studio added two previously released
versions of The Maltese Falcon that didn’t end up in cinema
history. One stars the ever wonderful Bette Davis as the infamous
Ms. Wonderly in Satan Met a Lady. The other is a pre-code
version also called The Maltese Falcon that is almost
unwatchable. But, thankfully, among the cinema le poo is
the crowning jewel of the set, the disc dedicated to the magic
of The Maltese Falcon we all know and covet, they have
included a feature documentary called, “One Magnificent
Bird.” Hollywood big shots and scholars talk about Huston’s
dynamic film, its often surprising residual effect on film, and
the careers of most of its stars. The special also enlightens
the viewer on author of the book which started it all, Dashiell
Hammett. This is one helluva documentary.
the rest of the "smaller" films, you'll see what a big
star does over the summer. The films are historically fun, if
not the ones Humphrey was probably most proud of . For example,
there's a scene in Passage to Marseille, where Free French
beau Bogie, gal in arms, glances over an obvious set painting
of a French valley and in his best New Yorkese states, "Dis
is where I grew up..." or some such brouhaha of bull. I still
have to pull over the car when I think of that scene. He made
NO attempt to "French it up." And he didn't have to,
he was Bogart - plus how silly would that have been? Of course,
now the street wise delivery is just precious. If he wasn't a
huge star when the film was made, I am sure the press would have
served up a hefty verbal lashing. But that small scene is also
a microcosm of the real Humphrey Bogart, honest and no bullcrap.
though the films aren't award winners, as after-the-fact viewers
will relish in the familiar faces upon his screen. Costarring
faces you'll squeal at like Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and Sydney
Greenstreet, and peppered in the "background" are few
of the Warner Bros. stable of multi-talents like Barton McLane
and Frank McHugh.
brings me to another jewel in the set. They have four mini-docs
of high caliber included. One, an ode in the form of featurette
to these character actors of Warner Bros. (and film really) called,
Call in the Usual Suspects, reminds you how important
these folks are. The other featurettes look at the agenda behind
each film’s release. The Warner Bros. were very politically
active and were not opposed to creating biased films with their
Bros. of today adds dollops of time capsule goodies in the form
of cartoons, and newsreels, plus loads of never-before-seen snippets
and uber detailed film geek heaven styled audio commentary. And
the speakers in the set are brilliant; if you don't usually listen
to commentary, you'll want to listen here. It's like film school
lectures on Bogart and early films of Warner!
by Warner Home Video always seem absolutely jam packed with great
film lover extras. Bogart’s second set simply confirms their
dedication to making home viewing an event. This set (and most
of their others) are like a home film festival on their subject.