Bogart Bit: Director Sam Spiegel wanted Bogart to play an American commando in the Oscar winning Bridge on the River Kwai, but Bogie was already committed to The Harder They Fall. The part went to Holden, instead.
In 1940, Raft would star in They Drive By Night, with Bogart playing his brother in this trucker film. Third-billed Ida Lupino turned out to be the star of the movie, breaking down in a memorable courtroom scene late in the film. Bogart was billed number four, with Ann Sheridan holding down the second spot. That same year, Raft turned down the lead in a gangster comedy called It All Came True and Bogart took the part. It wasn’t a very memorable film: just one of the seventeen he made from 1938 through 1940. Bogart was again billed below Ann Sheridan (she was the star; he was third bill).
Humphrey Bogart had worked in thirty-seven films in the previous eleven years, but it was in 1941 that Raft inadvertently made him a star. Back in 1938, a young John Huston had co-written the script to The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, starring Edward G. Robinson and Claire Trevor. Bogie had third billing as gangster Rocks Valentine (poisoned by Robinson in this appearance). In 1941, Huston worked with author W.R. Burnett on the screenplay for the latter’s novel, High Sierra. Raft turned down the movie, saying he didn’t want to play a gangster. Also, he didn’t like the fact that Roy Earle died at the end of the film. With that decision, Raft’s short stay at Warners began its decline and Bogart was starting to climb out of B movie purgatory.
|The original Scarface|
Regardless, Bogart received rave reviews as the criminal with a tender side. Critics and fans loved him and he enjoyed his biggest success since The Petrified Forest. Raft had blown a chance to star in a hit film. Something he would certainly regret as his career regressed.
Raft made only one movie in 1941, Manpower, costarring with Bogart and Marlene Dietrich. Raft wasn’t happy with Bogart and had him removed from the film just after shooting started. Bogart was upset but was not reinstated to the film. Edward G. Robinson replaced Bogie and the mild-mannered star ended up in a fight with Raft. The movie was mediocre. Raft was 0 for 2.
Edward G. Robinson helped create the
Bogart, upset at losing Manpower, was even more upset when he was sent the script for Bad Men Of Missouri. He was to star as the eldest of the three Younger brothers, with Wayne Morris (who was actually billed above Bogart in Men Are Such Fools and The Return of Doctor X but featured below Bogie in China Clipper and Kid Galahad) and Arthur Kennedy (fresh off High Sierra, his second film). The female lead was played by future Oscar winner and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman. Legend is that Bogart wrote “Are you kidding me?” on the script and sent it back to Jack Warner, who quickly suspended him. Dennis Morgan replaced Bogart in the lead.
|Before Elvis Presley, Wayne Morris (left) was Kid Galahad|
Bogie is a scientist who had been executed. He is brought back from the dead and needs to kill people for their blood in lieu of the synthetic blood he was first using. Wayne Morris (see the tie-in here. Not a completely irrelevant jaunt) is the hero of the film.
This was Bogie's only science fiction/horror film and he has a skunk stripe in his hair. It is a classic bad B sci fi film from the era. He rarely talked about it as he considered this one of his worst movies. It was presented as a sequel to the successful Doctor X film, but the actual similarities ended at the title.
|I don't give that bunny much of a chance...|