Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957)
- Charles Farrell, The Man Who Came Back, 1931. Lured to Hollywood with the Fox promise of the lead role, Bogie wound being hired by director Raoul Walsh as voice-coach (lisp and all) to Farrell.
- Walter Huston, The Prizefighter and The Lady, 1933. Bette Davis had wanted to make it with Bogie. Read into that what you will.
- Rollo Lloyd, Anthony Adverse, 1935. For the film of Hervey Allen's blockbuster novel, Bogie (and J Carrol Naish) were tested for Napoleon Bonaparte. Here’s looking at you, Josephine!.
- George Brent, The Old Maid, 1939. Sacked by producer Hal Wallis after a few days for not being the type two women would fall for.
- Burgess Meredith, Of Mice and Men, 1939. Paradoxically, the first film of a John Steinbeck work came from “presenter” Hal Roach’s comedy studio. Following the success of the Depression era play in 1937-1938, there was quite a battle for the two itinerant workers - Bogart and Cagney cited for George, with Broderick Crawford repeating his Broadway role of the mentally challenged Lennie. However, director Lewis Milestone – an ex-itinerant worker, himself - was praised and scorned for choosing the largely unknown Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr.But was Warners saying no to Bogart. He was required to play gangsters with Jimmy Cagney in The Roaring Twenties!
- Joseph Calleia, My Little Chickadee, 1939. Second banana was passable, but third to Mae West and WC Fields - Warner quickly refused Universal’s offer. (Much earlier, Bogart had worked with Fatty Arbuckle on stage in Baby Mine).
- Clay Clement, Granny Get Your Gun, 1939. Title of the year…! Bogie was in and out as Riff Daggett in a whodunnit stolen by May Robson as the titular boxer). Bogarde, in an iron lung sacrificing his batteries and his life, turned mix of Miss Marple and Annie Oakley. (From a Perry Mason tale by Erle Stanley Gardner). Robson was so busy at 82, that the production had to wait for her to finish Four Wives.
- Lloyd Nolan, The House Across The Bay, 1940. Warner threw out Fox-Walter Wanger’s offer for a key role opposite his wife, Joan Bennett.
- John Garfield, Out of the Fog, 1941. Bogie knew Irwin Shaw’s play (The Gentle People) and wanted to play Goff. However, Ida Lupinio refused to work with him again, alleging verbal abuse during High Sierra. Hence, the Warner memo: “Casting Garfield... would relieve us of the problem of convincing Lupino to play with Bogart.” “The studio lied,” said Lupino. “They didn’t like me, nor Bogart, nor Flynn.” They were too popular with fans..
- Edward G Robinson, Manpower, 1941. “This is the second time I’ve been kept out of good picture and a good part by an actor refusing to work with me,” cabled a "hurt" Bogart to production chief Hal Wallis. Culprit this time was George Raft. “I tried to get George to tell me what he was angry about... but he wouldn’t tell me.” Raft also fought with Robinson during the shooting.
- Dennis Morgan, Bad Men of Missouri, 1941. The role: Cole Younger in a (forgettable) Western. “Are you kidding? This is certainly rubbing it in. Since Lupino and Raft are casting pictures maybe I can.” He could not; he was suspended.
- Raymond Massey, Arsenic and Old Lace, 1941. Boris Karloff was the Broadway Jonathan and a vital part of the play’s success. To protect his producer. He refused to leave the play for the movie. Which is when the brothers Warner suggested a real Bogie-man. (And they wondered why he complained about the roles offered him!). Once Karloff signed a deal allowing the use of his name an likeness (“He said I looked like Boris Karloff!”), Massey played the role. But Cary Grant was the film.
- Cary Grant, Once Upon A Time, l944. The one about a boy with... a dancing caterpillar! Bogie’s partner was to be Rita Hayworth. Grant got Janet Blair.
- Dennis Morgan, God Is My Test Pilot, 1945. After 16 films in four years, Bogie was almost sleep-walking. He ws still Warner’s first choice for the Robert Lee Scott Jr biopic was Gary Cooper. Then, Bogie or Cary Grant… or even Scott, himself. Colonel Scott was a WWII USAF fighter pilot hero - his dream, since the age of eight. (A 1989 episode of the Coming of Age series, was called Todd Is My Co-Pilot).
- Charles Boyer, Confidential Agent, 1945. Bogie and Eleanor Powell were exchanged for Boyer and Lauren Bacall in the Graham Greene story.
- Zachary Scott, Mildred Pierce, 1945. Warners bought it for Bogart and Stanwyck.
- Robert Alda, The Man I Love, 1945. Bogie and Ann Sheridan churning into Alda and Ida Lupino made as much sense as the originally titled Why Was I Born? Be oming The Man I Love! (Not released until 1947).
- Peter Lorre, The Three Strangers, 1946. John Huston-Howard Koch’s follow-up to Maltese Falcon was made by director Jean Negulesco (nearly by Alfred Hitchcock) when Huston went to war.
- John Garfield, Nobody Lives Forever, 1946. For once, Bogie refused a role. And for why? The original title of the WR Burnett pulp explains all: I Wasn’t Born Yesterday.
- Dennis Morgan, Cheyenne, 1946. Horse-operas were not Bogie’s thing (as his two oaters proved). Give him a car - better still, a boat - and he was fine. Horses, nah! And, anywyay, not in a film first called Wyoming Kid! A pity because this surprisingly tame Raoul Walsh Western badly needed an A Star. Or even two.
- Robert Mitchum, Out of the Past (UK: Build My Gallows High), 1947. Author Daniel Mainwaring (aka Geoffrey Holmes) admitted much of the Gallows novel was lifted from The Maltese Falcon. So, naturally, he wanted Sam Spade to be Jeff Bailey.
- Dennis Morgan, To The Victor, 1948. Marked for Bogie - or Garfield - until the studio cut costs and imposed Morgan, ruining the rock and role of Richard Brooks’ first script for Warner.
- Raymond Burr, Pitfall, 1948. They called him crazy when director André De Toth dared reject Bogie... “I wasn’t looking for a Bogart picture. I want to photograph life, real characters, not movie stars who overshadow everything because that can never be a true picture of life. But we couldn’t find a MacDonald... We went through all the standard heavies. Finally, the casting agent came to my office, a little fellow carrying a satchel full of photographs, so many I'm surprised he didn't get a hernia carrying it around. He couldn't hold it upright, so pictures started to fall out... a waterfall of black-and-white glossies. And I noticed one on the floor right next to my foot. Raymond Burr, I said: That's him. That’s the one.’ I’d never seen him act but he was the right look, big, kinda handsome, but also a little scary. I couldn't tell from the picture that he was a very nice guy - which, of course, didn’t matter - and very soft spoken, which was perfect.”
- Gary Cooper,The Fountainhead, 1949. Barbara Stanwyck got Warner to buy Ayn Rand’s unintentionally hilarious individualism v collectivism tract, for Bogart and her. “When they assigned [director] King Vidor, naturally his idea of casting was completely different.” Hewanted the Bogie and Bacall hit team.Rynd insisted on Cooperand Jack Warner’s office was indundated with mail protesting about havingthe “Red” Bacall in an anti-Communist tale! New York Times critic Bosley Crowther buried the mess under “wordy, involved and pretentious.” A major flop blamed on Coop being being too old at 47 for the 20-something architect hero (Bogie was 49!). Plus none of the cast seemed to understand their dialogue.
- Broderick Crawford, All The King’s Men, 1949. According to Los Angeles Daily News - July 3, 1947 - Bogie was first choice to play Willie Stark (based on Huey Long, Louisiana’s controversial, 1928-1932 governor-cum-dictator), in director Robert Rossen’s script of Robert Penn Warrnen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The scenario was alson sent to John Wayne, who considered it anti-American. He wrote back to his agent, Charles K Feldman: “You can take this script and shove it up Robert Rossen's derrière.” Wayne’s tirade led to Rossen being called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951. He took the Fifth Amendment. Columbia Picures severed all connections with him and and bought up his rights and residuals in the films he made for the studio, including King's Men and The Brave Bulls. Two years later, a cowed Rossen named 57 Hollywoodians who had once belonged to the Communist Party
- Dick Powell, Cry Danger, 1950. Bogie’s company, Santana Pictures, bought the story for The Boss in 1948. (Movie stars don’t buy properties for others). But when Robert Parrish took the helm, Bogie lost the third Philip Marlowe (circa 1944)… and gained the second (circa 1943).
- Broderick Crawford, Born Yesterday, 1950. Hard-nosed Harry Cohn was fond of Bogie, even before moving his Santana company to Columbia. “King” Cohn saw him as Harry Brock in the first Hollywood property bought for $lm. (Bogart got the same again by selling Santana to Cohn). He made his final film, The Harder They Fall, for Cohn. Among the few to know of Bogie's cancer, Cohn kept announcing him for CS Forester's The Good Shepherd and phoned him about it every week until his death. “You know,” said Bogart, “that tough old bastard wouldn't call if he thought I wasn’t going to make it.”
- Broderick Crawford, Scandal Sheet, 1951.Or The Dark Page when Sam Fuller wrote his first novel and Howard Hawks paid $15,000for it... After completingRed River, 1946, The Grey Fox planned the Fuller thriller(reporter investigates his editor’s crime) for Bogie and Cary Grant!!! They were never available at the same time.He dropped it. Phil Karlson picked it up to reunite the 1949 stars of All The King’s Men, Crawford and John Derek.
- Gregory Peck, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1951. Bogie, Brando, or outsiders Richard Conte and Dale Robertson - didn’t matter who was Harry Street. Because author Ernest Hemingway disliked the movie for swiping chapters from his other novels to pump up his simple tale of a dying Peck mulling over a wasted career. Hemingway, however, adored Ava Gardner. “And the hyena!”
- Burt Lancaster, Come Back Little Sheba, 1952. A great role. No wonder Bogie wanted it to follow his Oscar-winning African Queen, 1951. He was the right age, Burt was much younger and chasing an Oscar. Studio politics won the day: producerHal Wallis had Lancaster under contract. Burt was not even nominated and co-star Shirley Booth stole the Oscar and all other honours - in her screen debut.
- Sterling Hayden, Crime Wave, 1952. Head Brother Jack Warner is screaming at director André De Toth. “What the hell are you thinking of? I offered you Bogart and Ava Gardner, the biggest names. You don't want ‘em...! Go ahead, Tex, make the goddamned picture with nobodies. Cut your own throat. But you'll have to shoot it in 15 days. Go on, get out!” De Toth was delighted at refusing Bogie a second time and getting his own way. “Hayden was a better fit. He had a certain rumpled dignity. He wasn’t bigger than life like Bogart.” And he shot the thriller in 12 days - with Bogie .“it would have meant 30 days on location. I did it with Hayden in 12, without all the usual top star trimmings on the shoot - caravans, lorries and girlfriends.”
- James Mason, A Star Is Born, 1953.
- Fredric March, The Bridges At Toko-Ri, 1954. In the Paramount frame for William Holden’s boss, Rear Admiral George Tarrant, were: Bogie, Walter Abel, Walter Pidgeon, Spencer Tracy… even director Wild Bill Wellman.
- James Cagney, Love Me Or Leave Me, 1954. Who should play the gangster husband of Ziegfeld Follies star Ruth Etting - Cody Jarrett or Mad Dog Roy Earle? Jarrett won… and Cagney also recommended Dors Day as the perfect Etting. (She wasn’t, said Etting, Jane Powell was. Indeed, they looked like clones). Richard Widmark was also in the mix
- Broderick Crawford, Il bidone, Italy-France, 1955. Bogie was already ill, Sinatra was a louse...Normally, Federico Fellini cast faces first (from photos of stars, actors, extra and amateurs) and their (dubbed) voices afterwards. He found his Augusto from All The King’s Men - not the film, but a vertically torn poster in Piazza Mazzini. The hangdog look was perfect but who the hell was “Broderi”…? Fellini found out - and also about Broderi’s alcoholism which made shooting a living hell. The maestro wished he’d gone with either of the Paris suggestions, Pierre Fresnay or Jean Servais.
- John Wayne, Blood Alley, 1955. Robert Mitchum had been sacked and before producer John Wayne took over he asked Gregory Peck (too busy) and Bogie - too pricey... even to co-star a fifth time with his wife, Lauren Bacall. “He was a very gentle soul. He was very strong, and very sure about what he believed in and what he thought was important and not important. He couldn’t be pushed around. But he was a gentle man. I was very, very lucky to have even met him, much less have been married to him.” Bacall also co-starred in Duke’s final film, The Shootist, 1975.
- Dean Martin Hollywood or Bust, 1956. Takes some believing but Dino became the Bogartian con-man from the scenario tailored by Erna Lazarus for Bogie and Shirley Booth - re-tailored as the final Martin & Lewis movie by Frank Tashlin. Go figure!
- William Holden, The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957. In the 50s/60s, to “Spiegel” was LA parlance for… to cajole, manipulate or con. That’s how producer Sam Spiegel won most of his deals, casts and women. He couldn’t Spiegel Bogie. Despite their The African Queen triumph, Bogie passed on Shears, written for him by Carl Foreman. Tyrone Power was next on the list. But it was Holden - and his canny agent – winning the first delayed payment deal: $250,000 plus 10% of “whatever the profits were, to be paid at no more than $50,000 per year.” By 1975, the cut reached $2.8m. (Columbia and Spiegel shared the annual $100,000 interest made from Holden’s funds!) Director David Lean was impressed with Holden and asked him to play an American doctor in his next (aborted) project: Gandhi.
- Kirk Douglas, Top Secret Affair, 1956. Impossible due to Bogie’s condition following “throat surgery” after The Harder They Fall - his final film. Susan Hayward took over the society lady while Bacall nursed Bogie on his deathbed. He died on January 14, 1957 from cancer of the esophagus. He was 57.
- Frank Sinatra, The Pride and the Passion, 1956. The New York Times reported in July ’55, that producer-director Stanley Kramer was "thinking fondly" of Bogart or the 25 years younger (!) Marlon Brando as Cary Grant’s sidekick, Miguel. Soon as he heard Brando had passed, Sinatra rushed into the role… and wished he hadn‘t. (a) He hated locations. (b) His wife, Ava Gardner, couldn’t be Juana due to The Little Hut. (c) Their marriage was crumbling.
- Richard Conte, The Brothers Rico, 1956. Everything ground to a halt when Bogie rejected Georges Simenon’s creation of Eddie, the oldest and legit Rico, having to pull his two brothers’ nuts out of the fire. Bogie was done with gangsters.
- Kirk Douglas, Gunfight at the OK Corral, 1957. Nearly his first Western since Virginia City, 1940. Director John Sturges always visualised Bogie as Doc Holliday... who was also dying. Next? Richard Widmark, Next? Robert Mitchum. Next…? When re-making the legend ten years on as Hour of the Gun, Sturgis chose a Bogie clone for Doc, indeed the new husband of Bogie’s widow, Lauren Bacall - Jason Robards.
- Audie Murphy, The Quiet American, 1957. Considering that Joseph L Mankiewicz was in charge, this was a shockingly homogenised version of Graham Greene’s prophetic novel about Vietnam. Greene denounced the film,,. so, naturellement, Jean-Luc Godard praised it. Bogie was well out of the mess. (Philip Noyce’s 2001 re-tread was more true to the book).
- Spencer Tracy, The Old Man and The Sea, 1958. Bogie tried to buy the Hemingway rights in 1952 and wanted Nicholas Ray to direct. A year after his friend’s death, Tracy made the film - looking more like a rich old actor than a Cuban fisherman, moaned Hemingway. Friends since Tracy’s 1930 Hollywood debut opposite Bogart in Up The River, Tracy was daily visitor during Bogie’s terminal illness. but was too emotional to deliver the funeral eulogy as Lauren Bacall’s request. John Huston substituted.
- Michael Caine, The Man Who Would Be King, 1975.