Humphrey Bogart help needed

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Doug Ennis, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Doug Ennis

    Doug Ennis Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey everybody, I could use a little bit of help. I have decided to try to build a collection of all of the Humphrey Bogart essential films on DVD. But due to the dreadful quality of many early DVD releases of classic films, I am weary of making my purchases blindly.

    As it stands, the only Bogie films I have on DVD are the 2 terrific WB 2 disc SE's of Casablanca & Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I am also embarrassed to admit that these are the only Bogart classics I have seen.

    So my question is this. Which Bogart DVD's are worthy of purchasing? I am asking about the quality of the DVD's themselves, as well as the films. Special features would be great, but I'd be interested in any good Bogie film as long as the audio/video presentation was decent. If the Bogart collection(s) I have seen recently are worth getting, I am sure I would have no problem selling my current discs of Casablanca & TOTSM. Any guidance would be much appreciated!

    P.S. I would appreciate somewhat prompt responses, as I hope to take advantage of the DDD coupons that are currently being offered. Thanks!
     
  2. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Screenwriter

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    Man, I've never seen a Bogart film that I didn't love... nor have I seen a Bogart film on DVD that was below par in terms of transfer quality. Even the earlier CASABLANCA disc was pretty great (but of course the new SE blows it away). The earlier Bogart releases (THE BIG SLEEP, THE MALTESE FALCON and KEY LARGO) aren't as pristine to look at as, say, DARK PASSAGE or TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, but they don't disappoint. Honestly, you can't go wrong with any of 'em. Oh, and don't forget IN A LONELY PLACE.... gorgeous to behold, and it's got a nice little feature on the film's restoration.

    I'm a fairly recent Bogart convert myself, so you're not alone. [​IMG]
     
  3. Doug Ennis

    Doug Ennis Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Craig! One other thing I was worried about is some of these movies being reissued as an S.E. right after I purchase the original version. Which movies am I reasonably safe buying now? I HATE double dipping, so I would rather avoid getting a title that may have an S.E. lurking around the corner.
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I agree there's nothing out there not at least decent, PQ wise.

    I'd heartily recommend:

    The Maltese Falcon
    High Sierra
    Casablanca
    Sahara
    To Have & Have Not
    The Big Sleep
    Dark Passage
    Key Largo
    Sabrina

    and here's hoping we get dvds soon of

    Across the Pacific
    Action in the North Atlantic
    The African Queen
    We're No Angels
     
  5. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Well I've just rented They Drive by Night and High Sierra from Netflix and they were top notch. I also grabbed Key Larg and it was not quite as good.
     
  6. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    I'll second In A Lonely Place. For my money, perhaps the single finest Bogart performance committed to film. Given that Columbia Tri-Star released this film, I doubt that they will do a re-release. While they are fond of reissuing titles, very few of their older titles have been afforded that treatment with From Here To Eternity being the only exception I can recall offhand. ( A Superbit release following an earlier release. )

    - Walter.
     
  7. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    There is one title to be careful with... the public domain title of John Huston's Beat The Devil. I have two versions; Platinum and an inferior version, Gotham. The Platinum is probably better than satisfactory but there is an audio drop-out about 1/3 of the way in. Either way, you can pick up this title for about $7-8.00 bucks.

    George's recommendations are great and I would add to it, They Drive By Night which is one of the recent WB releases. Not quite as good as the other 3 recent WB releases but still excellent.

    Also, Artisan is releasing The Enforcer on Dec 16th... it's Artisan - as for the quality, God only knows...

    Couple others I'd recommend:

    Dead Reckoning
    The Caine Mutiny
    The Desperate Hours

    and the Image versions of The Stand-In and Midnight are very good as well. Although, I'd wait to get the others that have been recommended first (till you're actually hooked...).

    As for double dipping... I'd venture a guess that we'll see The Maltese Falcon released as a 2 disc SE this year... (*EDIT* - meaning within the next year...)

    Herb.
     
  8. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I watching the special features of Treasure Of Sierra Madre.

    Absolutely fantastic documentary on The Making of and John Huston

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Justin W

    Justin W Stunt Coordinator

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    You can't go wrong with the Big Sleep. One of my all time favorites.
     
  10. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

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    Please don't forget The Caine Mutiny - one of Bogie's finest performances, and a good looking color transfer, IMHO.
     
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Echo most of the recommendations above. Maltese Falcon in particular is a gem that rewards repeated viewings.

    Another caution: Madacy's Call It Murder/Beat the Devil disc is THE worst one in my collection (as if the Madacy label isn't warning enough). The audio is increasingly out of synch throughout until it's about 7 seconds off from the video towards the end. Maddening to watch.
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    And don't forget Woody Allen's "Play It Again Sam". [​IMG]
     
  13. Bob Spears

    Bob Spears Stunt Coordinator

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    The Desperate Hours.

    bob
     
  14. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    This is my Humphrey Bogart collection, and I'd recommend them all:

    They Drive By Night
    High Sierra
    The Maltese Falcon
    Sahara
    Casablanca SE
    To Have And Have Not
    The Big Sleep
    Dark Passage
    Treasure of the Sierra Madre SE
    Key Largo
    African Queen R2

    However, The Big Sleep - cunfusing as it may be - is one of my all-time favourites. That was one of the very first DVDs I got and that was because I wanted that particular title before almost any others. (Criterion's The Third Man was also one of my very first DVDs...)

    BTW: The African Queen IS available on DVD. Why restrict yourself to one region!?
     
  15. Doug Ennis

    Doug Ennis Stunt Coordinator

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    From what I have read so far, I think I am gonna start off with the following:

    Dark Passage
    To Have and Have Not
    They Drive By Night
    High Sierra
    In a Lonely Place
    Big Sleep
    Desperate Hours

    If I like these films as much as I think I will, I will probably get Caine Mutiny, Key Largo, & Sahara next. I also want to get Maltese Falcon, but as Herb said, I have heard rumors about a 2 disc SE. Can't beat $83.70 for the 7 Bogie DVD's I am getting though. You gotta love the DDD 20% coupon!

    Thanks everybody for the quick responses!!!
     
  16. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I thought the R2 African Queen was pretty poor quality? I'm fine on importing discs, I just dislike importing shabby ones when you know sooner or later one at least as good will come out in R1.
     
  17. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I have the African Queen on ld (and burned onto dvd), so I'm not going to hassle with a R2 disc (I don't have a region free player, or any pal-ntsc conversion equip).
     
  18. Bobbi

    Bobbi Auditioning

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    Have all the Bogie DVD's been colorized or are they still available in B&W. Or better yet does the DVD give you a choice of how you want to view it?

    Pardon the stupid question. But all this is brand new to me.
     
  19. Rand

    Rand Supporting Actor

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    No dvds of Bogart films have been colorized that I know of.

    In A Lonely Place was one of my most wanted discs, both because it's a terrific film and because it never got a laser disc release.

    And just for completness, some other Bogart dvds not mentioned:

    Barefoot Contessa
    Dark Victory
    The Harder They Fall
    Sirocco

    None of them would be considered essential films but all of them are enjoyable and Ava Gardner is sure easy on the eyes in Barefoot Contessa. Bogart has a pretty small part in Dark Victory.
     

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