Blu-ray Review “The Best of Bogart Collection”

BOGARTActors: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Peter Lorre, Ingrid Bergman, Mary Astor
Directors: John Huston, Michael Curtiz
Number of discs: 4
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
Run Time: 433 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Back in my days in colleges (years ago!), I took a film class and I learned all about the amazing work of the legendary actor Humphrey Bogart. This opened up a new world to me and I was exposed to films like “The Maltese Falcon” and “Casablanca”. We looked deep into this films and I grew a great appreciation for them and other films as well. “The Best of Bogart Collection” is a great collection of his films including “The African Queen”, “Casablanca”, “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. This films have been released previously on Blu-ray but this is the first time that they are all packaged together. Also as an added bonus we get reproduction art cards from each film, which is a real great collectible. A must have for any Bogart fan!

“The African Queen” is such a great film. Charlie Allnut is such a great character for him. This is one of those films that I can never turn off once I see it on. “Casablanca” is in a world of its own. It is over 70 years old and still so amazing and relevant. Such a classic and will continue to stand the test of time. “The Maltese Falcon” is a film that I studied quite a bit and really was one of the first films that I was introduced to Bogart and his career. It will always hold a special place for me. Last but not least is “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, which in fact is a film that I have never seen (*gasp*). But thanks to this new collection, I was able to find out what I have been missing wit this AFI Top 100 classic.

“The African Queen” Offical Premise: Stars Humphrey Bogart in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Charlie Allnut, the slovenly, gin-swilling captain of a tramp steamer called the African Queen, which ships supplies to small East African villages during World War I. Katharine Hepburn plays Rose Sayer, the maiden-lady sister of a prim British missionary, Rev. Samuel Sayer (Robert Morley). When Germans invade and Samuel dies, Allnut offers to take Rose back to civilization. She can’t tolerate his drinking or bad manners; he isn’t crazy about her imperious, judgmental attitude. However it does not take long before their passionate dislike turns to love. Together the disparate duo work to ensure their survival on the treacherous waters and devise an ingenious way to destroy a German gunboat.

“Casablanca” Offical Premise: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you’re wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one – especially Victor’s wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo’s transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more – personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance.

“The Maltese Falcon” Official Premise: A gallery of high-living lowlifes will stop at nothing to get their sweaty hands on a jewel-encrusted falcon. Detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) wants to find out why–and who’ll take the fall for his partner’s murder. An all-star cast (including Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Elisha Cook Jr.) joins Bogart in this crackling mystery masterwork written for the screen (from Dashiell Hammett’s novel) and directed by John Huston.

“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” Official Premise: Gold in the hills, avarice in the hearts of men. Two hard-luck drifters (Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt) and a grizzled prospector (Walter Huston) discover gold. Then greed and paranoia set in. John Huston won Academy Awards for his direction and screenplay. And his dad took the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Without awards, but with enduring acclaim, is Bogart’s performance, transforming from a likable hobo to a heartless thug simmering in greed.

If these four films are not enough, these films also come jam-packed with special features. First, we have “The African Queen”, which also has the least extras. There is “Embracing Chaos: Making The African Queen”, which goes behind-the-scenes into the film.
“The Maltese Falcon” delivers impressive extras as well with a commentary track by Bogart Biographer Eric Lax. There is a featurette “The Maltese Falcon: One Magnificent Bird”. “Breakdowns of 1941” is a Studio Blooper Reel. There are Makeup Tests, Short Subjects Gallery and an Audio-Only Bonus: 3 Radio Show Adaption’s. Lastly “Becoming Attractions” is a collection of trailers of Humphrey Bogart Warner Night at the Movies 1941.

“Casablanca” packs the most extras of any of the films. Ther is a commentary track from Roger Ebert and also another from Historian Rudy Behlmer. There is an Introduction by Lauren Bacall and also additional scenes & outtakes, as well as scoring session outtakes. There are a few feaurettes, “Bacall on Bogart”, “You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca” and “As Time Goes By: The Children Remember”. “Who Hold Tomorrow?” is the premiere episode from the 1955 TV Series adaptation of Casablanca. There is a Radio Production with the Movie’s 3 Key Stars. Lastly there is a Production Research Gallery,
Homage Cartoon Carrotblanca with Bugs Bunny and some Theatrical Trailers.

Lastly, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” also includes a commentary track from Bogart Biographer Eric Lax. There are a few featurettes including “Discovering Treasure: The Story of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and “Documentary Profile John Huston”. There is Warner Night at the Movies 1948 Short Subjects Gallery. Lastly there is a intro from Leonard Maltin, Newsreel footage, 2 Classic Cartoons, Comedy Short, Theatrical Trailers and an Audio-Only Bonus: Radio Show with the Movie’s Original Stars.

Get The Best of Bogart Collection for the first time, in one great Blu-ray collection, March 25th!

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