“Look, I’m hardly pretty, he seems to say. I sound like gravel; I look rough and tough; and, honest, I don’t give you the soft, foolish answers the pretty boys will give you. You may not like what I say, but you better believe it.” He became a legend as “Bogie,” the world-weary, wisecracking outsider, but in reality Humphrey Bogart was plagued by doubts and demons. He was born upper-class yet made his name playing mavericks, drank with the Rat Pack, and met four wives on set—including his great love, Lauren Bacall—yet always mistrusted stardom. Here David Thomson, one of film’s most provocative writers, reveals the man behind cinema’s greatest icon.
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Look, I’m hardly pretty, he seems to say. I sound like gravel; I look rough and tough; and, honest, I don’t give you the soft, foolish answers the pretty boys will give you. You may not like what I say, but you better believe it. I know, I’m a star in a funny kind of way, but not because I set out to be one, and not because I sold out. Honest.
It all works as a speech until you look at the imploring eyes, longing to be believed, trying to believe.
Actors should keep in work as steadily as possible – that or drink makes the best recipe for avoiding eye contact
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“David Thomson is, without doubt, the greatest living film historian.” —ALLEN BARRA, Los Angeles Times
DAVID THOMSON is, among many other things, the author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, now in its fourth edition. His recent books include a biography of Nicole Kidman, Fan Tan (a novel written in collaboration with Marlon Brando), and The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood. His latest work is the acclaimed Have You Seen . . . ?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films. Born in London, he now lives in San Francisco.