Posts Tagged ‘Bette Davis’

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Things were very talk-intensive in the first 45 minutes or so, which equates to a little more than half of the entire film, unfortunately. This was largely due to this film being one of the many wildly successful (sarcasm) translations of a stage play to a film. You know the drill – whole movie takes place in one of two settings, storyline is thusly adapted and simplified to adhere to the constraints of said settings, etc. Humphrey Bogart, also known by some as “Da Hump”, is displayed here in full sour-puss, one-note glory – his break out role, in fact. Also, most likely the role where he was established as the go-to actor when you need a grumpy middle-aged guy who doesn’t need much acting range and has a flashy screen-name. In some scenes his arms appear to be stuck in a bent position which we later realized must have been a bizarre attempt on Da Hump’s part to toughen his persona. However, most will just have the same reaction I did, asking themselves “Why are his arms bent like that? Does his character wear a prosthesis on both sides of his torso? How sad! Oh wait! I think I saw one move a little!!”

Bette Davis is her usual “pretty good for a 1930’s actress” self here, nothing too memorable aside from her usual bug-eyes popping out of her skull. Oh and she falls for the usual love interest in the late 1930’s: that skinny, whimpy, feminine and sexually ambiguous british dude (arent’t they all?) that played Scarlett Ohara’s main squeeze in Gone with the Wind. (Sorry, couldnt remember his name because he doesnt have a famous one…) All in all, worth seeing so you too can wonder how this firmly mediocre film became the breakout vehicle for a mostly unknown-at-the-time Humphrey Bogart to go headlong into a career portraying emotionless, robotic, stone faced, blank stare, and “self-consciously-acting-while-delivering-his-lines” leading man roles.