"Humphrey DeForest Bogart"
is an actor who continues to rank near the top on everybody's
list. What is not generally known is that he made many appearances
on radio after he moved his act from Broadway to Hollywood. In
1930 he got a contract with Fox and his feature film debut was
in a 1930 short "Broadway's Like That", co-starring
Ruth Etting and Joan Blondell. Fox released him after two years.
After another five years of stage and minor film roles, he broke
through with "The Petrified Forest" in 1936. Leslie
Howard was starring in the movie, and threatened to quit unless
Bogie, his fellow actor from the Broadway production, played Duke
Mantee in the film version with him. Bogie named one of his sons
Leslie in gratitude for this big break.In fact, many of Bogart's radio appearances were versions of
the great films he did, but often he did guest spots or played
characters that weren't from films. These performances are not
known to the millions of younger fans that weren't lucky enough
to hear radio as it happened. This collection give everybody the
chance to hear that great Bogart voice again, and enjoy just how
special his acting was. Incidentally, while serving in the U.S.
Navy after getting kicked out of Andover Academy, he was wounded
in the shelling of the USS. Leviathan. The resulting partial facial
paralysis caused by his wounds gave him that signature vocal and
facial style he is known for.
Bogart on the radio, circa 1940Lux Radio Theater was the premier Hollywood old time radio show, and featured the major stars in their film roles. We have several of Bogie's greatest roles here, including a rehearsal for Bullets or Ballots. (That's the 1936 crime film classic with Edward G. Robinson and Joan Blondell). Screen Guild Players did much
the same, and again, Bogie gives us more of what we know Bogie for.
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was a WWII radio show where the stars let
their hair down for "the boys and girls in uniform",
and Bogie gets to break it up with Lauren and Frank Sinatra. We
get a few guest spots on well-known shows, including a Jack
Benny appearance. The guest spots are fun, and let Bogie play
off of the tough-guy roles the world grew to expect him to do. Bogie ("It's been misspelled a lot. He decided on it. It's
not Bog-ey. He signed with an -ie. And that's good enough for
me," said Lauren Bacall) had a production company that did
his films after WWII, and as the fifties
got started, Bogie created Bold Venture
along with Mrs. Bogart, who has had quite a career of her own.
On Bold Venture the two stars
play at high adventure in steamy Cuba prior to Castro, while bringing
along a great cast of Hollywood regulars to tough it up and act
out. It's easy going fun, and very enjoyable to hear again after
all these years.
In the film, he did say, "Here's looking at you, kid
but let's just listen to that great actor again, doing the radio
versions of some of the best loved films in Hollywood history.
It's all good stuff, "the stuff that dreams are made of
and like that bird, there's only one of the original.