"Invite me over," Hump said. "From what I've seen of Dietrich I'd go for her in a minute. ..."
If that sort of stilted dialogue trying to pass as "oral history" sounds interesting to you, then by all means, go ahead. There's 501 more pages of this shit (a word Porter claims Bogart hated and refused to use). At the end of the book the publisher, Blood Moon Productions, is described as "publishing that applies the tabloid standards of today to the tinseltown scandals of yesterday." That pretty much sums it up. How convenient to write about the dead, too. Porter has also written salacious biographies of Merv Griffin, Michael Jackson, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Howard Hughes, Katharine Hepburn, and Paul Newman.
I was hoping for a fun, even trashy read about one of the great actors in the movies. But by the time the book gets to when he made Casablanca, long before he finally met Lauren Bacall, I was pretty worn out. And strangely, once Bogie starts getting successful, the typos in the book escalate. Maybe spell-check doesn't work so well when one cuts-and-pastes from too many celebrity biographies. It might be worth skipping through the pages of this mess if you see it in a bookstore or the library (where I should have left it) if you want some completely unsubstantiated gossip about people who have been dead for decades. But if you want to read a biography about Humphrey Bogart, this ain't the book.
Images from top: Humphrey Bogart, c. 1943, Helen Menken and Bogart, c. 1926, Bogart and Ingrid Bergman filming Casablanca.