The American Film Institute‘s “100 Years…100 Stars” list picked Humphrey Bogart as the greatest movie star of all time. Bogart appeared in 75 films over the course of his nearly 30-year career. He worked for a number of different studios in his lifetime, but it was with Warner Bros. that the Bogie legend was born.
Fans have been anticipating Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection from Warner Video for months. Now that it is available, they are in for a real treat. This is an outstanding DVD box set, filled with great films and fascinating ephemera.
The set includes 24 films, spread out on 12 double-sided DVD discs, plus a disc featuring The Brothers Warner documentary. There is a 48-page hardback book, and a packet of studio mementos such as posters, photos, and correspondences. By far the most impressive additional materials are the DVD extras that accompany each film. The sheer amount of this stuff is staggering, at least twenty hours’ worth — and probably more.
The 24 films:
The Petrified Forest (1936) * Black Legion (1937) * Marked Woman (1937) * Kid Galahad (1937) * San Quentin (1937) * The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938) * Dark Victory (1939) * The Roaring Twenties (1939) * Invisible Stripes (1939) * Virginia City (1940) * Brother Orchid (1940) * They Drive By Night (1940) * High Sierra (1941) * The Maltese Falcon (1941) * All Through The Night (1941) * Across The Pacific (1942) * Casablanca (1942) * Action In The North Atlantic (1943) * Passage To Marseille (1944) * To Have And Have Not (1944) * The Big Sleep (1946) * Dark Passage (1947) * The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948) * Key Largo (1948)
Each film, and its bonus features occupy one side of a double-sided DVD. The extras vary depending on the film, but the majority offer a “Night At The Movies” option. This format recreates the movie-going experience of 60-70 years ago, when they were first screened at the neighborhood theatre. In those pre-television days, newsreels were always shown. Then there would be a musical short or two, maybe a comedy segment, one or two of the great cartoons the studio was producing, and anything else that might interest the public. Watching the DVDs in this manner is almost like traveling back in time, and adds perspective to the movies.