lauren bacall

Blacklist Flashback: Bogey Before Bacall by Karina Longworth

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Humphrey Bogart was Warner Brothers' most valuable star in 1947, when he, his wife Lauren Bacall, his future African Queen co-star Katharine Hepburn, his friend and frequent director John Huston and many other stars actively protested HUAC. We'll get into that next week. This week, we're flashing back to our episode on Bogart from 2014, describing how the Casablanca star struggled to find his niche in Hollywood during the first part of his film career, the tough guy roles that changed things around, and finally his transformative romance with Lauren Bacall. 

This episode originally debuted in September 2014. The original show notes for the episode contains sources, soundtrack information and more. 

We’ve also previously discussed the careers of Katharine Hepburn and John Huston. In our 11th episode, from way back in July 2014, we talked about Katharine Hepburn’s rise and fall and rise again in the 1930s, and her relationship with Howard Hughes. Listen to that episode if you want to get a sense of how Hepburn was perceived as a star going into the Blacklist era, and for details as to what was going on in her personal life during the events that we’re going o talk about next week, check out episode number 64, which deals with Hepburn’s relationship with Spencer Tracy and their work together on such films as Woman of the Year. Finally, John Huston pops up here and there throughout our archive, but most prominently in episode number 35, which dealt with Huston’s service in World War II, and his relationship with actress Olivia de Havilland.

TALES OF CELEBRITY DRUNKENNESS 2014 {YMRT #26:} by Karina Longworth

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In our first annual end-of-year clip show, we’ll listen to some of the booziest excerpts from the 25 episodes of You Must Remember This released thus far. Highlights include day drinking with Judy Garland; the irresistible antics of Kay Francis; the drunk driving arrest that wrecked Frances Farmer’s career, plus stories about Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and more. Also: a zone-out-for-a-second-and-you’ll-miss-it mention of the topic of our first show of 2015!

Discography

“Say You Will” by Kanye West

“Preludes for Piano” by George Gershwin

“Buddy Stay Off That Wine” by Betty Hall Jones

This episode includes clips from the following episodes:

#2: Frank Sinatra in Outer Space

#4: (The Printing of) the Legend of Frances Farmer

#5: The Lives, Deaths and Afterlives of Judy Garland

#10: Kay Francis, Pretty Poison (Follies of 1938)

#13: Bogart, Before Bacall

#14: Bacall, After Bogart

#20: Liz <3 Monty

For soundtrack information for each of those excerpted episodes, please go to the show link.

YMRT #14: Bacall After Bogart by Karina Longworth

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Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart fell in love on the set of To Have and Have Not in 1944 and were together until his death in 1957 (see YMRT #13, Bogart Before Bacall). The marriage was blissful, but it required Bacall to put her own acting career on the back burner. When her beloved Bogie died, Bacall was just 32 years old, and at first, she was totally adrift, both personally and professionally. Today on what would have been the former Bette Perske’s 90th birthday, we tell the story of how Bacall spent the remaining 57 years of her life, from the disastrous rebound affair with Frank Sinatra to the almost as misbegotten second marriage, from her midlife reinvention as a musical theater star to her lifelong struggle to find a balance between being Mrs. So-and-So, and being Lauren Bacall. 

Show notes!

I researched this episode concurrently with last week’s episode, so there’s not much more to report on the sources front, other than this Guardian article. Bacall herself left behind a goldmine in her memoirs, By Myself (which was updated about ten years ago with a new chapter, and re-released as By Myself and Then Some), and Now. Ordinarily I wouldn’t want to use a subjects own autobiographies as my primary sources, but Bacall’s voice is so strong, and her point of view mostly so clear (except for her occasionally blinkered view of her first marriage, but she basically cops to being to blinded by love that she couldn’t report on that objectively, so whatever) that it seemed like the best idea. Also, she just died, and it seemed like the best tribute to her would be to showcase her side of the story. 

Discography

"Preludes for Piano No. 2" by George Gershwin

"An American in Paris" by George Gershwin

“After Parties” by DNTEL

"Welcome to Heartbreak" by Kanye West

"Dances and Dames" by Kevin MacLeod

 ”Prelude No. 21” by Chris Zabriskie

"Erik’s Song" by Slowdive

"The Future" performed by Frank Sinatra

"looped" by Jahzzar

"The Best is Yet to Come" performed by Frank Sinatra

"For Better or Worse" by Kai Engel

"Dance of the Stargazer" by US Army Blues

"Single" by Everything but the Girl

"Quasi Motion" by Kevin MacLeod

"Autumn in New York" performed by Chet Baker

"Divider" by Chris Zabriskie

"Benbient" by canton

"Welcome to the Theater" from Applause, performed by Lauren Bacall

"Tikopia" by Kevin MacLeod

"Mesmerizing" by Liz Phair

"Cylinder One" by Chris Zabriskie

"Empty Bottles" by Magik Markers

YMRT #13: Bogey, Before Bacall by Karina Longworth

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Humphrey Bogart is perhaps the most enduring icon of grown-up masculine cool to come out of Hollywood’s first century. But much of what we think of when we think of Bogart — the persona of the tough guy with the secret soft heart, his pairing on-screen and off with Lauren Bacall — coalesced late in Bogart’s life. Today we take a look at how Humphrey Bogart became Bogey, tracing his journey from blue blood beginnings through years of undistinguished work and outright failure (both in the movies and in love), to his emergence in the early 1940s as a symbol of wartime perseverance who could make sacrifice seem sexy. Finally, we’ll look at what it took to get him to take the leap into a fourth marriage that seemed to saved his life … until the world’s most glamorous stoic was faced with cancer. Next week, we’ll present the sequel to this story: Bacall, After Bogey.

Show Notes!

This episode was researched in part at the Warner Brothers Archives at USC. Thanks to Brett Service for inviting me to make use of the Archives and for helping me find what I needed. 

As I noted last week, each episode in this season has some connection to Hollywood Frame by Frame, the book I worked on which compiles previously unseen contact sheets of Hollywood still photographers. The admittedly rather flimsy connection to this week and next week’s episodes is that there are images in the book of Bogart and Bacall on the set of The African Queen. Pre-order the book now! </blatant plug>

There are a lot of biographies of Humphrey Bogart. I’ve flipped through many of them over the years, and I’m not sure there’s a single definitive or really great one. But, the most recent, Stefan Kanfer’s Tough Without a Gun, at least does the work of sorting through most of the previously published sources and comparing versions of the truth. Bogey by Clifford McCarty was one of the few film books my parents had around when I was a kid, and it was disappointing to open it during research for this episode and find that it had more pictures than text, although that also makes it pretty emblematic of the wave of Bogey image worship that sprung up in the late-60s and 1970s, which we’ll talk about in next week’s episode.

I became interested in the idea of exploring Bogey’s life before Bacall through City of Nets, Otto Friedrich’s beautifully written book on Hollywood in the 1940s. which dramatizes Bogart’s relationship with his third wife, Mayo Methot. Other sources relevant to this episode include By Myself by Lauren Bacall, Who the Hell’s In Itand Who the Devil Made It by Peter Bogdanovich, Humphrey Bogart by Nathaniel Benchley, Bogart and Bacall by Joe Hyams, Slim: Memories of a Rich and Imperfect Life by Slim Keith with Annette Tapert. and finally, the chapter on Bogart in Louise Brooks’ Lulu in Hollywood. After his death, more than one Bogart biographer disputed Brooks’ impressions/interpretations of her old friend Humphrey Bogart, who she insisted was not the same man as the Bogey the world thought they knew. Of course, Brooks’ recollections are self-serving, but I always think first-hand accounts are interesting, especially when they challenge or add shading to a legend. And that’s the thing about Bogartography: for all that’s been written about the man, his life and his work, there still seems to be so little that we actually know. 

Discography

"Intro" by The Big Sleep

"Fourty Four" by The Kills

"Dances and Dames" by Kevin MacLeod

"Out of the Skies, Under the Earth" by Chris Zabriskie

"Divider" by Chris Zabriskie

"Melody" by Serge Gainsbourg

"Love Like a Sunset" by Phoenix

"roughcut" by Tripwire

"Life Round Here" by James Blake

"Your Impersonation This Morning of Me Last Night" by Joan of Arc

"Rite of Passage" by Kevin MacLeod

"For Better or Worse"Chris Zabriskie

"Intelligent Galaxy" by The Insider

"Looped" by Jahzzar

"Shadow of a Doubt" by Sonic Youth

"Cyllinder One" by Chris Zabriskie

"Theresa’s Sound World" by Sonic Youth

"Will Be War Soon?" by Kosta T

"Prelude No. 21" by Chris Zabriskie

"Tikopia" by Kevin MacLeod

"Benbient" by canton

”Don’t Fence Me In,” by Cole Porter, performed by Frank Sinatrac