Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yes, Even With a Headache

I watched "The Big Sleep" today, and definitely enjoyed it. Not long ago, I saw "Key Largo", another good one, and I've seen Casablanca, though only once, when I was somewhere past thirty. But Bogie really remains an icon, not an actor, in my mind's pantheon of images.

Humphrey Bogart is the archetype of hard-boiled, no-frills, mature manhood. He seems never to have been truly young, and even with his legendary romance with Lauren Bacall, a woman of unquestionably steamy appeal, he himself has always seemed not so much virile as just manly - a larger category, and not one fussing very much with the particular of libido. His charisma is larger than that sort, and though he definitely had "it" - his "it" was that Hollywood thing, that talent thing, that magnetism that doesn't depend on one's sexiness.

Wasn't it a surprise, then, to see him in "The Big Sleep"!?

His character states he's 38 in that movie. It looks about right. So this is a guy younger than I am now. Marlowe, and Bogie, in this, is insouciant. Not a shocker. CHARMING. Some surprise there. And ... good lord, he's sexy. The charisma is specific.

Bogie's place in the collective consciousness ... I don't remember ever thinking of it, nor even hearing of it, as containing that kind of attraction. And I like tall rockstars, kids. And tall nerds (hi, Jim Parsons!). None of these things translates into Bogart. But dagnab if I wasn't won right straight over by this role.

Next up is the Maltese Falcon. I do actually remember seeing this one, many MANY years ago - maybe when I was in middle or high school - and it seems to me highly likely I saw it with my dad, or at least I remember speaking with him about it. I recall really really liking it. But no sparks over Bogart, of course. We shall see how he translates now.

This reminds me. I need to see "Brother Orchid" again too. I saw it once in college, and was so completely brain-smacked by the entire concept of that film I have never forgotten. Time to remember that one again now.

No comments: