Here’s Looking At You, Kid: The 2014 Humphrey Bogart Film Festival Preview

Humphrey Bogart Estate and Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Announce Creation of Humphrey Bogart Film Festival; Fans Can Help Select Movies at (PRNewsFoto/Humphrey Bogart Film Festival)

This weekend I will be attending the 2014 Humphrey Bogart Film Festival (May 1-4), and writing about my experiences for Cinema Sentries . I can’t wait! I inherited the love of Bogie and classic films from my dad, and am thrilled to have chance to check out this festival, now in its second year. Put together by Bogart’s son Stephen Bogart and the Humphrey Bogart Estate, the festival meets every year in Key Largo, Florida, the setting for the classic John Huston film of the same name that starred Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Claire Trevor, and Edward G. Robinson. Also in Key Largo is another iconic item from a Bogart film, the steamboat the African Queen.

This year Stephen Bogart wants to honor his parents, one of Hollywood’s most famous couples, Bogie and Bacall, with the festival them of “Romance.” Bogie is reported to have said of Bacall, “She’s a real Joe. You’ll fall in love with her like everybody else.” Who can argue with that? Along with many classic films like Key Largo, To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep featuring Bogie and Bacall, there are also classic romantic films on the festival schedule, such as An Affair to Remember, Dark Victory (Bogie had a small part as a stablehand in the Bette Davis tearjerker), Out of Africa, How to Marry a Millionaire (Bacall teamed with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable in this Technicolor comedy), Some Like It Hot, and Notorious.

I will be trying to fit in as many of the Bogie/Bacall pairings as I can, along with classics like The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, Sabrina, and the amazing Casablanca, which is set to be screened outside on Friday evening. As Bogie said of his first truly romantic role, “I didn’t do anything I’ve never done before, but when the camera moves in on that [Ingrid] Bergman face, and she’s saying she loves you, it would make anybody feel romantic.” Seeing Casablanca and Bogie and Bergman and Claude Rains and all the rest under the stars should be an experience that is hard to beat, and I’m looking forward to seeing all of these great films on the big screen. Also screening on Friday will be the premiere of This Last Lonely Place, the first new film from the Bogart Estate’s Santana Films.

Many of the films in the festival are running at the same time, at different locations, so it will be a challenge to fit in as many as I can, as well as attend some of the interesting special events featuring Stephen Bogart and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin, and what is being dubbed the “Bogart Ball,” where this year’s festival award will be presented to actress Olivia Thirlby (last year’s recipient was actor Jack Huston).

Sounds like a busy, film-filled (and pretty fun) weekend. I’ll try to post intermission updates.

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Elizabeth Periale

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