TCM Vault: Humphrey Bogart – The Columbia Pictures Collection (Love Affair / Tokyo Joe / Knock on Any Door / Sirocco / The Harder They Fall)

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3 thoughts on “TCM Vault: Humphrey Bogart – The Columbia Pictures Collection (Love Affair / Tokyo Joe / Knock on Any Door / Sirocco / The Harder They Fall)

  1. 2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    King Of Hearts, March 1, 2012
    By 

    This review is from: TCM Vault: Humphrey Bogart – The Columbia Pictures Collection (Love Affair / Tokyo Joe / Knock on Any Door / Sirocco / The Harder They Fall) (DVD)

    Amazon doesn’t currently handle this Humphrey Bogart film package, and that’s as it should be, at least until packaging improvements are made. Otherwise, massive customer returns could be in the offing. Why would the Sony Corporation take all the trouble of digitizing and transferring these wonderful films, then distribute them in such awful packaging? The slots four of the discs are seated in guarantee the discs will rub against each other and cause scuffing and scratches that can, and in my case, did result in impairments that caused one of the discs to stop working. Sony should copy the Alec Guinness film package – another set of 5 films where each disk rests snugly on its own spindle and the discs are protected from scratching and mutilation. Surely Humphrey Bogart is the equal of Alec Guinness, and his films deserve the best preservation, only an idiot would argue otherwise..

    Love Affair
    This film opens with Lady Columbia dressed in her art decco robes and while the effect is stunning, on the whole, this 1932 effort for Columbia Pictures received short shrift from film critics of the day. Alistare Cooke’s reaction, taken from his book Six Men, was typical: “As a film critic long ago, I had been vaguely aware of Bogart in his earliest appearances as an uncomfortable leading man in such forgettable items as A Devil With Women, and Love Affair.” The film survives as a historical curiosity, as a window into the early days of sound pictures, and of course, as a vehicle for Humphrey Bogart fans.

    Even your host for this series, Ben Mankiewicz, apologizes for Love Affair, acknowledging the movie isn’t one of Bogart’s best. But I think Mankiewicz has it wrong here. Looking backward, our hindsight is perfect. We know what the producers didn’t know in 1932: that Humphrey Bogart was a great actor. The value of a film like Love Affair is to see how he got there. Flashes of his later form surface in this film – not in the beginning of the picture – Bogart smirks too much in a self deprecating way. But by the end of the film the smirk is gone and he knows who his character is. Then too, you need a sympathetic camera, someone at the lens who understands character and what drives it. Bogart didn’t have that yet. There is a moment near the end of the movie where Bogart’s character decides he has to break up his sister’s impending marriage. It’s an important instant that moves the actor to action but the camera breaks away, refusing to linger, running off to other business even though Bogart’s face tightens in decision. That’s what makes this film so tantalizing. If this, that, the other thing had been done, it might have turned out better. At one point, as Bogart flounders his way through a marriage proposal, he apologizes for his romantic ineptness with words that might also indicate his feeling for the role: “I know I’m doing this all wrong. It’s because I’m new at it.”

    On a technical note, Love Affair is the only film in the package with its own spindle that holds the CD snugly in the manner we’ve become accustomed to. The remaining four discs are ganged on top of each other in slots; a packaging method that almost guarantees scratches and defects as we shall see later on.

    Knock On Any Door
    Humphrey Bogart and his friend, producer Robert Lord, created an independent production company, Santana Productions, in the aftermath of a 1948 Supreme Court decision requiring motion picture studios to end their practice of owning movie theaters. The Court ruled owning the means of production from top to bottom was “vertical integration”, the studios would have to cut the theaters loose. The studio system was ending and for the first time, top actors like Bogart had a voice in how they worked. Knock On Any Door, the maiden voyage for Santana Productions, was directed by up and coming director Nicholas Ray. The Ray-Bogart collaboration continued in the 1950 production In A Lonely Place.

    The film has a fatalistic theme that turns people into victims, unable to escape their circumstances or alter the hand fate has dealt them. That message didn’t sit well with post war audiences or critics who were just emerging from the twin scourges of The Great Depression and World War II, and it directly contradicted the ethos of personal responsibility. The message didn’t sit well with Bogart either, at one point in the film he administers tough love to badboy Nick Romano (John Derek), blackjacking him in a back alley while delivering a sharply worded wakeup call. Director Ray however, stayed with the theme of adolescent maladjustment, developing it even more fully in his later masterpiece, Rebel Without A Cause. Knock On Any Door did not provide Santana Productions with the financial cushion Bogart and Lord had hoped for.

    Ganging CD discs in slots instead of having each disc rest on its own spindle reaps its reward with Knock On Any…

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  2. 2.0 out of 5 stars
    Not Much Here., April 20, 2012
    By 
    Brian

    This review is from: TCM Vault: Humphrey Bogart – The Columbia Pictures Collection (Love Affair / Tokyo Joe / Knock on Any Door / Sirocco / The Harder They Fall) (DVD)

    Not a complete lineup of Bogies Columbia Films.Sahara?Why was that left out?Go Figure.Love Affair(Early Bogie film made before his Classic Warner Brother Years where Bogie,at last.made it to the top)is the only thing thats really new here.Unless you want the long lost Love Affair,Id save my money.

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  3. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    not his best but films about an icon, March 30, 2012
    By 
    Anthony Marinelli “marilread” (toronto on canada) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: TCM Vault: Humphrey Bogart – The Columbia Pictures Collection (Love Affair / Tokyo Joe / Knock on Any Door / Sirocco / The Harder They Fall) (DVD)

    This collection is filled with Bogart’s movies made through Santana productions released by columbia through harry cohn. As a youth Bogart was always my favourite of the old actors(along with cagney and robinson)and the old wb stalwarts developed a worldwide interest,with Bogart the most. As history wb was upset he choose to release his movies through columbia,but columbia had done solo projects with him over the years and was always ready to entice him. His big break was Casablanca,although he made many strong performances like high sierra and maltese falcon before that,but let’s begin with the first film

    love affair(193?)is rarely seen,I saw it here for the first time,and actually the female lead is the star and he mostly supports her and deals with the ins and outs of aviation,and he never made much of a splash in early hollywood and it wasn’t until the stage success of the petrified forest(1935)that he was invited back.
    Knock on any door(1949)was the first film made. Nicholas Ray who was new to hollywood was one of bogart’s favorite people in hollywood. If we look at these films they deal with the smearing and ruin of innocent people,and how they interact within layers of society doing damage to communities,with only persons of conscience to protect them.This may seem sociologically reducing as the
    introducer to the film says,but that’s for others to judge the reality of our modern cities. The film begins with the shooting of a policeman by the john derek character(marlon brando was not used due to cost). The lawyer of
    conscience,the bogart character who protected his father,who died of heart trouble in jail,believes he’s innocent. However,the derek character is victimized by ‘society’ in all ways,lies in court,chased away from jobs,his
    girlfriend and love object and support forced to commit suicide and its this
    suicide of his love interest at the end which forces him to shoot the policeman and we can just guess at what the connection is. The way innocent people were treated and the real causes of crime ignored nor the proper pursuit of crime the moral of the story,and a sthe lawyer bogart sais at the end knock on any door and you will find a nick romano,like the problems of the city were spreading,and problems not adequately assessed.

    The next project Tokyo joe has him playing a bar owner of sorts returning to
    japan in a casablanca type character and surprised to find his love interest still alive. Of course the love he felt is the reason for his return. He finds she is accused of being a traitor,and is involved in smuggling to keep his girlfriend from being prosecuted. There is subplot here about being accused of
    communist,and smuggling across hong kong macao,and at films end he dies saving the life of lover’s child. The point about film is he’s really an innocent
    person although the film is not a very good one,but it does show how the
    attachment to a woman can lead someone astray. An early interesting look also
    at how people in this area were often viewed suspicously,and had fixed days
    permits.

    The next film sirocco(1951) deals with the french trying to broker peace in syria and their presence in the region. It also is really a lesson in how these land engagements always lead to failures and backfire. Also how the military leaders girlfriend is interfered with by the bogart character,harry smith,and his attachment to local girl and how it interferes with his military judgement,and later Smith confronts him with this as the real reason for his wanting to murder him. It is really a fim of military control,gun runners,how
    military intrusion in any region will fail,and also bad intelligence.as the
    bogart character tries to get himself out of damascus but ends up being killed.
    The early part of the film,where the female character tries to escape from
    the grips of the military chieftain by the fugitive smith,is a turn on the idea
    of the innocent and the hunted,but they fail,with much insight on syria,a land
    of foreign intrusion for 2000 years. The least successful of the bogart productions.

    The harder they fall(1956) was not a film made by bogart’s company but by columbia. The last film before he died. It deals with a sportswriter taking a job promoting a south american boxer through a series of fixed fights. It really shows how boxing matches were staged,and how the world of sports was corrupted,and at the end the journalist changes,is reformed and though the
    boxer beaten and bloodied gets nothing he turns over all his money to him,and
    it just goes to show as all these movies do,how the innocent have no help in society. How these people are victimized in these movies are what the artist
    bogart wanted to portray and we tank him for trying to illustrate through a
    series of films,that usually conscience driven people in communities are the
    only people…

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