Vintage Pulp Jun 13 2020
ONE LAST SHOT
Bogart crime drama misses the bullseye but still scores a few points.


For us there's no such thing as a bad Bogart vehicle. Every movie we've seen from him in a starring role is at least decent. Above is a poster for The Big Shot, in which he co-starred with Irene Manning. Consensus is it's not one of his best. Bogart plays a career criminal who finds it incredibly difficult to go straight, and whose best efforts are confounded when he gets tangled up in an armored car robbery. We know from the beginning it went bad because the story is told in flashback as Bogie languishes in a hospital bed. Exactly how it went wrong is where the movie attempts to deliver the thrills. Despite its status as second tier Bogart, it has a couple of memorable sequences. The first is a prison break, and the second is a chase on icy roads as Bogart's car is pursued by motorcycle cops. This was Bogart's last gangster role for a while, because he was on the verge of becoming the cinematic leading man we all know and love. He had already proved all he needed to in gangster parts, and was thrilled to leave them behind. But this film showed that he would still need the help of a compelling story, an excellent script, and solid co-stars. From this point forward, he usually got the best of all those. The Big Shot premiered today in 1942.
Humphrey, don't be rude. Look at me when I talk to you.

Turn around and look at me, Irene. I said— Oh, you're doing me, aren't you? Nice.

You've got that Bogart thing pretty much perfected, Irene. Irene? 

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Hollywoodland Jan 6 2020
BULLETPROOF BOGART
Don't waste your time, sweetheart. You know as well as I do it'll bounce right off.


Who was Irene Manning aiming her gun at a few days ago? Bogart, who's so cool he can't even be bothered to pretend concern. In real life it isn't quite so easy to be hard-boiled with a gun pointed at your center mass. Did we mention the time we spent living in Central America? One day maybe we'll tell you the story of how one of us had a shotgun aimed at our spine, which preceded a home invasion, drawn knives, spilled blood, and retribution involving someone getting shot in the ass. Anyway, concerning Manning and Bogart, now the picture is complete.

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Femmes Fatales Jan 4 2020
INSULT TO INJURY
Ask me again. I dare you. Ask me if I got my jacket at Bullfighters-r-Us.


Above, a nice promo image of Irene Manning from the 1942 film noir The Big Shot. No bullfighting is involved in the movie but with a jacket like that, maybe they should have added a scene or two. More Manning here.

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Femmes Fatales Oct 1 2010
GOODNIGHT IRENE
Fear and loathing in Los Angeles.

Above, a Warner Bros. promo image for contract star Irene Manning, née Inez Harvuot, whose short career was distinguished by roles opposite Humphrey Bogart in The Big Shot and James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, seen here giving us her most convincing fearful look, 1942. 

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Vintage Pulp Jun 15 2009
SURE SHOT
Bogart delivers in one of his last gangster roles.


From the hard-hitting High Sierra to the lightweight Sabrina, for twenty-five years everything Humphrey Bogart touched turned to gold. Some of the other classic tough guys were good, but Bogart was numero uno, his world-weary mien and sardonic manner making even minor offerings watchable. The Big Shot, which was released in France under the title Le Caïd, is a good example. In this one you get Bogie as an armed robber and Irene Manning as his ex-flame trying to keep him on the straight and narrow. Few people would rank this in their top ten Bogie films, but Bogart is like sex—even when he’s mediocre he’s good. Le Caïd premiered in France today in 1949. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
March 04
1969—The Krays Are Found Guilty of Murder
In England, twins Ronald and Reginald Kray are found guilty of the murder of Jack McVitie. The Kray brothers had been notorious gangsters in London's East End, and for their crimes both were sentenced to life in prison, and both eventually died behind bars. Their story later inspired a 1990 motion picture entitled The Krays.
1975—Charlie Chaplin Is Knighted
British-born comic genius Charlie Chaplin, whose long and turbulent career in the U.S. had been brought to an abrupt end when he was branded a communist and denied a residence visa, is bestowed a knighthood at London's Buckingham Palace. Chaplin died two years later and even then peace eluded him, as his body was stolen from its grave for eleven weeks by men trying to extort money from the Chaplin family.
March 03
1959—Lou Costello Dies
American comedian Lou Costello, of the famous comedy team Abbott & Costello, dies of a heart attack at Doctors' Hospital in Beverly Hills, three days before his 53rd birthday. His career spanned radio and film, silent movies and talkies, vaudeville and cinema, and in his heyday he was, along with partner Abbott, one of the most beloved personalities in Hollywood.
March 02
1933—King Kong Opens
The first version of King Kong, starring Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray, and with the giant ape Kong brought to life with stop-action photography, opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film goes on to play worldwide to good reviews and huge crowds, and spawns numerous sequels and reworkings over the next eighty years.
1949—James Gallagher Completes Round-the-World Flight
Captain James Gallagher and a crew of fourteen land their B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, thus completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. The entire trip from takeoff to touchdown took ninety-four hours and one minute.
1953—Oscars Are Shown on Television
The 26th Academy Awards are broadcast on television by NBC, the first time the awards have been shown on television. Audiences watch live as From Here to Eternity wins for Best Picture, and William Holden and Audrey Hepburn earn statues in the best acting categories for Stalag 17 and Roman Holiday.
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