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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Bogart and Bacall: The Complete Collection is Now on Blu-ray

The Warner Archive Collection has just released this sizzling four-film collection that celebrates two of Hollywood's greatest: the on-and-off-camera team of tough guy Humphrey Bogart and cool gal Lauren Bacall. Their love of their craft, as well as each other, and the gift of their timeless talent are showcased in this glorious 4-disc set, full of action, laughs, suspense, danger and, above all, a romance that will forever spark a flame in the hearts of movie fans.

The four films include the movie where the dynamic pair first met, To Have and Have Not. The first re-pairing of the smoldering couple, The Big Sleep. One Bogart's most intriguing rolls as a man on the run whose face isn't seen until a quarter way into the picture, Dark Passage. And what would be the husband and wife's last film together, Key Largo.

Iconic Hollywood actor, Humphrey Bogart is best know as Rick, the reluctant hero in Casablanca. But his career included a whole bunch of tough guys rolls long before he met Ilsa in that gin joint in French Morocco. His impressive resume includes such classic films as The Petrified Forest (in a role he originated on Broadway), The Roaring Twenties (opposite James Cagney), High Sierra (with Ida Lupino, and The Maltese Falcon (with Mary Astor and several future co-stars of Casablanca). Rumor has it that he was not the original choice for the roll of Rick in Casablanca, or many of his previous rolls (that honor went to George Raft who turned them) down. However, Casablanca made Bogart an undeniable star, setting him up to become the first choice for all of his future movies, and the power to select his leading ladies.

Beautiful and alluring actress, Lauren Bacall made her film debut in To Have and Have Not. Director Howard Hawkes cast the sensuous beauty on the recommendation of his wife. The nineteen year old Bacall was immediately enamored of her co-star who was twenty-four years older. One year later the two would wed and remain so for twelve years until Bogarts death in 1957. Besides their palpable on-screen chemistry, Bogie and Bacall shared a common unity of both being from New York City. This helped bridge the disparity of their ages.

Personally, as much as I like all four Bogie & Bacall films, I prefer Dark Passage over the others. Between the mystery aspect and the unique gimmick of hiding Bogarts face until well into the movie, it's extremely entertaining (and it has Agnes Morehead!). The attraction between the two leads builds up over the course of the film until it reaches a romantic and satisfying ending reminiscent of the ending in To Have and Have Not. Which ever Bogie and Bacall film is your favorite, this Blu-Ray collection offers hours of classic movie watching that will be a terrific addition to your DVD library. Enjoy!

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