Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1936: Humphrey Bogart in The Petrified Forest

Humphrey Bogart did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest.

The Petrified Forest is about a group of different people being held up by a bank robber in a lonely service station in the desert.

Humphrey Bogart plays the bank robber and made his first break out with this film. This break out  did not make him a leading man, but rather propelled him to a prominent supporting player. Apparently it was Leslie Howard who insisted Bogart reprise his stage role as Duke Mantee, a role that is well built up by the film until his appearance in the last act of the film. His first appearance though is not excessively dramatic as he and his gang make hijack a car, but at least it builds up to his far more dramatic entrance into the diner. Well Bogart is indeed a natural fit for the criminal type and does match exactly what it is described about Duke especially well. Bogart's good at bringing that sort of needed rough command to the character as well brings the violent nature of the man in his eyes as he enters the diner. The Duke comes in and technically speaking takes over the film even though he does not really have that many lines of dialogue with much of his time being spent watching the other people in the diner complain about their lives.

Bogart though carries a strong menace with his mere presence while being able to bring a great deal of intention to himself merely in the way he watches over the people, while Duke waits for the rest of gang to appear including his girlfriend. The film already gives the description of the killer as basically a sunken man and Bogart matches this rather well in his physical expression of Duke's face. Bogart is able to keep a certain tension through his performance, even though the film kinda wastes it a bit with it's decision to perhaps make the civilians and the gang a little too chummy. After all even when one of the guys in the diner tries to take down the gangster they seem to try their best not to hurt him for it. Bogart though meets the demands as the hard man who is both feared and oddly looked up to because of notoriety. Bogart is able to project himself with that slightly larger life anti-ego in a way. Bogart is very good in the way he has Duke's manner to be modest in that he is not technically speaking really a flamboyant sort. Bogart though makes it impossible not to notice him as there is something striking about his explosive personality even though he's keeping it under control for the moment.

The most remarkable element of Bogart's performance though is that he does not portray Duke as a particularly happy man even in his escape. There is a certain sorrow and anguish that Bogart effectively brings in the man as though he is well aware that he probably won't make it out of the night alive. Bogart though is particularly good in his moments where he interacts with the failed author and current drifter Alan (Howard) who wishes for Duke to kill him that way he can give his life insurance money to someone he cares about. They technically are both men starring into a void, but Bogart expresses well the difference in Duke over Alan, as the Duke seems wholly confused over Alan's willingness to die. Now I do have to admit I do have a few reservations towards Bogart's performance here as there is a bit of unneeded theatricality such as the way he holds his arms when walking around which does not quite work, and leaves his performance here not nearly as assured as some of his later work. Also his whole character is wrapped up in a way that feels a bit unsatisfying although that is hardly Bogart's fault. Nevertheless this is still a strong portrayal and it is easy to see why it became his first major break through as an actor.

24 comments:

luke higham said...

Bollocks.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Thoughts/ratings on the rest of the cast?

Anonymous said...

Oh well I expected you to like him much more. What are your ratings and thoughts ob Robert Taylor in Camille? Because I thought he was very bland and completely overshadowed by Garbo.

Anonymous said...

Also, ratings and thoughts on Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in Swing Time, Norma Shearer in Romeo & Juliet and Olivia DeHavilland in Anthony Adverse, if you don't mind.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

I have to admit Howard made a bigger impression on me than Bogart on re-watch.

moviefilm said...

If there are some bonus rounds, then I'm changing my request from supporting actor 1976 Ron Howard in The Shootist to leading actor 1965/1966 (you decide) Jan Kroner in The Shop on the Main Street.

mcofra7 said...

I believe it is Jozef Kroner in that film and not Jan. An honest mistake as Jan is his son.

RatedRStar said...

Leslie Howard seems to have made a bigger impression on most people now, I mean when I first saw Howard I really didn't think much of him as actor at first, just a posh actor who played posh people, but I really have grown to like him now =D.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar & GDSAO: Your Ratings & Thoughts on Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace & Hayden Christensen in Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Your thoughts and prediction for the upcoming UEFA Champions League Final.

RatedRStar said...

Luke:

Lloyd (1.5) Just the worst kind of child performance ever, George Lucas directing child actors, ha never =D, Jake manages to both overact every overdone line (YIPPEE) and still be completely dull, his worst scene is his opening exchange with Natalie Portman " are you an angel" he says it with such an uninteresting delivery that it becomes just stupid.

Christensen in AOTC (1.5) I have seen wardrobes that have more life in them, so fucking bland, so fucking charismaless, his romantic scenes with Portman are just useless and have no chemistry or charm what so ever, Anakin is such an unlikable brat that I cheered when Dooku chopped his hand off, his worse scenes are all of them =D.

Christensen in ROTS (1.5) I think he is worse in AOTC because he is so dull, here he is actually unintentionally hilarious at times, his attempts at being evil, as well as his final line in the film (I HATE YOUUYYAUU) but he is still dull a lot of the time and I just think he is shit lol, I think everybody who starred in the prequels (bar Mcgregor who does try) should be ashamed of themselves.

I see Barcelona being pretty strong favorites, I dont see how Messi, Suarex and Neymar can be stopped.
As for the thoughts I have always been 50/50 about my love for Bayern Munich and Barcelona, I always like Pep Guardiola and many of their players but I like like (yum) Neymar =D so, I am happy that at least one of them are in the final.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: I think your ratings are far too fucking generous. =)

Barcelona 3 Juventus 1

RatedRStar said...

Luke: What would your thoughts be on those 3 Star Wars performances lol?

I will predict

Barcelona 2:0 Juventus

ummm Neymar =D =D =D

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Awful, just ungodly awful, 1s all around. Lloyd is such an annoying little shit with, lines such as Yippee, are you an angel, I will come back and free you mom, I promise and I saw your laser sword, he deserved a kick in the nuts. Probably, the worst child performance of all time. Christensen is hardly any better with his whining and bitching and his romantic chemistry with Portman, flat out sucked, plus his turn to the dark side was terribly unconvincing.

Louis Morgan said...

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar:

Howard - 4(The same thing happened to me on re-watch, and Howard simply stood out the best. I don't know what it is but for some reason Howard does seem to grow on you over time, and I feel I probably should give even Berkeley Square another go. I really liked Howard here as he knows how to wax philosophic particularly well. Here I liked how he did it with a bit self loathing though, as though he was well aware his knowledge in no way aided him in life. I don't know if any actor could quite make the character's fate work though, as the writing expects a little too much from him all at once. Howard though does his best and manages to be fairly moving even if it doesn't make a lot of sense.)

Davis - 3.5(I liked her performance here for the most part as I felt she does bring a certain charm and is likable enough to make at least Alan's infatuation with her believable. She does have a couple awkward moments I feel but they don't distract too much)

Tobin - 2(She failed to make me believe her character for a moment. You don't feel any repression and when she asks Duke to take her with him I think it's even more laughable than it was suppose to be)

Foran - 2(He comes off as a bit too goofy doing a standard jock routine, as I do think there was some material there for perhaps a burned out athlete trying to find his glory. Unfortunately Foran does not really make use of it and he undercuts some of the tension of the final scenes)

Anonymous:

Taylor - 2(I didn't really hate his performance but he seemed like an amateur compared to Garbo. She controls every scene in every way. There's not a moment where he is not overshadowed by her. His bland work just is not a match for her particularly lively performance)

Rogers & Astaire - (Their performances in the dance movies never were that different but they almost always managed to be appropriately charming between their dance numbers)

Shearer - 2(She and Howard, and too much of the cast are miscast. Romeo and Juliet are the worst in that they really have to be young for the characters to work, or else they seem really really stupid. That's unfortunately the case as they can't capture the sort of foolish love of youth, and both give mostly awkward performances)

DeHavilland - 3(She's sweet and endearing as usual in somewhat simple roles like this)

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Your Ratings & Thoughts on Ewan McGregor in TPM, AOTC and ROTS.

RatedRStar said...

Luke:

TPM (3) He does have a good reaction or two but he isn't given anything to do except walk into rooms, or sit in a ship and complain about the boy lol, he does have a great reaction to Qui Gon Jinns death and appropriately shows the anger and sadness.

AOTC (2.5) He is fine enough but he is brought down by Christensens performance which seem more like a child and his father arguing rather than apprentice and master, strangely he isnt given much focus.

ROTS (3.5) His best of the 3, he actually he quite good in his disconcerting doubts of Anakin, and his reaction to his deeds is great, including his final speech which is somewhat ruined by Haydens overdone work, he is a good enough lead to follow and does make Obi Wan likable as Ewan usually does.

Anonymous said...

John Smith: Louis, are there any performances that have been given a low rating that you regret? Or any reviews you feel should be revisited?

Also Louis and everyone else, what do you believe are the ten performances that have not been regarded as well as they should?

Mine are:

1. James Macavoy/Filth

2. Mark Strong/ Tinker Tailor Soilder Spy

3.Charlize Theron/ Youn Aduly

4. Antonio Banderas/Under The Skin

5.Patton Oswalt/Young Adult (Louis watch Young Adult, also if any of you have seen Young Adul please give your toughts on Therons and Oswalts performance

6.Harvey Keitel/Everything he has done!

7.Ed Harris/A History Of Violence

8.Walken/Seven Psychopats

9.Ray Liottas/Narc

10. Jessica Chastain/Tree Of Life, Take Shelter

moviefilm said...

mcofra7: You're right. I feel very ashamed for this mistake, since I'm from Slovakia and Kroners are Slovak actors.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Luke:

Lloyd in TPM - 2 (blasphemy perhaps but I don't find him as incredibly atrocious as most people do. It's a fairly bland child performance but I actually thought it worked to an extent, Anakin being a little excitable brat who you wouldn't really root for but who I found sort of endearing in a like, bland sort of way, I know I'm not making much sense)

Christensen in AOTC - 1 (incredibly bland and horribly underacted in his romantic scenes, even worse when he's meant to show off the Jedi side of his abilities, every line is stilted and poorly delivered)

Christensen in ROTS - 3 Wiseaus (effective in going OTT with his angsty anger and rage, and being horrendously overblown and hilarious in doing so)

McGregor in TPM and AOTC - 2.5 (he's good but strangely gets little to do to show any sort of arc with Obi Wan's transition into the wise old mentor, he makes do with the little he has. I do like his Alec Guinness impersenation too.)

McGregor in ROTS - 3.5 (he has an incredible amount to fit in within one installment and does very well, his emotional scenes are handled with appropriate dignity, he handles the fight scenes well, he does everything well, a re-watch may bump him up)

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

So I saw Mad Max: Fury Road. Very entertaining, there's really not much to it in terms of plot and, being much familiar with the original films I'm sure that was always going to be the case, but I thoroughly enjoyed the one long exhilarating ride the film is.

Hardy-4.5 (I rather like that droning, monotone voice he uses that nicely accentuates the character's blunt nature. Beyond that, however, his physical performance, how he carries himself through the action scenes, kinda reminds me of Clint Eastwood or, hey, even Boris Karloff with the creation of the manner of the man both in and out of his element. An incredibly strong leading man turn that does not dominate the picture but rather, slowly seethes alongside it and bursts at the right moments. I gave him a 4 originally but the more I think about it, the more I realise how effective his performance was.)

Theron-4.5 (technically speaking the character is a bit of a cliche, but Theron really makes the most of it, with the right sort of conviction for the badass Furiosa is, but also with that hint of tenderness within her which makes sense of her care for the Wives and Max)

Hoult-4 (I was surprised by how compelling his arc was, and I don't usually like Hoult. Here though he's very moving in certain scenes where he expresses the regrets of the character over his lifestyle, and is rather winning when he goes badass)

The Wives-a collective 2.5-3. They really didn't have an awful lot to do, besides Hutington-Whitely who was surprisingly solid.

Keays-Byrne-3 (A fairly standard sorta OTT villain, I liked him enough though I did find him overshadowed by Hardy, Theron and Hoult)

luke higham said...

Louis: When do you plan on seeing Mad Max: Fury Road and apart from Age Of Ultron, have you seen any recent releases.

GDSAO: I'm seeing it tomorrow night. What ratings are you hoping to see Hardy and Theron get from Louis.

L Rime said...

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar: I legitimately give both Hardy and Theron a 5. Two of the best near-pure physical performances I've seen in a long time. No long monologues, or "actory" moments, but I don't see how they could have committed or done more with their roles. Absolutely wonderful performances.

I agree on Hoult. He was surprisingly great. Not because I don't think he's a good actor but because I didn't expect him to factor in as much as he did.

Louis Morgan said...

John Smith:

There are few I feel I probably should re-watch such as Tom Conti in Reuben, Reuben, Roy Scheider in All That Jazz, and Alan Arkin in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

Luke:

I happen to be particularly busy this weekend, but I will try to see it relatively soon.