THE HARDER THEY FALL
1956, Sony Repertory, 109 min, USA, Dir: Mark Robson

In this adaptation of Budd Schulberg’s bestseller, Humphrey Bogart (in his last role) plays burned-out sportswriter Eddie Willis, hired by a crooked boxing promoter (Rod Steiger) to tout his circus-freak heavyweight as a legit contender (based on the true story of Primo Carnera). Director Mark Robson crafts a fitting finale to Bogart’s legendary career and lands a few devastating blows to the reputation of the "Sweet Science." Also featuring Jan Sterling, Mike Lane, Max Baer, “Jersey” Joe Walcott and Nehemiah Persoff.


BEAT THE DEVIL
1953, Sony Repertory, 89 min, UK/Italy/USA, Dir: John Huston

If screwball comedies were about criminal entanglements instead of romantic ones - and if they featured dialogue by Truman Capote - they would resemble this delightful adventure spoof. Jennifer Jones plays a compulsive liar traveling to Africa with her husband when she meets Humphrey Bogart, who’s been enlisted by a group of criminals (including Robert Morley and Peter Lorre) eager to acquire a uranium mine. Bogart lost a bundle of money and several teeth making the film, but it remains among the most distinctive and entertaining of his career. Costarring Gina Lollobrigida.


THE PETRIFIED FOREST
1936, Warner Bros., 83 min, USA, Dir: Archie Mayo

Based on the Robert E. Sherwood play, this hard-edged drama stars Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis and Leslie Howard as strangers whose lives collide with deadly results in a small desert town on the edge of Arizona’s petrified forest. Disillusioned British intellectual Alan Squier (Howard) meets young Gabby Maple (Davis), who sees him as her ticket to Paris and to her dreams. Squier hopes she succeeds but plans to leave alone - a plan that ends abruptly when gangster Duke Mantee (Bogart) takes them hostage.


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