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.


THE CAINE MUTINY
1954, Sony Repertory, 124 min, USA, Dir: Edward Dmytryk

A superb ensemble cast, including Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Fred MacMurray and Van Johnson, leads this classic adaptation of Herman Wouk's novel. Bogart is Captain Queeg, a paranoid authoritarian whose men (led by Johnson and MacMurray) stage a mutiny in the last days of WWII. Ferrer is the brilliant military lawyer who takes on the case once the ship returns to port. Lee Marvin is on hand as a crewman and E.G. Marshall is a withering prosecutor at the court-martial.


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