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The 5 Roles That Defined Humphrey Bogart's Career

By    |   Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 10:03 PM

Although six decades have passed since his death, Humphrey Bogart remains a cultural icon. Bogart rose to fame as a leading actor in the 1940s. Many Bogart roles crafted the image of a hard-boiled cynic with a heart of gold that became a template for multiple movie roles during his career. Bogart acted in 75 films during more than three decades in Hollywood until is death in 1956.

Five iconic Humphrey Bogart roles continue to define his acting career for fans, new and old.

1. "Casablanca" (1942)

From complex lead characters to a memorable dialogue, "Casablanca" has multiple elements that turned it from just another wartime drama to one of the greatest films of all time.

The story centers on American expatriate in Morocco during World War II who must help his former lover and her husband, a Nazi resistance leader, escape from the city.

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"Casablanca" won Academy Awards in 1943 for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It remains Bogart's most widely remembered role.

2. "The Maltese Falcon" (1941)

Bogart effectively created the quintessential private detective in his starring turn in "The Maltese Falcon." The film, based on a Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name, helped to establish the dark and gritty film noir genre.

It centers on Sam Spade, a private eye in San Francisco who must battle three unscrupulous people to gain possession of a jewel-encrusted falcon statuette.

It earned three Academy Award nominations and helped cement Bogart as a box office star in the 1940s.

3. "High Sierra" (1941)

It took Bogart several years to transition from supporting roles to leading roles. "High Sierra" is the film that helped him break out. He plays Roy Earle, a recently pardoned gangster who is recruited to travel cross-country and execute a bank heist.

Bogart earned praise for bringing a humanizing element to a character that was nothing but a robber or murderer on the surface.

4. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948)

Bogart had the distinction of working on one of the first films shot on location outside of the United States. He plays Fred C. Dobbs, an unlucky prospector who succumbs to insanity and mistrust after he and his partners find gold in a new mine they dug.

Bogart earned a little bit of added pop culture status for that role when Dobbs popped up in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, "8 Ball Bunny," in 1950.

5. "The African Queen" (1951)

Only one role brought Bogart an Academy Award for Best Actor. He won the award in 1951 for "The African Queen." Bogart plays Charlie Allnut, a cantankerous boat captain who joins forces with a missionary (Katharine Hepburn) to sink a German gunboat after burning down a mission village and killing the missionary's husband.

The film was added to the United States National Film Registry in 1994 and remains one of Bogart's most well-known roles.

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Although six decades have passed since his death, Humphrey Bogart remains a cultural icon. Bogart rose to fame as a leading actor in the 1940s. Many Bogart roles crafted the image of a hard-boiled cynic with a heart of gold that became a template for multiple movie roles during his career.
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Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 10:03 PM
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