Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Coolest Guy Ever



Turner Classic Movies is featuring Oscar winning films this month. Last night, just as I was planning to hit the hay long about 10:00, I noticed Casablanca was coming up next. Well, thought I, no harm in catching a half hour or so before turning in. Right. Fat chance of that. Even though I’ve already watched Casablanca too many times to count, after five minutes I was hooked. I could no more get out of my chair than that poor woman whose husband Krazy Glued her butt to a toilet seat. What a story! What a cast! What a script! (written, BTW, by Red Sox GM Theo Epstein’s great-uncles!)

Has there ever been a leading man cooler than Humphrey Bogart? A rhetorical question, of course. That’s because Humphrey Bogart was so cool, he could handle being called Humphrey Bogart — who else could pull off a name like that? Can you? On your best day? And he was married to the prettiest dame in show business, Lauren Bacall. Let me ask you: what leading man today is even fit to carry Bogie’s ashtray? Come on, who? Brad Pitt? Harrison Ford? Tom Cruise? Yeah, right. Maybe Clint Eastwood, back in his prime, could have been Bogart’s chauffeur or something. Humphrey Bogart out-cools cool. He’s cool to the power of ten. He’s so cool, cool has to pay him rent. One time, Humphrey Bogart and cool were in the same room, and cool had to leave ’cause it heard its momma calling. Humphrey Bogart is so cool, if he ever went one on one with James Bond, he’d roll James Bond up and smoke him like a Chesterfield. Bogey is so cool, when he was born, he slapped the doctor unconscious and went to Vegas with the nurse. Einstein once proved nothing could be cooler than Humphrey Bogart. Humphrey Bogart is so cool, he appears as coolonium on the periodic table…

Everybody agrees with me, right? Well, help me out here . . . how cool is Humphrey Bogart?

33 Comments:

Blogger Kathleen said...

You know, before Netflix, I would have argued this point with you as I was of the opinion that dear old Bogie was not that good of an actor. Then I went through a phase where I watched a bunch of his movies.

Have you seen The Petrified Forest? That did it for me. I will no longer argue against Bogie. But I would say Johnny Depp is cool enough to carry Bogie's ashtray. ;-)

10:45 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I totally agree with you that Bogey was great. So were a lot of other actors from the old days, like Paul Newman, Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper. Bogey could act without saying a word. Maybe it was Casablanca, or was it another? Bogey just heard that a friend of his was killed, and the look on his face was priceless. At once you could see his incredible pain and his concealed restraint. He was one of a kind.

11:19 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"Have you seen The Petrified Forest?"

No, I haven't. I've seen him in The Caine Mutiny, Dark Victory, The Big Sleep, African Queen, To Have and Have Not and Casablanca, of course. I've taped High Sierra and will watch it one of these days. He had that extra little something, didn't he?

Johnny Depp could wipe out his ashtray.


"Bogey just heard that a friend of his was killed, and the look on his face was priceless. At once you could see his incredible pain and his concealed restraint."

When Ingrid Bergman stands him up in Paris and Sam hustles him onto the train, the restrained, tough guy emotion on his face was indescribable.

11:45 AM  
Blogger LL said...

You've never seen Key Largo or the Maltese Falcon? Schprock... time to step up to the plate!

Bogey had a coolness that is at once indescribable and totally understood. I suppose that's why we all still go see todays films, just in the hope that one time there will be a performance to make the actor worthy of fetching the coffee of those giants gone by...

"Has there ever been a leading man cooler than Humphrey Bogart? "

I will argue that there is one. In fact, he's such an icon that even his bad films are worth watching just because he's in it. Who is it? The man who was larger than life, John Wayne.

12:10 PM  
Blogger John said...

He's so cool, he saves a ton of money on air conditioning every summer.

No? Okay, how about he's so cool, Jesus has a poster of him in his room.

He's so cool, he makes Fonzie look like Urkel.

He's so cool, he can walk down the street with a plunger stuck on his head and a duck tucked into his pants and the next day everybody starts doing it.

And so forth.

12:58 PM  
Blogger trinamick said...

Wow, that's pretty cool. Is this the part where I get drawn and quartered for admitting I've never seen Casablanca? Or any of the movies you've mentioned? Granted, I know who is is, and I've seen clips on Casablanca, but beyond that, nothin.

Paul Newman has always been, and will always be, extremely cool.

1:49 PM  
Blogger LL said...

My bro once thought the same thing about Casablanca. "Best movie ever? It might be good, but I doubt it's all that..." Then he saw it. "You know, I still wouldn't say that it's the best movie ever, but it was pretty damn good!"

Besides, until you see it, you'll never catch all the references to it in all the various cartoons.

1:53 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"You've never seen Key Largo or the Maltese Falcon? Schprock... time to step up to the plate!"

LL, I'm proud to say that I merely forgot to mention those. Yes, I have seen them. I especially liked Key Largo, with Betty Bacall (her friends are allowed to call her that), Edward G. Robinson and Old Man Potter— oops, I mean Lionel Barrymore.


"He's so cool, he can walk down the street with a plunger stuck on his head and a duck tucked into his pants and the next day everybody starts doing it."

He does? Um, do you need to shave your head to wear a plunger? ’Cause otherwise I think I’d have to use a chin strap…


"Paul Newman has always been, and will always be, extremely cool."

He ain't bad. Bogey could make him cry just by staring at him, though.


"Besides, until you see it, you'll never catch all the references to it in all the various cartoons."

LL, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

2:26 PM  
Blogger LL said...

Should I have them round up the usual suspects?

and speaking of French...

Word ver: gaqot

4:39 PM  
Blogger Farrago said...

Seen most of those. Not a huge movie buff in general, nor a Bogie fan specifically. He did have something, though. Just a great tough guy. Great voice. Great manner of speech. I can't imagine anyone could write it the way he said it. He must have paraphrased all of his lines because all of those movies had different writers, and he still came across in that same, efficient, tough-eloquent way.

Best movie ever made: It's a Wonderful Life, hands down.

Don't turn your nose up at it if you haven't seen it all the way through. And don't look at it as that holiday movie that the various TV stations so shamelessly saturated us with not too many years ago (before NBC bought the rights to it). And try to find it on DVD so it's not shotgun-blasted with so many commercial holes that you forget what you were watching before it comes back on.

Sorry, Schprock. Casablanca = great. Just not my favorite.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I agree with Farrago about It's a Wonderful Life. Capra used Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper in a few of his movies, and I can't say enough about any of the above. I disagree that Bogey could make Newman cry. Have you seen any of Newman's old movies. Newman was chained heat; bubbling anger. He was an enigma. And John Wayne! How could I have forgotten to mention the guy?

Wayne: I missed and shot him on the lower lip.

Hepburn: Where where you aiming?

Wayne: His upper lip.

4:24 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"Best movie ever made: It's a Wonderful Life, hands down."

You know that last scene, when the whole town chips in to help out George, and Harry comes in and toasts George and calls him the richest man in town? And then the bell tinkles right after George sees the Tom Sawyer book and Zuzu says, "Look, Daddy, everytime a bell rings, and angel gets its wings"? You know that scene? Well, I want it on record that I always get something stuck in my eye that causes it to tear up. Dust or something. That's the explanation. Not because I get choked up or anything.


"Newman was chained heat; bubbling anger. He was an enigma. And John Wayne! How could I have forgotten to mention the guy?"

Paul Newman and John Wayne are worthy I suppose . . . Newman could wash and polish Bogart's car and Wayne could vacuum out the inside. I'll give them that much.

5:27 AM  
Blogger John said...

You all seem to be forgeting the acting powerhouse that is Tom Arnold.

He's so cool, he pretends to be a complete loser, just to avoid drowning in the unending sea of amorous women that would invariably come crashing towards him should he ever exhibit even one tenth of his actual cool-ness.

5:55 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"You all seem to be forgeting the acting powerhouse that is Tom Arnold."

Not true. I think Tom Arnold is so cool, I once named all my stuff Tom Arnold. I drove to work in my Tom Arnold. I used a Tom Arnold to comb my hair. I went to church wearing my best Tom Arnold. I used to like my Tom Arnolds shaken, not stirred. One morning, I asked my wife, "Which do you think looks better on me? The Tom Arnold or the Tom Arnold?" On my wedding day, I said, "With this Tom Arnold, I do thee wed." Just last year I bought a two-family Tom Arnold, then purchased a high-definition Tom Arnold for the den.

6:35 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

Clearly, you've seen his stellar acting in Carpool.

7:12 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

I own the Platinum Tom Arnold Collection.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Flash said...

Humphrey Bogart is so cool, he has counted to infinity. Twice.

Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Humphrey Bogart has 72...and they're all cool.

Humphrey Bogart is so cool, that when he sends in his taxes, he just sends a blank form and a photo of him holding a leading lady. Humphrey Bogart has never paid taxes. Ever.

Humphrey Bogart is so cool, he can win a game of Connect 4 in three moves.

Humphrey Bogart is not hung like a horse. Horses are hung like Humphrey Bogart.

Humphrey Bogart CAN believe it's not butter.

Humphrey Bogart is so cool, he can devide by 0.

That's how cool Humphrey Bogart is.

8:19 AM  
Blogger boo said...

u are the coolest coolorium (though that sounds like colon irrigation). bogey isn't half bad too.

p/s poor krazy glue woman

8:19 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"That's how cool Humphrey Bogart is."

Excellent, Flash, excellent! After reading your comment I gave you a standing ovation. Bravo!


"u are the coolest coolorium (though that sounds like colon irrigation). bogey isn't half bad too."

Aw, thanks, Boo! Here's lookin' at you, kid.

10:57 AM  
Blogger John said...

He's so cool that absolute zero is not zero Kelvin, as previously believed, but several degrees lower, zero Bogart.

11:51 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Humphrey Bogart's so cool, he uses an air conditioner to heat his house.

12:02 PM  
Blogger LL said...

He's warming up since you started dissin' the Duke.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Humphrey Bogart is so cool, he makes 007 look like a sissy.

And that's saying a lot from someone who believes Sean Connery is one of the few of our age (in his prime, mind you, not in his current movie-industry-hating state) who could hold a candle to Bogey, and who harbors a fierce longing for Pierce Brosnan

5:26 PM  
Blogger Jaxx said...

Bogey was very cool, but my vote has to go to Clint Eastwood. As far as I'm concerned Clint is still the coolest. I don't begrudge you your opinion though. I mean you're right, you really do have to be a cool cat to pull off the name Humphrey Bogart. And Lauren Bacall was very attractive but I have to go with Elizabeth Taylor as the prettiest. Again, just one man's opinion.

5:56 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"Humphrey Bogart is so cool, he makes 007 look like a sissy."

007 would go: "The name's Bond. James B— Mister Bogart! My goodness, I didn't recognize you at first! I didn't know . . . no one told me — (pssst, Miss Moneypenny, is my tie on straight?) — the honor is all mine, sir! Please, take my chair…" and so on.


"Bogey was very cool, but my vote has to go to Clint Eastwood."

Clint is cool, all right. I think he'd make a more than competent valet for Humphrey Bogart. Or a good caddy.

6:36 PM  
Blogger :phil: said...

I saw the African Queen last night.
Bogey is cooler than a penquin's pecker!

7:17 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Having just recently watched "The March of the Penguins," I can say with authority that that is pretty damn cool.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

Bogey is so cool, he's a giant among men.

Literally.

I just read this last night in a book I got for Christmas called "Who Knew": The studio though Casablanca would be a flop, so the cut corners on the budget. The plane at the end? Is a cardboard cutout, and the crew are little people so that it would look as thought it was in the proper perspective.

interesting, eh?

7:40 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

I think I heard they kept changing their minds about the ending. In one version, Bogey was supposed to fly off with Ingrid Bergman, which, of course, would not have worked at all.

12:22 PM  
Blogger John said...

Bogey is so cool, you put up a new post and I'm STILL writing about him.

3:49 AM  
Blogger John said...

He's so cool, he saved a bunch of money on his car insurance WITHOUT switching to Geico.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Yes, there were alternate endings to Casablanca - watch the Special Features, people! You find out all sorts of cool stuff.

Also, just saw another Bogey film this weekend (recommended in today's post) and it was remarkable. Just thinking about it makes my heart hurt. Put In A Lonely Place on your list.

10:08 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

I will, and I'll head over to your site ASAP.

10:59 AM  

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