In the Frame is a new collection of DVD box sets celebrating iconic stars of the silver screen, complete with smart new packaging.
This deluxe set contains 6 classic films demonstrating the incredible versatility of one of Hollywoods most celebrated names, Humphrey Bogart. Included in this box set are:
The Caine Mutiny
The Harder They Fall
In A Lonely Place
Columbia's biggest hit of 1943, Sahara confirmed the superstar status Humphrey Bogart attained with his Warner Brothers' North African adventure, Casablanca(1942). Surrounded by the Germans on three sides, Bogart's tough-as-they-come Sergeant Joe Gunn takes his tank and a crew of American, British and French soldiers into the Sahara to reach the retreating allied forces. But when they find that the only water for 100 miles is also the target of a German battalion they decide to take a desperate stand. Early scenes present the characters with assorted perils: thirst, sandstorms and a German air attack. The characters are rather stereotypical: the cowardly Italian prisoner, the Frenchman obsessed with food, the German humourless and fanatical, though the British come out well, and there's a sympathetically drawn black British Sudanese soldier (Rex Ingram).
The director was Zoltan Korda, the man behind such British classics as The Four Feathers(1939), and though Sahara lacks the scale of that adventure, Korda's experience pays off in mounting the extended and suspenseful siege/action climax. With support from Lloyd Bridges and Dan Duryea, Oscar-nominated photography by Rudolph Mate and a fine score by Miklós Rózsa, Sahara is a taut, gripping desert war thriller which wouldn't be bettered until Ice Cold in Alex(1958).
The Harder They Fall
A movie that proved a fine swansong for Humphrey Bogart, The Harder They Fall is a gripping drama set against a background of fixed boxing matches. Not so much about the fights as the exploitation of the sport, the film is based on a novel by Budd Schulberg, whose Oscar-winning screenplay for On the Waterfront (1954) helped turn Rod Steiger into a star. Here Steiger delivers an equally bravura performance as the chillingly corrupt manager, Nick Benko, a man who will do anything to turn a buck. Bogart meanwhile is outstanding as unemployed sports writer Eddie Willis, hired against his better judgement to promote a no-hope Argentinean boxer, Toro Moreno (Mike Lane).
Powerfully written, if built around the unlikely premise of building a 10th-rate fighter into a world-class contender, the drama is essentially a battle for Willis's soul as he is torn between money and conscience. Though the scenes with Bogart and Steiger facing off are the strongest and a veritable masterclass of hardboiled characterisation, Mark Robson, who also helmed the Kirk Douglas boxing classic Champion (1949), directs with a convincingly dirty realism, the final punishing and bloody match a clear influence on Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980).
The Caine Mutiny
Humphrey Bogart is heartbreaking as the tragic Captain Queeg in this 1954 film, based on a novel by Herman Wouk, about a mutiny aboard a navy ship during World War II. Stripped of his authority by two officers under his command (played by Van Johnson and Robert Francis) during a devastating storm, Queeg becomes a crucial witness at a court martial that reveals as much about the invisible injuries of war as anything. Edward Dmytryk (Murder My Sweet, Raintree County) directs the action scenes with a sure hand and nudges his all-male cast toward some of the most well-defined characters of 1950s cinema. The courtroom scenes alone have become the basis for a stage play (and a television movie in 1988), but it is a more satisfying experience to see the entire story in context.
In a Lonely Place
One of the classics of the noir psychological thriller, In a Lonely Place is one of Humphrey Bogart's finest performances. He is almost unbearably intense as Dixon Steele, a screenwriter with high standards and a nasty temper who finds himself under suspicion when Mildred, a hat-check girl he knows, is found murdered. Immediately he gets an alibi from a neighbour, Laurel, and equally quickly, he recognises that this is a woman who meets his standards: the question is, as suspicion of his involvement in Mildred's death continues, can he make himself meet hers?