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This years American Film Festival honors the silver-screen legend Humphrey Bogart.

Published: November 28, 2012 (Issue # 1737)



  • The classic film noir In a Lonely Place (1950), starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, will be shown on Nov. 29.
    Photo: FOR SPT

Humphrey Bogart, a Hollywood legend and one of Americas cultural icons, takes center stage at the upcoming American Film Festival, which will run at the Avrora movie theater from Nov. 28 through Dec. 2. Bogarts name graces the festivals title this year as it marks the first retrospective festival of the celebrated actor in Russia.

The star of the golden age of Hollywood, Bogart gained worldwide fame and began building his reputation in cinemas romantic repertoire after starring in Michael Curtizs 1942 classic Casablanca, which opens the festivals program at 7 p.m. on Nov. 28.

Bogarts name is inextricably linked with that of Lauren Bacall, and the cinematic alliance between them is one of the most striking in the history of Hollywood. The two actors, who met in 1944 when shooting To Have and Have Not, made four successful films together and were happily married right up until Bogarts death in 1957.

Audiences at the American Film Festival will be able to appreciate the Bogart-Bacall partnership in two film noir movies: The Big Sleep, which will be shown on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., and Key Largo on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m.

The films on the festivals menu also include Sabrina (Dec. 1), The Two Mrs Carrolls (Dec. 1), Across the Pacific (Dec. 2) and In a Lonely Place (Nov. 29).

The festival in St. Petersburg marks the 70th anniversary of the Oscar-winning Casablanca, in which Bogart plays a charming world-weary cynic who unexpectedly displays his honorable side at a most unlikely moment.

For the actor, who played opposite Ingrid Bergman in the film, the shooting process was one of the most memorable experiences of his life.

I didnt do anything [in Casablanca] Ive never done before, but when the camera moves in on that Bergman face, and shes saying she loves you, it would make anybody feel romantic, Bogart would later say.

In 2010, Casablanca was rated the second most romantic film of all time by Britains Guardian newspaper.

The romantic or erotic energy is sublimated in the most impeccable cause of all the war effort. Rick forsakes Ilsa as part of his new commitment to the fight against fascism, reads the review in The Guardian. Casablanca stands for movie romance in great part because it is hardly true to life. It seemed to be history coming to life it opened just after the allies had occupied the real Casablanca. In fact, divorce and infidelity rates increased rapidly during the war. But Casablanca reassured us all; it promised that honor was intact.

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