Legendary couple Bogie and Bacall bring their famous chemistry to the big screen on Saturday, April 4 with the Tibbits Classic Film Series showing of “The Big Sleep” and “Key Largo.”
Film stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall shared an iconic romance and a happy, albeit short-lived, marriage. They achieved this despite a 25-year age difference. Bacall wrote in her memoir, “No one has written a romance better than we lived it.” Bacall admits there was ‘no lightning bolt’ when she first met Bogart. When she first arrived in Hollywood, 19-year-old Bacall wasn’t a big fan of Bogart. When Howard Hawks told her he was thinking of putting her in a movie with either Bogart or Cary Grant, her reaction was, “I thought, ‘Cary Grant — terrific! Humphrey Bogart — yucch.” In their first film together, “To Have and Have Not,” Bogart’s character romances another woman, but when director Howard Hawks saw how the two were interacting on film the screenplay was changed so Bogart’s character ended up with Bacall’s. As Bacall noted in 2007, “Chemistry — you can’t beat chemistry.”
First to be screened is the Raymond Chandler noir classic, “The Big Sleep.” P.I. Philip Marlowe (Bogart) is hired by a wealthy general to find out who is blackmailing his youngest daughter Carmen and put a stop to it. Very soon Marlowe finds himself deep within a web of love triangles, blackmail, murder, gambling, and organized crime. With help from the general’s oldest daughter Vivian (Bacall), Marlowe hatches a plot to free the family from this web and trap the real culprit.
The evening will close with the tense drama “Key Largo.” World War II veteran Frank McCloud (Bogart) travels to a run-down hotel on Key Largo to honor the memory of his friend who died bravely in battle. His friend’s widow, Nora Temple (Bacall), manages the hotel along with her father. Soon after arriving, the three find themselves virtual prisoners when the hotel is taken over by a group of gangsters led by Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), who plans to use the hotel to wait out a passing hurricane. Now being opposed to violence due to his experiences in the war, Frank is reluctant to act, but Rocco’s demeaning treatment of his alcoholic girlfriend and his complicity in the death of a deputy sheriff slowly begin to motivate McCloud into taking action.
“Bogie and Bacall” is the sixth installment of the Tibbits Classic Film Series, a set of monthly double features showcasing Hollywood classics from every decade. Be sure not to miss “The Swift Sword of Errol Flynn” in May, this season’s last installment. The Classic Film Series is sponsored by Dr. Matthew Christopher, DDS. Admission to the film series is free. Concessions, including a cash bar, will be available for purchase. For more information, please visit Tibbits.org or call 517-278-6029.