Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the sizzling chemistry of Bogie and Bacall comes to the big screen with Tibbits Classic Film Series showing of “Key Largo” and “The Big Sleep” Saturday, February 12.
Despite a 25-year age difference, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall shared an iconic romance and a happy, albeit short-lived, marriage. Bacall wrote in her memoir, “No one has written a romance better than we lived it.” She admits there was ‘no lightning bolt’ when she first met Bogart. Arriving in Hollywood at 19 years 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 thought was, “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 at 4 PM, Raymond Chandler’s noir classic “The Big Sleep” follows private investigator Philip Marlowe (Bogart) hired by a wealthy general to find out who is blackmailing his youngest daughter 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 closes with the tense drama “Key Largo” at 6 PM. 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 prisoners when the hotel is taken over by gangsters led by Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) who plan to use the hotel to wait out a passing hurricane. 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 first installment of the Tibbits Classic Film Series in 2022, a set of monthly double features showcasing Hollywood classics from every decade. Be sure not to miss “Delightful Musicals of Danny Kaye” in April and “The Swift Sword of Errol Flynn” in May. In addition, there will be screening of 2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films on March 26. The Classic Film Series is sponsored by Dr. Matthew Christopher, DDS. Admission to the classic film series is free while the Oscar Nominated Shorts will be a ticketed event. Concessions, including a cash bar, will be available for purchase. For more information, please visit Tibbits.org or call 517-278-6029.