*Includes pictures of Bogart and important people and places in his life. *Includes some of his most colorful and memorable quotes. *Includes a Bibliography for further reading. All you owe the public is a good performance. - Humphrey Bogart A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. Americans have always loved movie stars, and there have been no shortage of Hollywood icons, but one man has long been considered the greatest male star. From the time he first became a leading man, Humphrey Bogart's screen image has resonated with viewers more than perhaps any other actor. At the end of the 20th century, when the American Film Institute assembled its list of the 50 Greatest American Screen Legends, Bogart was at the top of the list. His persona as a tough guy who manages to maintain his sense of virtue no matter how compromising the situation features in some of the most famous films ever made, including Casablanca (1942), The Maltese Falcon (1941), and Key Largo (1949). Bogart's screen persona was not only desirable (everyone wanted to be like Bogart) but also highly approachable, in the sense that he played the everyman figure far more than Cary Grant or Laurence Olivier, for example. Bogart also had good timing, with some of his popularity due to the fact that he rose to fame in an era when the film industry was at its most potent. Bogart's prime coincided with the Golden Age of cinema; sound had been successfully integrated and the studio system ruled over the industry. Bogart was the biggest star at a time in which the medium itself held immense mass appeal, and he has been famous ever since. People have long been familiar with Bogart's career and movies, but the differences between his persona and his real life are also interesting. Bogart's everyman screen persona belies the fact that he came from immense privilege, and his down-to-earth film roles are in many ways a rebellion against a family with which he was never close. There were traits that Bogart inherited from his parents, but his film career also offered Bogart to escape a family culture that was antithetical to his personality. Bogart's screen persona as a jaded but ultimately indestructible figure also obscures the fact that his life was filled with substantial tragedy, culminating in his own premature death at the age of 57. Separating Bogart's real life from his reel life is still a subject of great interest and debate. American Legends: The Life of Humphrey Bogart profiles the life, career, and legacy of the man deemed by the American Film Institute as the greatest male star. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Humphrey Bogart like you never have before, in no time at all.
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