*Includes pictures. *Includes Bogart and Bacall's quotes about their lives and careers. *Includes a Bibliography for further reading. All you owe the public is a good performance. - Humphrey Bogart Imagination is the highest kite that can fly. - Lauren Bacall 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. It is exceedingly difficult to think about Lauren Bacall without also thinking of her famous husband, Humphrey Bogart. After all, it is no accident that Bacall was entirely unknown before starring at just 20 years old with her future husband in Howard Hawks' famous film To Have and Have Not in 1944. And of course, Bogart's infatuation with the young actress helped ensure she would continue to be cast in movies with him moving forward. Bogie and Bacall are just one of a number of legendary romantic screen duos in film history, and there have been other famous screen couples who made headlines off the set as well, but few compare in terms of success. In the wake of their first film together, Bacall and Bogart captivated audiences in other films during the decade, including The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Victory (1947), and finally, Key Largo (1948). Even though they did not appear in a large number of films together, the popularity and cultural significance of these films solidified the status of Bogie and Bacall as one of the premier romantic couples in film history. When Bogart died in 1957, Bacall was still in her 30s, yet from 1957 onward her name scarcely surfaces in popular culture, as though Bacall was simply wiped away with her late husband. In fact, it often comes as a great surprise to people that Bacall is still alive and well as she nears her 90th birthday. For her part, Bacall has remained at least partially in the public eye through her own meticulous documentation of her life, captured through two detailed memoirs (the first published in the late 1970s, the second published in 2005.) It is true that Bacall never reached anything close to the heights of the fame she enjoyed with Bogart, but she appeared in many movies in the years after his death and was even involved in a second high-profile marriage with actor Jason Robards from 1961-1969. She has remained active well into old age and never officially retired; in fact, she held a starring role in the 2012 film The Forger. Bogie and Betty profiles the lives, careers, and legacies of one of Hollywood's most famous couples. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Bogart and Bacall like never before.
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