The Petrified Forest
, seemed at first only to mire him in similar parts. "In my first thirty-four pictures," Bogart recalled, "I was shot in twelve, electrocuted or hanged in eight, and was a jailbird in nine. I was the Little Lord Fauntleroy of the lot." MoMA's "Modern Matinees: B Is for Bogart"
series puts the actor's career in chronological order, with the first half tracing his rise from menacing Joel McCrea in Dead End
and prosecuting Bette Davis in Marked Woman
to his superb work for Raoul Walsh as the truck driver eking out a living alongside brother George Raft in They Drive by Night
and then as the weary, played-out gangster in High Sierra
. Stardom arrived with a vengeance at age forty-one, when Bogart played Sam Spade for his lifelong friend John Huston in The Maltese Falcon
. The second half of the series, which runs through October, will trace Bogart's years at the top, climaxing with his Oscar-winning turn in The African Queen
."Modern Matinees: B Is for Bogart" runs at MoMA through October 28. Click here for the screening schedule.
He was a sophisticated man from a wealthy Manhattan family, and he cut his teeth on Broadway playing Bertie Wooster–ish juvenile leads. Humphrey Bogart, one of the greatest stars in all of American film, was what you'd call a late bloomer; even his breakthrough role, as gangster Duke Mantee in Archie L. Mayo's 1936 film of