Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 11, 2014)
Hollywood stars don’t get more legendary than Humphrey Bogart, and more than 50 years after his death, he remains a big draw. With a new package called The Best of Bogart Collection, fans will find four of Bogey’s most notable films.
Best consists entirely of previously released material, all of which I covered in the past. I’ll look at each film with a short synopsis and a link to the individual reviews.
THE MALTESE FALCON: " Despite my teenage dislike of the film, as an adult I found The Maltese Falcon to provide a tight and intriguing story. The movie told its tale in a vibrant and concise manner and seemed to deserve its reputation as a classic.”
CASABLANCA: "Nothing I could say would even remotely dislodge Casablanca from its perch as a classic, and I wouldn’t want to try. I don’t think it totally lives up to its reputation, but I find it to offer a very well-crafted and engaging film.”
(Note that this collection includes the original 2008 Casablanca Blu-ray, not the remastered 2012 release.)
THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE: “A worthwhile entry on the AFI 100 list, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre works for those who want a manly adventure or who prefer something with more subtext. It benefits from generally excellent acting, a compelling story, and deft direction.”
THE AFRICAN QUEEN: “While not the best of the John Huston/Humphrey Bogart collaborations, The African Queen provides a likable romantic adventure. It works mostly due to the chemistry of its leads, as the interaction between Bogart and Katharine Hepburn elevates the material.”
Fans shouldn’t expect anything new from the four-film Best of Bogart Collection; as mentioned, it simply repackages the earlier Blu-rays in one place. If you own none of the earlier releases and want them all in one fell swoop, it makes a good purchase. However, I’d recommend you shop around, as you might be able to get the titles cheaper as singles. If this is the most cost-effective option, though, it’s a solid way to go.