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Bogart
     

Bogart

by Ann Sperber
 

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Ann Sperber and Eric Lax offer therevealing, intimate, definitive biography of the legendary Humphrey Bogart,detailing the arc and span of his personal and professional life—a story oftoil, tragedy, and triumph. Sperber and Lax exploreBogie’s abusive childhood and the three unsuccessful marriages that precededthe lasting love he found with Lauren Bacall

Overview

Ann Sperber and Eric Lax offer therevealing, intimate, definitive biography of the legendary Humphrey Bogart,detailing the arc and span of his personal and professional life—a story oftoil, tragedy, and triumph. Sperber and Lax exploreBogie’s abusive childhood and the three unsuccessful marriages that precededthe lasting love he found with Lauren Bacall, and plumb the depths of hisarduous career working as Warner Brothers’ go-to drudge actor for thirteenyears of B-list films before rising to stardom and ultimately achieving hisplace amongst Hollywood royalty. The Los Angeles Times calls Bogart "animmediate triumph . . . so rich in its research, so compelling in its writing, itis an absorbing human story of the motion picture business in the age ofHumphrey Bogart."

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
“An immediate triumph...so rich in its research, so compelling in its writing, it is an absorbing human story of the motion picture business in the age of Humphrey Bogart.”
Jack Miles
“The last word on a legend.”
Michiko Kakutani
“A very well done volume.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's a double-bogey April with this second biography of Humphrey Bogart to appear this year, the 40th anniversary of the actor's death. Before her own death in 1994, biographer Sperber (Murrow) collected a "quarter ton of research" on the star, complied from 200 interviews with those who knew him (including John Huston, Katharine Hepburn and director Richard Brooks) and from her work in the Warner Bros. archives at USC. Her rough draft of the book was completed by Lax (Woody Allen). The result is a longer and much more detailed account of Bogart's life than can be found in the Meyers, gracefully written and somewhat savvier about the film business than Meyers's account. Thanks to Sperber's exhaustive research and Lax's own expertise in film history, the book gives a full and especially harrowing account of Bogart's political activities during the Hollywood red scare of the early fifties. Bogart was unusually brave to begin with, standing up to HUAC with several other stars (Danny Kaye, Gene Kelly), but then was bullied by his studio into backing down and recanting his earlier position. There are also full and entertaining accounts of the production histories of Bogart's major films. Still, both biographies are more or less equally insightful, presenting fundamentally the same portrait of the man himself: sensitive and often melancholy, with a bitter wit and a bit of a cruel streak, but courageous in his way, a hard-working and generous professional with an extraordinary screen presence. The reader's choice between these two fine biographies is liable to come down to just how much detail one wants to know about Humphrey Bogart. The Sperber/Lax includes a listing of Bogart's Broadway performances, an exhaustive filmography and 40 b&w photos, not seen by PW. Author tour. (Apr).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062107367
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/29/2011
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
704
Sales rank:
699,470
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

The House at Seneca Point

His earliest memories were of the estate where his family summered, and of a sailboat tied to the dock at the end of a stretch of manicured lawn. The elegant two-story Victorian house dominated a curve of land on the shoreline of Canandaigua Lake in western New York State. The spire on the tower room jutted above the treetops on the fifty-five acres of farmland, pasture, and woods, and large high windows stared out over the water. Broad awning-shaded steps led to the lawn that ended at a shale beach, where the long dock sliced into the lake. His father's champion-class yacht was moored there, and he would be a sailor all his life.

A carriage road swept over a little stone bridge to the back entrance of the house, but, like the other homes nearby, Willow Brook was best reached by water. Visitors arrived at a leafy landing on the long, narrow Finger Lake-deep blue in morning, turquoise in the afternoon-gouged out of the hills aeons before by an advancing glacier. The boathouse flanked one side of the four-hundred-foot beachfront. On the other, sheltered by tall stands of ash, oak, and poplar, were the dear-running brook and weeping willows that gave the property its name. It was a showplace, built in 1871 by the owners of the local brewery as testimony to their wealth.

In the last summer of the nineteenth century, Dr. Belmont DeForest Bogart bought the estate for his wife, Maud, then five months pregnant with their first child, a son. Two daughters would soon follow his birth. For the three offspring, Willow Brook was the summer home of their childhood, a place that would figure in both Humphrey Bogart's fondest recollections and his most nightmarishones.

Excerpted from Bogart.

What People are Saying About This

Michiko Kakutani
“A very well done volume.”
Jack Miles
“The last word on a legend.”

Meet the Author

The late A. M. Sperber was born in Vienna, graduated from Barnard College, and was a Fulbright Scholar. She authored the critically acclaimed bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist Murrow: His Life and Times. Bogart is the culmination of the years of research she performed before her death in 1994.

Eric Lax’s books include Faith, Interrupted: A Spiritual Journey; The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat; and the international bestseller Woody Allen. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Esquire.

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