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The Man With Bogart's Face
In The Man With Bogart's Face, an affectionate send-up of the Bogart detective films of the 1940s, Robert Sacchi plays a man who idolizes Humphrey Bogart so much he has his features altered to look exactly like his idol. He then opens up a detective agency under the name Sam Marlowe (an amalgam of the names of Bogart's characters from The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep).
|Studio :||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Melvin Simon Productions,|
|Crew :||Director of Photography, Director,|
|Cast :||George Raft Richard Bakalyan Herbert Lom Gregg Palmer Jay Robinson|
|Genre :||Comedy Thriller|
How sad is this?
It's an amazing and heartbreaking story.
Welcome to a memory trip down nostalgic lane, as "The Man with Bogart's Face" is a neat, affable little homage to a Hollywood legend. It's a typical throwback to those hardboiled crime dramas Bogart appeared in, but set in modern times and the notable gimmick (Robert Sacchi's private eye getting plastic surgery to look like Bogart) is well implemented. It's a one-idea concept (the usual free-flowing narration), but it's old fashion story-telling, dry, razor sharp humour, tightly drummed mystery / suspense and voluptuous dames (Michelle Phillips, Misty Rowe and Sybil Danning) go on to make an appealing package. While in a way you can call it a spoof, it doesn't over do it and does everything in a rather low-key and witty manner. Robert Sacchi simply fit's the part and truly embodies the spirit --- as he spends most of the time decked out in that hat and trench coat, putting on the voice and he always has something to say. Also popping up is Olivia Hussey, Frank Nero (whose character has strange fascination for the colour blue), Victor Buono, Herbert Lom and Yvonne De Carlo. The thoroughly plotted story has a whole bunch of random investigations that eventually come together (the search for the Eyes of Alexandria - two sapphires), as once a struggling private-eye Sam Barlow finds himself being showered in clients, money and danger. He's constantly in someone's sights - for good (the ladies) or bad (hooded hoodlums). Also the script manages to throw around plenty of movie references and that's part of its self-knowing charm. It's well-crafted by director Robert Day and the funky opening theme is quite a catchy title.
Making this short and to the point. This movie was great! I loved it! I actually picked this up at a Hollywood Video for 3 bucks on VHS and watched it about 5 times in the last couple weeks. I'm a big Bogart fan and I just latched onto this movie. I thought the song was funny and now have it as a ring tone on my phone. Robert Sacchi is great and pulls off a good Bogart. His nose is a little big, his voice is a Bogart-Columbo mix, and he does a few things that are awkward but otherwise, he was fantastic and this film was wonderful. No one can be a perfect Bogart but he was great. Remember, Sam Marlow is a fan of Bogart and isn't going to do everything he did. He mentions a lot of other movies and does some things that were never part of the real Bogart's character's. But, it's so funny and hilarious and has a great cast, including some beautiful women. Watch it and have fun!
Almost missed it. While visiting friends in Philadelphia sometime in the early 1980`s, I was channel surfing after everyone else went to bed. It wasn`t just Bogart he was obsessed with; but rather the entire era of those old flicks those of my age know so well. Add to that a plot liken to The Maltese Falcon - where so many different characters were interacting with Sacchi - and you have a piece of art as far as I`m concerned. About ten years later it appeared on TV and I taped it. >
The Man with Bogart's Face sets it self up to mine the viewers nostalgia for the late 30's-late 40's film era. It fails miserably for several reasons. First, Sacchi, while looking reasonably like Bogart and even speaking like him on occassion and using his mannerisms, completely lacks any of Bogart's charisma or acting ability. This is really apparent whenever Sacchi is not clearly imitating a scene from one of Bogart's films. Second, the film does not have the first rate character actors Bogart was able to work with. There are no Peter Lorre's or Sydney Greenstreet's in this one, folks. Sure we are treated to performances by Victor Buaeno, Olivia Hussey and George Raft amongst others, but they just aren't of the same caliber (or aren't given enough screen time or are miscast). Third, the attempts at "modern" humor all fall through. All of the underwear jokes, having Marlowe almost *never* remove that damn hat and trench coat (even though Bogart would have), etc. just aren't funny and really pull down this film. Fourth, I've never heard a goofier theme song this side of Mitchell. Finally, the film's false reverence for Bogart (and other classic actors work) is truly irritating. Bogart almost *never* played a straight hero, on those occasions he was a hero. He played complicated characters. This movie makes Bogart out to be a trigger-happy, moralistic do-gooder. While this may have been true about some film characters, Bogart's characters rarely fit that bill. It's movies like this that make people unexposed to the cinema of the past think that all of it is hokey, "good guy beats the bad guys and gets the girl" crap with low production values.