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21 Best Movies of Humphrey Bogart: The Legacy Collection

Best movies of Humphrey Bogart

Welcome to the Memorial Film Collection of Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart may have passed away in the distant past, but thanks to an enthralling, good old invention called Film, he will never be really gone.

Whenever you feel like traveling back in time to meet Bogie, the Iconic Movie Gangster, and to hear his low-key, distinctive nasal voice, all you have to do, is to watch one (or more) of his movies.

But which Humphrey Bogart movies should you watch?
Well, if that’s your question for the day, then you came to the right place. We’re just about to present the Top 21 Films of Humphrey Bogart.

The Best Movies of Humphrey Bogart is an episode of FrameTrek’s Hall of Legends: A mega-journey dedicated to identify the greatest artists of World Cinema, and their most significant works.


Meet Humphrey Bogart, the Iconic Movie Gangster

(1899 – 1957)

Humphrey Bogart became an American movie icon and cult hero through his performances in Classical Hollywood cinema films.

The Oscar-winning actor, nicknamed Bogie, was selected by the American Film Institute as the greatest male screen actor of classic American cinema and he was also voted the greatest movie star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

Bogart began his acting career in Broadway shows in the 1920s and during the next decade he rose from a bit player to a supporting B-movie actor in Hollywood, usually portraying gangsters.

His talent was more and more recognized throughout the years and eventually he became a preeminent motion picture “tough guy” and was the undisputed reigning box-office star during the 1940s and ’50s.

In his performances he projected the image of a worldly-wise individualistic adventurer with a touch of idealism hidden beneath a hardened exterior.

Acting is experience with something sweet behind it.

Humphrey Bogart

In reality, Bogart was surprisingly emotional, and cried easily. Off-screen he gave the carefully crafted appearance of being a cynical loner, granting only minimal concessions to Hollywood conventions.

He married four times throughout his life, with his last wife being actress Lauren Bacall, with whom he shared the screen quite often.

Bogie was an outstanding chess player, a heavy drinker and he usually smoked about 40 cigarettes a day.

The trouble with the world is that it’s always one drink behind.

Humphrey Bogart

So yeah, there’s plenty to talk about, when it comes to Humphrey Bogart, but this article concentrates on his Top 21 Films, so let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

After all, an actor is as good as his greatest achievements. Thus, the finest way to familiarize yourself with Bogart, is through watching his best films.

Ready? Buckle up then, and let the best movies of Humphrey Bogart carry you to the nostalgic lands of classic cinema!



Presenting the 21 Best Films of Humphrey Bogart

Chronologically


The Petrified Forest (1936)

The Petrified Forest (1936), Archie Mayo, Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Best movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Crime drama romance film directed by Archie Mayo, co-starring Leslie Howard and Bette Davis.

Story: A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert. (IMDB)

Why is The Petrified Forest among the best films of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ This is the movie that gave Bogart his first breakout role and the one that set him off on his way to stardom.
✓ One of the most popular movies of the 1930s with a significant and long lasting influence on pop culture.


Dead End (1937)

Dead End (1937), William Wyler, Best Humphrey Bogart films
Where to Watch?   More info

Crime drama film directed by William Wyler.

Story: The lives of a young man and woman, an infamous gangster and a group of street kids converge one day in a volatile New York City slum. (IMDB)

Why is Dead End among the best Humphrey Bogart movies?
✓ An early gangster role for Humphrey Bogart that built on the success of his performance in The Petrified Forest the year before.
✓ Declared one of the ten best films of 1937 by the Film Daily.


They Drive by Night (1940)

They Drive by Night (1940), Raoul Walsh, Best movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Film noir directed by Raoul Walsh.

Story: When one of two truck-driving brothers loses an arm, they both join a transport company where the other is falsely charged as an accessory in the murder of the owner. (IMDB)

Why is They Drive by Night among the best films of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ A critically acclaimed movie, a box office success and one of the most popular films of the 1930s, with a significant influence on popular culture.



High Sierra (1941)

High Sierra (1941), Raoul Walsh, Best Humphrey Bogart films
Where to Watch?   More info

Film noir directed by Raoul Walsh.

Story: After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort. (IMDB)

Between Frames:
✪ When Ida Lupino found herself unable to cry during the film’s final scene, co-star Humphrey Bogart coaxed her into it by telling her, “Listen, doll, if you can’t cry, I’m going to take the picture away from you.”

Why is High Sierra among the best Humphrey Bogart movies?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ The film provided a breakthrough in Bogart’s career, transforming him from supporting player to leading man. This was the last movie he made where he did not receive top billing.


The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Maltese Falcon (1941), John Huston, Top movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Film noir written and directed by John Huston.

Story: A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. (IMDB)

Suspenseful, labyrinthine, and brilliantly cast, The Maltese Falcon is one of the most influential noirs — as well as a showcase for Humphrey Bogart at his finest.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Between Frames:
✪ Two “Maltese Falcons” were used because Bogart accidentally dropped the original during shooting. It is on display in the movie museum at Warner Bros. studios; its tail feathers are visibly dented from when Bogart dropped it.

Why is The Maltese Falcon among the top films of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list, included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and considered one of the greatest films of all time.
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca (1942), Michael Curtiz, Ingrid Bergman, Top Humphrey Bogart movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and co-starring Ingrid Bergman.

Story: A cynical expatriate American cafe owner struggles to decide whether or not to help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape the Nazis in French Morocco. (IMDB)

An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood’s quintessential statement on love and romance, Casablanca has only improved with age, boasting career-defining performances from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Between Frames:
✪ Because of the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, Bogie’s then-wife continually accused him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room before a scene was to be shot. Bogart would come onto the set in a rage.
✪ The difference in height between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman changes throughout the film. This is because Bergman was actually one to two inches taller than Bogart and director Michael Curtiz used various techniques to create the illusion that it was vice versa.

Why is Casablanca among the top Humphrey Bogart films?
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list and included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ It won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Michael Curtiz was selected as Best Director.
✓ Its reputation has gradually grown with time, to the point that its lead characters, memorable lines, and pervasive theme song have all become iconic, and it consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films in history.
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.



Sahara (1943)

Sahara (1943), Zoltan Korda, Greatest movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Action war film directed by Zoltan Korda.

Story: After the fall of Tobruk in 1942, during the Allied retreat in the Libyan desert, an American tank picks-up a motley group of survivors but they face advancing Germans and a lack of water. (IMDB)

Why is Sahara among the greatest films of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ Critically acclaimed, influential war movie and one of the most popular films of the 1940s.


To Have and Have Not (1944)

To Have and Have Not (1944), Howard Hawks, Lauren Bacall, Greatest Humphrey Bogart movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Romance-war-adventure film directed by Howard Hawks and co-starring Lauren Bacall.

Story: During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer. (IMDB)

With Howard Hawks directing and Bogey and Bacall in front of the cameras, To Have and Have Not benefits from several levels of fine-tuned chemistry — all of which ignite on screen.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Between Frames:
✪ Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall fell in love during production and married after the film’s release. Their relationship is considered to be one of Hollywood’s greatest romances.

Why is To Have and Have Not among the greatest Humphrey Bogart films?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 America’s Greatest Love Stories movies.


The Big Sleep (1946)

The Big Sleep (1946), Howard Hawks, Lauren Bacall, Most popular movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Film noir directed by Howard Hawks and co-starring Lauren Bacall.

Story: Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy family. Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. (IMDB)

A perfect match of screenplay, director, and leading man, The Big Sleep stands as a towering achievement in film noir whose grim vitality remains undimmed.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Between Frames:
✪ On the first day of shooting, Humphrey Bogart allegedly had five or six drinks at lunch, which infuriated Howard Hawks, who berated Bogart for his unprofessionalism. After that he was limited to one beer.
✪ Humphrey Bogart had to wear platform shoes to appear taller than his two leading ladies, Lauren Bacall and Martha Vickers, both of whom wore flats.

Why is The Big Sleep among the most popular films of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ The U.S. Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” and added it to the National Film Registry.
✓ One of the most popular and most successful films of the 1940s, and an influential all-time classic.



Dark Passage (1947)

Dark Passage (1947), Delmer Daves, Lauren Bacall, Most popular Humphrey Bogart movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Mystery thriller film directed by Delmer Daves and co-starring Lauren Bacall.

Story: A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence. (IMDB)


The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), John Huston, Most popular Humphrey Bogart films
Where to Watch?   More info

Adventure, drama, western film written and directed by John Huston.

Story: Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. (IMDB)

Remade but never duplicated, this darkly humorous morality tale represents John Huston at his finest.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Treasure of the Sierra Madre among the best movies of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ One of the most popular movies of the 1940s, with a significant influence on pop culture.


Key Largo (1948)

Key Largo (1948), John Huston, Lauren Bacall, Best films of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Film noir crime drama directed by John Huston and co-starring Lauren Bacall.

Story: A man visits his war buddy’s family hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other. (IMDB)

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are at the mercy of Edward G. Robinson’s menacing gangster — and so is the audience in this enthralling chamber piece.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Between Frames:
✪ This was the final teaming of legendary screen lovers Bogart and Bacall.



In a Lonely Place (1950)

In a Lonely Place (1950), Nicholas Ray, Gloria Grahame, Best Humphrey Bogart films
Where to Watch?   More info

Film noir directed by Nicholas Ray and co-starring Gloria Grahame.

Story: A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. However, she soon starts to have her doubts. (IMDB)

Led by extraordinary performances from Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, In a Lonely Place is a gripping noir of uncommon depth and maturity.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is In a Lonely Place among the best Humphrey Bogart movies?
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list and included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ Bogart’s performance is considered by many critics to be among his finest and the film’s reputation has grown over time. It is now considered one of the best film noirs of all time.


The African Queen (1951)

The African Queen (1951), John Huston, Katharine Hepburn, Best movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

British–American adventure film directed by John Huston and co-starring Katharine Hepburn.

Story: In WWI Africa, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. (IMDB)

Perfectly cast, smartly written, and beautifully filmed, The African Queen remains thrilling, funny, and effortlessly absorbing even after more than half a century’s worth of adventure movies borrowing liberally from its creative DNA.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Between Frames:
✪ Everyone in the cast and crew got sick except Humphrey Bogart and John Huston, who said they avoided illness by essentially living on imported Scotch whiskey. Bogart later said: “Whenever a fly bit Huston or me, it dropped dead.”
✪ To show her disgust with the amount of alcohol that Huston and Bogart consumed during filming, Katharine Hepburn drank only water. As a result, she suffered a severe bout of dysentery.

Why is The African Queen among the best films of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ This is the role that won Humphrey Bogart the only Oscar of his career.


Beat the Devil (1953)

Beat the Devil (1953), John Huston, Best Humphrey Bogart films
Where to Watch?   More info

Adventure comedy film directed by John Huston.

Story: On their way to Africa are a group of rogues who hope to get rich there, and a seemingly innocent British couple. They meet and things happen… (IMDB)

Between Frames:
✪ Humphrey Bogart was involved in a serious automobile accident during production of this film, which knocked out several of his teeth and hindered his ability to speak.

Why is Beat the Devil among the best Humphrey Bogart movies?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.



Sabrina (1954)

Sabrina (1954), Billy Wilder, Audrey Hepburn, Top movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Romantic comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder and co-starring Audrey Hepburn.

Story: A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family’s chauffeur, but it’s his more serious brother who would be the better man for her. (IMDB)

With its humorous script and its stars’ immense charm, Sabrina remains a resonant romantic gem.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Sabrina among the top films of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ A critical and commercial success, one of the most popular movies of the 1950s, now considered a true classic.
✓ Included among the American Film Institute list of the top 100 America’s Greatest Love Stories movies.


The Caine Mutiny (1954)

The Caine Mutiny (1954), Edward Dmytryk, Top Humphrey Bogart movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Military drama film directed by Edward Dmytryk.

Story: When a U.S. Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny. (IMDB)

Humphrey Bogart is superb as a domineering captain with brittle composure in The Caine Mutiny, an inquisitive courtroom drama teeming with memorable performances.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Caine Mutiny among the top Humphrey Bogart films?
✓ It was well-received by critics and was the second highest-grossing film in the United States in 1954.
✓ One of the most popular movies of the 1950s with a significant influence on pop culture.


The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Ava Gardner, Greatest movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and co-starring Ava Gardner.

Story: This is the life of a Hollywood movie star named Maria, as told by writer/director Harry et al, from being discovered in Madrid, Spain, until her funeral in Italy. (IMDB)

Why is The Barefoot Contessa among the greatest films of Humphrey Bogart?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ The film was praised by many critics for its extravagance and it had a significant influence on pop culture.



We’re No Angels (1955)

We’re No Angels (1955), Michael Curtiz, Greatest Humphrey Bogart movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Christmas comedy film directed by Michael Curtiz.

Story: Three Devil’s Island escapees hide out in the house of a kindly merchant and repay his kindness by helping him and his family out of several crises. (IMDB)


The Desperate Hours (1955)

The Desperate Hours (1955), William Wyler, Greatest Humphrey Bogart films
Where to Watch?   More info

Film noir produced and directed by William Wyler.

Story: Three escaped convicts move in on and terrorize a suburban household. (IMDB)

Humphrey Bogart’s last tough-guy role.

After the movie previewed, he told director William Wyler, “I think I’m too old to play gangsters”.

The Harder They Fall (1956)

The Harder They Fall (1956), Mark Robson, Most popular movies of Humphrey Bogart
Where to Watch?   More info

Boxing film noir directed by Mark Robson.

Story: An ex-sportswriter is hired by a shady fight promoter to promote his latest find, an unknown but easily exploitable rising star from Argentina. (IMDB)

Between Frames:
✪ Humphrey Bogart’s final movie role, filmed in late 1955, before he was diagnosed with cancer in January 1956.



The end of Humphrey Bogart’s Story

In 1956, while still in the prime of his career, Bogart was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, most likely due to chain-smoking and heavy drinking. Surgery failed to remove the cancerous growth, and Bogart died on January 14, 1957.

I should never have switched from scotch to martinis.

Humphrey Bogart’s attributed last words

His coffin contains a small, gold whistle, put there by his wife, Lauren Bacall. It was a reference to the famous line in their film To Have and Have Not, where she says to him: “You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow.”

While Bogart was already one of the top movie stars in the country at the time of his death, his acclaim has grown enormously in the decades since his passing. During the so called “Bogart Boom” in the 1960s, Bogart’s films became the objects of superlative critical praise and his personality the object of cultish adulation.

If you’d like to dig deeper into the story of Humphrey Bogart, you may want to read his biography by Ann Sperber entitled Bogart.



…end of the reel…

So there you have it: The 21 Greatest Films of Humphrey Bogart

If you want to take a look at the movies listed above, without all that info between the titles, here’s a quick recap:

21 Best Movies of Humphrey Bogart
Legacy of the Iconic Movie Gangster
The Petrified Forest 1936
The Petrified Forest (1936)
Dead End 1937
Dead End (1937)
They Drive by Night 1940
They Drive by Night (1940)
High Sierra 1941
High Sierra (1941)
The Maltese Falcon 1941
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Casablanca 1942
Casablanca (1942)
Sahara 1943
Sahara (1943)
To Have and Have Not 1944
To Have and Have Not (1944)
The Big Sleep 1946
The Big Sleep (1946)
Dark Passage 1947
Dark Passage (1947)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Key Largo 1948
Key Largo (1948)
In a Lonely Place 1950
In a Lonely Place (1950)
The African Queen 1951
The African Queen (1951)
Beat the Devil 1953
Beat the Devil (1953)
Sabrina 1954
Sabrina (1954)
The Caine Mutiny 1954
The Caine Mutiny (1954)
The Barefoot Contessa 1954
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
We’re No Angels 1955
We’re No Angels (1955)
The Desperate Hours 1955
The Desperate Hours (1955)
The Harder They Fall 1956
The Harder They Fall (1956)
*Click any title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options

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