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March 27 , 2009

Humphrey Bogart (Great Stars)


'Look, I'm hardly pretty, he seems to say. I sound like gravel; I look rough and tough; and, honest, I don't give you the soft, foolish answers the pretty boys will give you. You may not like what I say, but you better believe it.'

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Gary Cooper

"Cooper was heroic, of course, in his own mind as much as in his scripts. He was manly, tall, ruggedly handsome. He was a man for a fight." On screen he was the ultimate all-American hero: lean, laconic, and masculine, a lone sheriff battling his enemies in High Noon, or a tough individualist in The Fountainhead. Off-screen he bedded…

He became a legend as 'Bogie', the world-weary, wise-cracking outsider, but in reality Humphrey Bogart was plagued by doubts and demons. He was born upper-class yet made his name playing mavericks, drank with the rat pack and met four wives on set - including his great love, Lauren Bacall - yet always mistrusted stardom. Here David Thomson, one of film's most provocative writers, reveals the man behind cinema's greatest icon.

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