Unlike most biopics, Bogie was actually made by people who had worked with the star. Director Vincent Sherman helmed All Through the Night (1942) and writer Daniel Taradash provided the screenplay for Knock on Any Door (1949). Yet this movie’s inability to even suggest the man behind the legend makes you doubt that anyone associated with this biopic had ever watched a Bogart movie, much less worked on one.
The movie does depict a lot of lesser known facts about Bogart’s life, but reveals them in such a clumsy fashion that it robs itself of any drama. In the lead role, Kevin O’Connor is too often required to utter lines of dialogue that sound like “quotes” forced into the scene. He’s even provided with an opportunity to do a stand-up routine, allowing him to cram in a few more one-liners.
Another clumsy device, this one used to depict the passing of time, are mocked-up photos of O’Connor posing as some of Bogart’s film characters. One movie missing from this intermittent cavalcade was Bogart and director Sherman’s first film together - The Return of Doctor X (1939), in which Bogie played a vampire. Disconcertingly, O’Connor’s ghoulish make-up as Bogart approaches death compensates for this apparent oversight.
Lauren Bacall, who reportedly has never seen this movie, called it "a bunch of crap". Though she was referring to the movie’s accuracy, it will suffice as a review of the biopic as a whole.
as Humphrey Bogart
as Lauren Bacall
as Mayo Methot
as Leslie Howard
Rather than us document the 'Real vs Reel' in Bogie, we thought it best to leave it to Lauren Bacall -
“It’s a bunch of crap, and there’s no way to stop it. It’s a crock, unadulterated garbage, and it’s untrue. They’re just going to use him. Jesus, there’s no creativity left in the world. People will do anything for money. Anything"
Biopic has no direct recreations of scenes from Bogart movies. The closest it comes is an audition for the play The Petrified Forest and rehearsing the most famous scene from To Have and Have Not.