Humphrey Bogart said he was a “democrat in politics, Episcopalian by upbringing and dissenter by disposition”. Beat the Devil (1953), made 4 years before his death, is public domain and available on youtube (click link). Scripted by Truman Capote, the film was based on a novel by Claud Cockburn. John Huston, who had recently worked with Bogart on the The African Queen (1951), directed and Bogart was himself one of the co-financiers.
After the premiere, the New York Times critic praised Bogart’s performance, but said the film was “a pointedly roguish and conversational spoof, generally missing the book’s bite, bounce and decidedly snug construction…. the format seems as brazenly piece-meal.” Bogart was himself a bit disappointed with the film, but John Huston thought it had unrecognized qualities. Today the film is almost considered a cult classic.
Huston and Bogart worked together on several films, and the two liked each other, despite minor differences of opinion. Both of them were central in the struggle against the Hollywood blacklist, which sought to ostracize actors with left wing sympathies during the first part of the cold war.
- Listen to You Must Remember This: The Blacklist, The African Queen: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn and John Huston (50 min audio)
- Listen to Movies on the Radio on Humphrey Bogart (1 hour)
Or watch a Biography Channel documentary found on youtube: