Movies - TV
The Movie That Ended Humphrey Bogart's Creative Relationship With Director John Huston
In the pantheon of great director-actor pairings, it is hard to match the six-film run of John Huston and Humphrey Bogart. Huston made a lot of movies, and more than his share of stinkers, but he never misfired when collaborating with Bogie — that is, until 1953, when they came together for the garishly cynical "Beat the Devil."
According to Stefan Kanfer's "Tough Without a Gun: The Extraordinary Life and Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart," the production of "Beat the Devil" was born in bad faith. Having enjoyed the book the film is based on, Huston took it upon himself to purchase the rights for $10,000, money he did not have which led to Bogart fronting him the cash.
The trouble started with the screenplay, which underwent several rewrites after the hiring, and firing, of three writers before Huston settled on Truman Capote. Due to his financial investment, Bogart had more control over the final cut than Huston, and he was alarmed by what he saw during the editing process feeling both Huston and Capote had taken him for a ride.
The star was further stung when Huston neglected to inform him that some of his dialogue had been dubbed by a Bogart sound-a-like. Flummoxed by Huston's assemblage, Bogart turned to editors Gene and Marjorie Fowler, who reconstructed the film to emphasize its arch nature early on. It didn't work. The film was a flop.
After the film’s release, Bogart and Huston remained friends, but the star steered clear of his frequent collaborator for what would wind up being the last seven films of his career. There might've been a creative rapprochement had Bogie not died of esophageal cancer in 1957, though it's just as likely Huston would've struggled through the '60s even if he and Bogie had professionally reconciled.