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Honoring The Man, his films, his life, and the golden era of cinema…in a tropical paradise with a stunning climate…that is the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival.
As observed by two time festival guest Leonard Maltin (the man who declared Casablanca “the best Hollywood movie of all time”), the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival presents these classic films like they were meant to be seen: “on the big screen.” The larger-than-life presentations are offered in traditional movie theaters, a one-of-a-kind “Ricks Café” themed venue, and outside, on a giant screen, under the stars next to the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine that moment…watching the Bogart classic “Key Largo,” in Key Largo, next to the waters Bogie navigated in the classic movie for which this island was named.
The festival also presents a variety of special events including cocktail receptions, round table discussions, Saturday evening dancing and dining, and, finally, a closing brunch overlooking the breathtaking waters of the Florida Keys. In between catching a movie or attending an event, the true Bogart aficionados somehow find time to take a cruise on the original African Queen, which makes its home port Key Largo.
Celebrate Bogie and Bacall in Key Largo
For fans of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, one of America’s all-time great screen couples, Key Largo is the place to be in late October.
That’s not just because Key Largoshares its name with one of Bogie and Bacall’s iconic films, though the connection to the classic is undeniable.
It’s also because the island at the head of the Florida Keys is the setting for the third annualHumphrey Bogart Film Festival, scheduled Oct. 21-25 — and because the festival, which celebrates the late Bogart’s life and films, this year also pays homage to his wife Lauren Bacall.
On top of that, the event’s co-host and one of its guiding spirits is none other than Stephen Bogart, the son of Bogie and Bacall. And among its scheduled highlights are cruises on the African Queen (yes, it’s the boat from John Huston’s 1951 film starring Bogart and Katharine Hepburn), which has been lovingly restored and is available for canal and dinner cruises in Key Largowaters.
“My father and mother starred in ‘Key Largo’ and the actual boat from ‘The African Queen’ is here in Key Largo,” Stephen Bogart explained before the first annual festival. “It just feels right to honor my father and his movies in this beautiful place, which has such an organic connection to his legacy.”
That legacy will be very evident during the festival, as film buffs celebrate the legendary actor who appeared in 75 movies during a 50-year career. Among them were four pairings with the beautiful Bacall, who died just over a year ago.
The duo’s films were “To Have and Have Not,” adapted from a novel written by former Key West resident Ernest Hemingway; “The Big Sleep,” a thriller based on a Raymond Chandler book; “Dark Passage,” the story of a falsely convicted murderer and the woman who helps him; and 1948’s legendary “Key Largo,” whose plot involves a notorious gangster, a hurricane and a hostage situation at a Key Largo hotel.
At the 2015 festival, Stephen Bogart is to be joined by Eddie Muller — an acclaimed novelist and film historian known internationally as the “Czar of Noir.” He’s also the founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation that’s dedicated to rescuing, restoring and showing at-risk noir offerings.
In addition, film buffs in attendance can meet special guest Monika Henreid — a documentary filmmaker and the daughter of Paul Henreid, who played Victor Laszlo in the famed “Casablanca.”
So what’s planned for the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival? Highlights include indoor and outdoor single- and double-feature showings of Bogart classics — including the four pairings with Bacall as well as “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” “The Caine Mutiny,” “Casablanca,” “The African Queen” and (of course) “Key Largo.”
Plus attendees can take a “starring role” in special events including the Costume or Casual Cocktail Reception, Bogart Block Party with island music, and Seaside Soirée with dancing and dining outdoors beside Florida Bay. In addition there’s a student short film competition for entries in multiple categories.
Throughout the weekend, fans can view Bogart memorabilia, find festival collectibles and book canal cruises on the African Queen. The venerable vessel is docked at the Holiday Inn Key Largo, located at mile marker 100, and it’s a true thrill to step aboard.
Eager to attend the cinematic showcases and surrounding events? All-access and single-event passes can be purchased here.
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