Bogart film festival kicks off in Florida Keys
KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Several thousand fans of Humphrey Bogart are in the Florida Keys through Sunday to celebrate the legendary actor’s cinematic accomplishments.
Friday, Stephen Bogart, son of Bogart and Lauren Bacall, took a ride on the African Queen, the original boat used in the Bogart film of the same name. The 101-year-old vessel is now homeported in Key Largo and offers daily voyages to visitors.
The weekend festival features 10 of 75 films Bogie made before his 1957 death, alongside 10 other film noir favorites. The genre describes stylish Hollywood crime dramas with cynical/sexual characteristics.
“I think this festival is a long time coming,” said Leonard Maltin, a film critic and historian participating in several panel discussions. “It’s a perfect place to have it, because this area is called Key Largo because of the movie he (Bogart) starred in.”
Among attendees is Brad Davis, a Riverview, Fla., resident who said he was obsessed with Bogart and his films. At Thursday evening’s opening reception, Davis displayed a tattoo on each leg. One was a detailed portrait of Humphrey Bogart, while the other depicted Lauren Bacall.
Another Bogart devotee, Reid Nichols, came with Dana Karen. After a three-year relationship, the Orlando couple plans to elope Saturday at an oceanfront park. Then they plan to attend the “Casablanca”-themed Bogart Ball Saturday night that they are deeming their wedding reception.
“Key Largo is a very laid-back place, and that’s kind of what my father was like,” Stephen Bogart said.
Event organizers are hoping the festival will motivate young film fans to discover Bogart.
“If something is good or great, it lasts, and it’s worth discovering and rediscovering,” Maltin said. “And it’s the same with great movies. And Humphrey Bogart is in a lot of great movies, and he’s great in them.”