1 Bogart: Disdain for Hollywood, Phoniness

Humphrey Bogart famously had a lifelong disdain for pretension and phoniness, and was again irritated by his inferior films. Bogart rarely watched his own films and avoided premieres, issuing fake press releases about his private life to satisfy journalistic and public curiosity.

When he thought an actor, director or studio had done something shoddy, he spoke up publicly about it.

Bogart had advised Robert Mitchum that the only way to stay alive in Hollywood was to be an “againster.”

He was not the most popular of actors, and some in the Hollywood community shunned him privately to avoid trouble with the studios.

Bogart once said, “All over Hollywood, they are continually advising me, “Oh, you mustn’t say that. That will get you in a lot of trouble,” when I remark that some picture or writer or director or producer is no good. I don’t get it. If he isn’t any good, why can’t you say so? If more people would mention it, pretty soon it might start having some effect. The local idea that anyone making a thousand dollars a week is sacred and is beyond the realm of criticism never strikes me as particularly sound.

The Hollywood press, unaccustomed to such candor, was delighted by Bogart’s attitude.