Bogart, Humphrey: Genres (Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Noir, War, Western)

Most of Bogart’s career was devoted to tales of the contemporary world, depicting the dark side (violence, corruption) of the American Dream, as manifest in the urban milieu of the Depression, WWII, and the Korea War.

Of the 75 films that he made in a career spanning 27 tears, 43 were crime stories, 15 were war tales, 3 were Westerns, and only 2 were straight comedies

Bogart war films (or set in war context):

13 out of 75, about 17 percent

Across the Pacific, 1942

All Through the Night, 1942

Casablanca, 1943

Sahara, 1943

Passage to Marseilles, 1944

To Have, 1945

Tokyo Joe, 1949

Chain Lighting, 1950

Sirocco, 1951

African Queen, 1951

Battle Circus, 1953

Caine Mutiny, 1954

Left Hand of Gun, 1955

His dominant and defining genre was the crime noir film.

His first role was supporting in a modern story, a Holy Terror (1931.


He made only three Westerns, none good.

In The Oklahoma Kid he was miscast as a Mexican bandit, a black-garbed villain

In Virginia City, he played a half-breed bandit;

In the western-like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, he played a greedy gold prospector, who’s brutally murdered at the end.

The comedies came late in his career: Sabrina, in 1954, for which he was too old; We’re No Angels,

Screen Death

As noted, he died or was killed on screen in one third of his movies, or 25 to be exact, but 18 of those were made before he became a major star.