Friday, January 25, 2019

The Man With Bogart's Face (1980)

One of the strangest manifestations of the thirties and forties nostalgia which seemed to pervade the 1980s was the relatively brief career of Robert Sacchi as a leading man.  His leads resulted from his resemblance to Humphrey Bogart.  While this resemblance landed him some supporting roles, guest spots and glorified bit parts in several movies and TV series, either portraying Bogart himself, or a character who looks and sounds like him, he also played leading roles in two movies, portraying Bogey-like characters.  The first of these was a 1972 giallo, known in the US as The French Sex Murders and in the UK as The Bogey Man and the French Murders, in which he plays a police inspector who looks like Bogart, sounds like Bogart and dresses like a classic Bogart character.

Eight years later, he starred in The Man With Bogart's Face, a film apparently built around his likeness to the late star.  It was one of a number of films from the era which attempted to recreate/parody 1930s and 1940s murder mysteries and film noirs, (others included Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid).  The USP of The Man With Bogart's Face, of course, was that it wasn't just recreating the genre, but Bogart himself.  Sacchi plays a man who has plastic surgery to look like Bogart, sets up as a private eye called 'Sam Marlowe' who, of course, finds himself embroiled in a plot which parallels elements and characters from The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep (the standard formula for these kinds of films). To be fair to Sacchi, unlike many other would be Bogart impersonators, he really does look and sound reasonably like the real Bogey.  Demand, however, for leading men who look like Bogart was clearly limited as, after The Man With Bogart's Face, it was back to the TV guest spots and character parts in movies for Sacchi.  Oh, and rather bizarrely, providing the vocals, in character as Bogart, for the 1983 single 'Jungle Queen':

(That version actually cuts the song short - there's a couple of verses more, where finds the Jungle Queen - who 'firmly grasps' his 'rod').



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home