Monday, April 23, 2007

Bogart's Cement Shoes

Humphrey Bogart spent the day at the Columbia Pictures lot shooting “Dead Reckoning,” co-starring Lizabeth Scott, and then went to get his hands dirty. The date was August 21, 1946, when Bogart joined the pantheon of footprints and handprints in front of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater. According to “Bogart” by A.M. Sperber and Eric Lax (William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1997), he left the lot in the late afternoon, put on “what he called his lucky shoes, the oxfords he wore in ‘Casablanca’ and ‘The Big Sleep’….” These shoes were to make a big impression.

In the photo of the event, his wife Lauren Bacall kneels beside him before the slab of wet cement. Her hand is placed atop his as he presses his hand into it. Along with his signature, Bogart scratched out a warm, personal message to Sid Grauman, “Sid, may you never die ‘till I kill you.”

Just another day out of the office for Sam Spade.

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