Humphrey Bogart: The Everyman Persona and Its Overlooked Impact on Both His Career and Legacy

by William Anthony

Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Department: Cinema Studies
Degree: MA
Year: 2015
Keywords: Thesis (M.A.)  – Cinema Studies; Savannah College of Art and Design  – Department of Cinema Studies
Record ID: 2058530
Full text PDF: http://ecollections.scad.edu/iii/cpro/DigitalItemViewPage.external?sp=1002725


Humphrey Bogart is one of the definitive American actors, especially during the Golden Age of Hollywood. However, his everyman persona defines more of his public image than Hollywood trade magazines and his signature films acknowledge. His down-to-earth attitude about fame reveals why his ordinariness as a leading actor prevailed over time. Thus, Bogart’s everyman persona appeals more to audiences during and after the Golden Age of Hollywood instead of the tough guy image developed from his most well-known movies. I will use Hollywood trade magazines and close readings of High Sierra, In a Lonely Place, Breathless and Play It Again, Sam to support why the everyman persona is synonymous with Bogart’s legacy. Keywords: Everyman Persona, Onscreen Image, Hollywood Trade Magazines, Golden Age of Hollywood, Popular Appeal, Down-to-Earth Attitude, Posthumous Legacy