WASHINGTON - That famous movie line, "Here's looking at you, kid," will have time to echo in the halls of the Smithsonian this weekend as the son of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall opens the first film festival at the National Mall's new movie theater.
"Casablanca" will be the first film shown at the new Warner Bros. Theater at the National Museum of American History on Friday night, followed by free weekend screenings of "The Maltese Falcon," "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" and "The Big Sleep." Bogart's suit worn in "Casablanca" also is on display, on loan from Warner Bros.
Stephen Bogart, 63, said he didn't really know his famous father because he died when his son was just 8 years old.
"All I knew him as was on celluloid," said Stephen Bogart, who is now a real estate agent in Naples, Fla. Still, he said his father would have been shocked to find himself featured at the Smithsonian.
"He was not full of himself. He was just an actor and hung around with writers and producers and film people," Stephen Bogart said. "Obviously, he would have been proud and would have been humbled, but he would have been shocked."
The American Film Institute has ranked Humphrey Bogart as the greatest male legend from the screen.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the 1942 iconic film, a re-mastered version of "Casablanca" will be released on Blu-ray in March, Bogart said.
Now Stephen Bogart is working on his own film project, a horror film with the working title "Mutant Killer Babies," though that's bound to change, he said. He's also working in real estate after a career in TV news and entertainment that ended when he was laid off in 2009 from a producing job with MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." And he manages his father's image through Bogart LLC.
Bogart said his mother, Bacall, is living in New York City and is as active as any 87 year old.
Warner Bros., which donated $5 million to build the theater in an old auditorium space, will present three more film festivals at the Smithsonian this year. In June the theater will showcase Clint Eastwood films, including "Unforgiven" and "Pale Rider." In July, the museum will feature the birth of motion picture sound with "Singin' In the Rain" and "The Jazz Singer." An October festival is devoted to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with "Gone With the Wind," "Glory," "Gettysburg," and "Gods and Generals."
Bogart said such films are a good addition to the museum devoted to U.S. history.
"Entertainment has been around since the beginning of time," he said. "It's part of our history."
National Museum of American History: http://americanhistory.si.edu/
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