KEY LARGO (CBSMiami/FKNB) – Thousands of Bogey fans are in the Keys this weekend celebrating the cinematic accomplishments of a legendary actor.
The inaugural Humphrey Bogart Film Festival began Thursday and will carry-on through Sunday, May 5th.
On Friday, Stephen Bogart, son of Bogart and Lauren Bacall, took a ride on the African Queen, the original boat used in the Bogart film of the same name. The boat, which is registered as a national historic site, underwent a $70,000 restoration in 2012.
The 101-year-old vessel is now homeported in Key Largo offering daily voyages to visitors.
The weekend festival features 10 of 75 films Bogie made before his 1957 death, alongside 10 other film noir favorites. The genre describes stylish Hollywood crime dramas with cynical/sexual characteristics.
“I think this festival is a long time coming,” said Leonard Maltin, a film critic and historian who is part of several panel discussions.” It’s a perfect place to have it, because this area is called Key Largo, because of the movie he (Bogart) starred in.”
Among attendees are Brad Davis, a Riverview, Fla., resident who said he was obsessed with Bogart and his films. At a Thursday evening opening reception, Davis showed a tattoo on each of his legs. One was a detailed portrait of Humphrey Bogart, while the other showcased Lauren Bacall.
“”Key Largo is a very laid-back place and that’s kind of what my father was like,” Stephen Bogart said.
Festival organizers are hoping the festival will motivate young film fans to discover Bogart.
“If something is good or great, it lasts and it’s worth discovering and rediscovering.,” Maultin said. “And it’s the same with great movies.
“And Humphrey Bogart is in a lot of great movies and he’s great in them,” he said.
“The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.”