Movie Poll: What’s Humphrey Bogart’s Best Role?

Movie Poll: What's Humphrey Bogart's Best Role?

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  • Jim

    What a tough question! He had so many great roles, you could have picked half a dozen other ones to add to the poll (how about The Desperate Hours, Knock On Any Door, and The Harder They Fall, for example). But it’s hard to top Fred C. Dobbs.


    As Fred C Dobbs he should gotten best actor.


    have gotten

  • Steve in Sacramento

    Wow, tougher than I thought. Was going to go with Casablanca, but took The African Queen instead. He’s also often praised for “In a Lonely Place.”

  • Baz

    His best role in my opinion, the troubled screenwriter Dix Steele in ‘In a Lonely Place’. Also Gloria Graham’s best role by far. Very under-rated movie.

  • Joyce

    Agree, its tough, but Charlie Allnut was so different and Boggie played it perfect.

  • David Byrne

    Definately, Charlie Allnut! It was a different roll for Bogie, and he did a great job. That film just tugs at your heart!

  • Rufnek

    The correct answer is Dobbs and Bogart’s protrayal of his deepening paranoia. It was a difficult role in creating a villian who was still sympathetic. Second best role was Queeg, another role of a mentally disturbed character walking a fine line between santity and a mental breakdown. These were very delicate, nuanced roles that would have been tough for any actor. The same with Dix Steele, In A Lonely Place. Few people could touch Bogart in portraying an average person having a breakdown.

    For fellow fans of In A Lonely Place, read the book–a different story with a very different ending. Not necessarily better than the movie, but interesting in its own right.

  • Strato-Cat


    No question!!!

  • Rick Hirsch

    Bogart really displayed his talent in “The Treasurr of Sierra Madre” and similarily in “The Caine Mutiny”. Hopeless romantics will always go back to “Casablanca” and why not? With an ensemble cast of actors like Bogart and Bergman, it is no wonder why it is consodred one of the top 3 greatest movies ever. The likabilty of Richard Blaine overshadows other Bogart roles including “The African Queen” for which he won an Oscar.

  • J Nicholas

    I must admit his performance in Sierra Madra was something special but from this list it has to be African Queen. Mr Allnut had quite a few layers…
    As tough guys from that period go I have a soft spot for John Garfield myself…The Postman Always Rings Twice is one of my favourite movies and it soooo much better than the remake. No offence to Mr Nicholson but I loved the way Garfield owned that role.

  • Darryl Ashton

    In my opinion, Mr Bogart should have won an award
    for his role in; “The Treasure of The Sierra Madre”. Brilliant. ‘Fall in to madness’, due to
    greed!!!! But, how true that is in todays “WORLD!”

  • Stan

    I think the most interesting role was Qweeg in “The Caine Mutiny”. His best IMHO was Spade in “Maltese Falcon”. I know Casablanca is going to hit the top spot because the script was custom tailored for Bogart and he pulled it off, but Maltese Falcon just seemed to be his best work.



  • Earl Schwager

    Watching Bogey as Capt. Queeg on the witness stand transform, before the eyes of the audience, from a smug leader convinced of his rightness to a troubled obviously disturbed man in a matter of minutes was a consummate display of the actor’s craft. Bogey was so great in so many films, but for me “The Caine Mutiny” crystallized all his ability. The embodiment of the part through use of gestures and expression and living the lines made us all see Captain Queeg in greater depth and feel his pain.

  • Dewey Marine

    My favorite is as Charlie Allnut in African Queen. I could watch that movie every day. But, OH, the wasted gin!!!!!!

  • Steven

    How can you pick? Let’s face it Mr Bogart is a brilliant actor.

  • Andrew

    I liked “Bogie” as Harry “Steve” Morgan in “To Have and Have Not” It was the first Bogart film I remember seeing. I must also say Lauren Bacall played a very sexy and seductive role as
    Marie “Slim” Browning. I believe she was only 19 years old at the time. No wonder “Bogie” married her. Great sidekick part by Walter Brennen as “Eddie”.

  • Loretta Benner

    The African Queen gets my vote. I have watched it multiple times and I’d watch it right now if it were on TV!


    How about Duke in The Big Shot?(1942)

  • Jim

    One thing is clear, and is made clearer from the many excellent comments… Bogart was a great, great actor, one of the best we’ve ever seen. And unlike most actors, he got better as he went along. Many of his greatest roles came later in his career.

  • Charles Brown

    I wanted to vote for “To Have And Have Not” ! You can feel the heat from the budding love affair between the stars coming out in the movie !

  • Bandyman

    To pick one role is very diffacult , he had many great roles that will be remembered forever . I wonder how many of todays actors can say or would be able to say the same thing fifty years after their passing? So here’s looking at you kid.

  • masterofoneinchpunch

    I agree with several on here that his best role was Dix Steele in “In a Lonely Place”. But since I’m a fan I have no issue with several other picks :D. I voted for The Maltese Falcon, but I have been reading Hammett lately.


    Bogie played Duke again on Producers Showcase in 1955.Also in cast,Henry Fonda,Lauren Bacall,Richard Gaines,Jack Klugman,Jack Warden,Paul Hartman,and Richard Jaeckel.

  • Joe Gregorio

    I loved Bogart in all the roles mentioned. I’d go with Fred C. Dobbs in “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” if I had to choose. It’s one of my favorite performances by an actor in a movie.

  • Lucy

    I actually enjoyed all of his movies, a real actor. Hard to come by these days.

  • Senior Chief

    The list is obviously not a “Top Ten” list or “To Have and Have Not” would be on it! As I read all the previous comments and asertions, in my opinion, not one, not even one, was wrong. The only error was the list.
    I have to go with Rick in Casablanca(60%)and Harry in To Have and Have Not(40%). They are to me the true man. The actor captured the characters with ease. All other rolls showed his reach and range. So now if Dustin Hoffman (an equally ranged and stretched actor) took Boogie’s place at the Box Office, who do we have to replace Dustin ???

  • Michael

    The lucky thing about being a good actor is that you’re offered such great roles to play. It’s still a formidable challenge to bring these interesting characters to life on the big screen, but give credit to the screenwriters and directors that provided Bogie with such an array of unforgettable parts. Prior to the great movies listed here, Bogie played a lot of ‘fall guy’ parts, mostly to Cagney and Robinson. Lucky for him and us, someone recognized his talent and started giving him a chance to show his true talent.

    Just a thought. We often associate an actor to a character, and in our minds, no one else can play that part quite as convincing. That’s why remakes don’t normally do all that well. It comes as a surprise to most of us when we find out that many classic parts were offered to other actors before being given to the one we thing the role was “taylored for”. I could be wrong, but I read where the part of Rick was originally going to be offered to …. ready for this ….Ronald Reagan.

    One last note to J. Nicholas. I, too, am a fan of John Garfield, who I think is one of the most underated actors of that era. If you know of anyone we can petition to get “The Sea Wolf” put on DVD, let me know.

  • Tlynette

    While I admit, as Blaine/Spade/Marlowe/McCloud, Bogie was smoother than smoothness, he was obviously cast against that type as Queeg, and ATE IT UP! He stole every scene he was in, and I just don’t think anybody else could have pulled it off. It’s like, WHO could have possibly been an understudy? He rocked as Charlie Allnut, too, but “The Caine Mutiny” is one of my all-time favorites (I LOVE military movies!) and Queeg is one of the most unforgettable characters in film-—personified by one HD Bogart.

  • DeMeio

    Dobbs? Allnut? Allnut? Dobbs? How do you pick the best peanut out of a bowl of peanuts. Bogart was no peanut but either you liked everything he did or you just didn’t care for him. He was no comedian, … but he sure made a wonderful Bogart.

  • RWJ

    Have a look at Bogie as Gloves in ‘All Through The Night’ and as Rick (again) in ‘Across The Pacific’. Not top five, but deserve more recognition. In my opinion, his role as Sam Spade was exceptional……love the film!!!

  • Alan Abrams

    I would have voted for “In A Lonely Place” if you had included it.

  • jack keller

    Good Stuff..whatever happened to the original Werewolf,Invisible man, or Frankenstein ?

  • Charley Van Dien

    You simply can’t go wrong with any one performance of his in at least 15 of Bogart’s films. Don’t overlook ‘BabyFace Martin’ in Dead End or the supporting role of ‘Jim Fraser’ in Angels With Dirty Faces. His work as Fred C. Dobbs & Charlie Alnut = Brilliant.

  • Edward Herrmann

    He’s good in all of the films listed, of course, but Spade fits him like a glove: tough, cynical but still emotionally available, actually enjoying the eccentricities of the socially marginal grifters and thugs with whom he has to deal, he gets to grapple with the moral dilemma between two irreconcilable forces, love and duty, presented by Bridget O’Shaunessy, that in some way or other every hero has to face, in a real, gut wrenching way. His acting technique has been honed wonderfully since the intense but stagey Duke Mantee. He is relaxed, focused, believable and oddly moving. Kudos!!

  • NameFrank DeCavalcante

    I loved Bogart. He was a wonderful actor and created many memorable roles. May I be so bold as to suggest his worst role? It was definitely “Sabrina.” He was far too old to be courting the ever youthful Audrey Hepburn. She looked more like his granddaughter than a romantic interest. Why the studios ever paired her with old men like Gary Cooper or Fred Astaire or Bogie was highly questionable. It did work with Cary Grant because the man was virtually ageless and so youthful and she herself was more mature when she was costarred with him.

  • Roy Gart

    You Got to Be Kidding. His worst role was in “Swing Your Lady.” Manager of a touring woman “rassler.’ He tried to buy back the rights to the movie it was so000 badddddd.


    How about DA Martin Ferguson in The Enforcer(1951)?
    Great Line.If your smart you can be a hero,if your dumb you can be dead.(Ted DeCorsia)

  • Debbie

    I do love him as Rick Blaine–but Sam Spade was not to bad either. I do agree that Dix Steele was a good role for him.

  • StevenWells

    Agree with many comments here about the difficulty of such a choice and the unfortunate omission of IN A LONELY PLACE, but I’d like to add one of my personal favorites that I don’t think anyone mentioned (unless I missed it): Harry Dawes in THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA.

    And for sheer fun, he and Mary Astor are delightful together in ACROSS THE PACIFIC.

  • Rob in L.A.

    Bogart probably did better acting in other roles, but I think that the role he was born to play — unfortunately, he did so only once — was Raymond Chandler’s quintessential hard-boiled private eye Philip Marlowe. In fact, I would have liked it if Warner Bros. had adapted a few other Chandler novels with Bogart as Marlowe.

  • bonnerace

    Bogart had several GREAT performances, so it makes it hard to choose. I am definitely a fan of CASABLANCA (seen it approx. 40 times) but for the all-out role, Fred C. Dobbs of TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE tops them all. That part was written for him and Huston knew it.

  • james

    As a life long Bogie fan, I think his best role was as Sam Spade because the character in the role itself has to be so “fast on his feet” at all times so to speak…In other words, he’s dodging the cops (who really are his pals – Barton McClain and Ward Bond), he “bobs and weaves” around his (now slain) partner’s wife (whom he was apparently involved with, etc.), then he focuses on “working” the dynamic duo of greatly casted Greenstreet and Lorre, while also “carrying around on pillows” the Mary Astor character BUT then abruptly has to turn on her completely while simultaneously having fallen for her, etc., etc…It is a fascinating script and Bogie truly weaves himself around it at every turn! Outstanding performance in my book!

  • Tony

    What a fantastic body of work Bogie left us. Impossible to pick just one. By the way, I thought Casablanca was originally written with George Raft in mind.

  • Noel Bjorndahl

    His best role by a long way is as Dixon Steele in Nicholas Ray’s Hollywood based film noir In a Lonely Place. His insolent, tough-guy image is stripped bare in this superb film to expose his vulnerability and insecurities in a way that none of his other performances even come close to, great though a number of them are (High Sierra, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage).

  • Chuck

    As a kid going up in the forties, Bogie was a hero like Errol Flynn, Roy Rogers, Gable, Cooper and Taylor.
    Bogie was so great because he was convincing in so many different genres.Playing Spade and Marlowe he was the detective hero. Dobbs and Queeg
    was something great …… was acting at its finest.
    He was ‘ONE OF A KIND.” He had a great range…….

  • Bogeyman

    They’re not his best roles, just among his most entertaining. I have always enjoyed watching the “tough guy” star take on a more lighthearted character. Bogart was a lot of fun in “Sabrina” for no more reason than the fact that he played entirely against type. The interesting thing about it is the fact that Linus Larrabee, the name of his character, was precisely the kind of guy he often played on stage in the 20′s. In fact, I think Bogart actually originated the cliche’ phrase “anyone for tennis” during his Broadway years. I also enjoy his send-up of the tough guy image in a WWII era action comedy called “All Through The Night.” As a one dimensional character known as Gloves Donahue, Bogart was given an opportunity to show his heroic as well as his comedic side. Since he made relatively few comedies in his film career, these two very good films deserve more than just momentary passing attention.

  • Bogeyman

    Go back thirteen entries and you’ll find a comment by Edward Herrman. I’m just wondering if it is THE Edward Herrman! Say Mr. Herrman, is that REALLY you, or did some smart aleck just use the name to see if we’re paying attention? So, how ’bout it? Does a great character actor like Edward Herrman see a bit of himself in Humphrey Bogart? Or are you just a Bogey fan like the rest of us?

  • BadGnx2

    Bogart was a very good actor lucky enough to be in very good films. The aforementioned list shows that. Many of his films NOT listed, but well remembered also reflect that.

    The films in which he showed his greatest acting chops had to be “Treasure of The Sierra Madre”, “The African Queen” and “The Caine Mutiny”. I would say in that order.
    In “Treasure..” he went completely against type and played a sympathetic soul who later became the worst villain. The range of this character is incredible and only a handful of actors could have pulled this off believably.

    In “Queen” he had to hold his own against Hepburn, which was hard to do and matched her toe to toe. He definitely rose to the occasion.

    Although he was very good in “Caine”, the scene in which he really pulled out the stops was the courtroom scene. However that really wasn’t a Bogart picture, he was more of a member of an ensemble.

    Although good in “In A Lonely Place”, that role still didn’t require him to sink to the depths that he had to go to in “Treasure”, “Queen” or “Caine”.