Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bogie’s Bold Venture Into Radio






You’d be hard pressed to find a Hollywood star of the 1930s and 1940s who didn’t, at one time, make a foray into radio.


Sometimes, it would simply be a guest appearance on a variety show or a recreation of a movie role on Lux Radio Theater . . . but quite often, it would be in a show of their own.

Alan Ladd starred in Box 13.

Jimmy Stewart was The Six Shooter.

Vincent Price was The Saint (among others).

Don Ameche starred in The Bickersons (among others).


And Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall teamed up in 1951 to create Bold Venture.


Coming 7 years after their first pairing in To Have and Have Not, where Bogie and Bacall first met and fell in love, Bold Venture in many ways harkened back to that early success.  


The formula – a tropical location, dangerous characters, and snappy banter – remains the same, just the location and names are changed to protect the producer.   


This time, Bogart owns a Cuban Hotel – home to an assortment of treasure hunters, ex-pats, and revolutionaries – and a boat, The Bold Venture.    Each week, he and his `ward’  Sailor Duval (Bacall) get drawn into an new tale of danger and intrigue.


Instead of Hoagy Carmichael at the piano as in To Have and Have Not, we get Calypso singer King Moses (Jester Hairston) providing musical bridges between the scenes.


Formulaic?   Sure.


But it is an enjoyable formula. 


And to get to hear Bogart and Bacall trade quips, and engage in thinly veiled innuendo that must have pushed the censorship envelop 60 years ago, is a guilty pleasure.


Alas, the sound quality of many of these episodes is less than robust, and that can detract from the listening experience.  


Given that many of these episodes were presumed lost, and have only recently surfaced, I suppose we should simply be grateful they exist at all.


The Internet Archive has 55 episodes (a few are repeats), which yields roughly 50 individual episodes. 


Bold Venture   ZIP  497 MB


You can also download or listen online to the individual episodes, to see if the series floats your boat.   


You can find the entire collection at:



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