All 8 Humphrey Bogart War Movies, Ranked Worst To Best


  • Humphrey Bogart was an iconic actor in Hollywood history who starred in several war movies.
  • Some of his best war films include “Body and Soul,” “Battle Circus,” “Action in the North Atlantic,” “Passage to Marseille,” “Across the Pacific,” “Sahara,” “The Caine Mutiny,” and “To Have and to Have Not.”
  • Bogart’s performances in these war movies showcased his ability to embody a brooding, charismatic, and compelling leading men.

Humphrey Bogart was among the greatest actors who ever lived and starred in several fantastic war movies across his acclaimed career. Although Bogart made a name for himself in gangster movies, film noirs, and adventures, there were plenty of other times he took the battlefield, sailed the seven seas in the Navy, or commanded soldiers as a high-level official. These performances paired Bogart with legendary directors like John Huston, Howard Hawks, and Michael Curtiz and even included his very first movie with his future wife and acclaimed co-star Lauren Bacall.

While some of the best Humphrey Bogart movies featured war as a backdrop to the story, like Casablanca, others were true war movies set in the midst of conflict or followed soldiers engaged in active warfare. Bogart often channeled the brooding, charismatic, and tough guy demeanor he did so well in film noirs and transported in the realm of war movies. As one of the biggest stars of his era, the best Bogart war movies amounted to some of his greatest work.

8 Body And Soul (1931)

Humphrey Bogart as Jim Watson

A still from the 1931 war movie Body and Soul

Body and Soul (1931) Drama

Andress, Watson, and Johnson are with a Royal Air Force squadron in France. When Watson is killed in combat, Andrews tries to return the letters Watson received from a girl called “Pom-Pom.” There are two possibilities: one is Watson’s widow; the other is a German spy.

Director Alfred Santell Release Date February 22, 1931 Writers Jules Furthman , Elliott White Springs , A.E. Thomas Cast Charles Farrell , Elissa Landi , Humphrey Bogart , Myrna Loy , Don Dillaway , Crauford Kent , Pat Somerset , Ian Maclaren , David Cavendish , Douglas Dray Character(s) Mal Andrews , Carla , Jim Watson , Alice Lester , Tap Johnson , Major Burke , Major Knowls , General Trafford-Jones Runtime 70 Minutes Main Genre Drama Expand

Humphrey Bogart got his start in theater and had some small roles at the end of the silent era, although it was not until the early 1930s that he started to achieve significant success in Hollywood. One of Bogart’s earliest roles came in the World War I action-drama Body and Soul, which focused on aviation and the Royal Air Force. Bogart played the earnest soon-to-be-husband American pilot Jim Watson.

While Body and Soul represented a good opportunity for Bogart at the time of its release, this was a minor entry in his filmography that has been mostly forgotten by modern audiences. With an overly melodramatic plot and acting that felt a little wooden and dated, it’s understandable that Body and Soul does not stand out as one of Bogart’s best movies. However, it’s an interesting time capsule, and one major reason to check it out was to witness Bogart at such a young age, almost unrecognizably fresh-faced, years before he became a household name.

7 Battle Circus (1953)

Humphrey Bogart as Major Jed Webbe

Humphrey Bogart as Major Jed Webbe in Battle Circus (1953)

Battle Circus (1953) ApprovedDramaRomanceWar

Set in Korea and made during the war, this is the love story of a hard-bitten Army surgeon, and a new nurse ready to save the world.

Director Richard Brooks Release Date March 6, 1953 Writers Allen Rivkin , Laura Kerr , Richard Brooks Cast Humphrey Bogart , June Allyson , Keenan Wynn , Robert Keith , William Campbell , Perry Sheehan , Patricia Tiernan , Adele Longmire Character(s) Maj. Jed Webbe , Lt. Ruth McGara , Sgt. Orvil Statt , Lt. Col. Hilary Walters , Capt. John Rusford , Lt. Laurence , Lt. Rose Ashland , Lt. Jane Franklin Runtime 90 Minutes Main Genre Drama Expand

Battle Circus was a Korean war movie made while the war was still active which told a story of love in trying times. With Humphrey Bogart as the surgeon and commander, Major Jed Webbe, and June Allyson Ruth McCara, a newly arrived nurse, the two found their love flourishing amid the chaos of battle and enemy attacks. While Battle Circus has some strong performances, the script was dull and meandering, and it never felt like the film fully decided if it wished to be a wartime drama or a romantic comedy.

Bogart was an interesting choice for the role of Major Webbe as he’s forced to put on the charm from start to finish, which went against his reputation for playing aloof and uncompromising characters, although he pulled off this change in style. There was good chemistry between Bogart and Allyson, even if his means to get closer to her felt quite outdated when viewed through a modern lens. Battle Circus was an enjoyable war picture, but it could not live up to the best of Bogart in this genre.

6 Action In The North Atlantic (1943)

Humphrey Bogart as First Officer Joe Rossi

Humphrey Bogart as First Officer Joe Rossi in Action In The North Atlantic (1943)

Action in the North Atlantic (1943) ApprovedDramaWar

An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat, and the survivors spend 11 days at sea on a raft. Their next assignment – bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked N. Atlantic.

Director Lloyd Bacon , Byron Haskin , Raoul Walsh Release Date June 12, 1943 Writers John Howard Lawson , Guy Gilpatric , A.I. Bezzerides , W.R. Burnett Cast Humphrey Bogart , Raymond Massey , Alan Hale , Julie Bishop , Ruth Gordon , Sam Levene , Dane Clark , Peter Whitney Character(s) Lt. Joe Rossi , Capt. Steve Jarvis , Boats O’Hara , Pearl O’Neill , Mrs. Sarah Jarvis , Abel Abrams , Johnnie Pulaski , Whitey Lara , Cadet Ezra Parker Runtime 126 Minutes Main Genre War Expand

Like so many World War II movies made while the war was still on, Action in the North Atlantic was produced as a morale booster and acted as a way to highlight the stories of unsung heroes in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Also known under the name Heroes Without Uniforms, this film depicted a US tanker sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors’ struggles over 11 days at sea on a raft. With tons of action and a truly inspiring story, it’s easy to see why Action in the North Atlantic was well-received by Navy men, soldiers, and veterans.

Humphrey Bogart, as First Officer Joe Rossi, delivered a compelling performance as the ship’s captain, and coming off the back of Casablanca the previous year gave the film some real star power. Action in the North Atlantic was full of war movie tropes and clichés, although this was to be expected from a movie produced as a morale-boosting endeavor. While Action in the North Atlantic amounted to pro-American wartime propaganda, this was its entire point as movies such as this sought to unite the country in a common goal toward victory.

5 Passage To Marseille (1944)

Humphrey Bogart as Jean Matrac

 Humphrey Bogart as Jean Matrac in Passage To Marseille (1944)

Passage to Marseille (1944) ApprovedAdventureDramaRomance

Five patriotic convicts are helped to escape imprisonment in Devil’s Island so they can fight for occupied Free French forces against the Nazis.

Director Michael Curtiz Release Date March 11, 1944 Writers Casey Robinson , Jack Moffitt , Charles Nordhoff , James Norman Hall Cast Humphrey Bogart , Claude Rains , Michèle Morgan , Philip Dorn , Sydney Greenstreet , Peter Lorre , George Tobias , Helmut Dantine Character(s) Jean Matrac , Capt. Freycinet , Paula Matrac , Maj. Duval , Marius , Petit , Garou Runtime 109 Minutes Main Genre Adventure Expand

Passage to Marseille was a star-studded war movie that featured screen legends like Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre. With an unusual style for the time, Passage to Marseille was told through the use of flashbacks within flashbacks as the film moved between an English WWII airbase, a French prison colony, and a newspaper where Matrac (Bogart) was framed for murder. Full of action and excitement, Passage to Marseille reunited Bogart with the Casablanca director Michael Curtiz and producer Hal B. Wallis and, in many ways, mimicked the style of that acclaimed film.

While Passage to Marseille has been doomed to live in the shadow of Casablanca’s success years before, when taken on its merits alone, this was a solid war picture in its own right that featured some incredible work from Bogart. The flashback structure of the film did bring it down, as the plot was bogged down with too many narratives, but this unique style was also part of its charm. Passage to Marseille was an enjoyable war movie from Bogart that was released when he was at the peak of his star power.

4 Across The Pacific (1942)

Humphrey Bogart as Rick Leland

Humphrey Bogart as Rick Leland in Across The Pacific (1942)

Across the Pacific (1942) ApprovedActionAdventureDrama

In December 1941, ex-army captain Rick Leland boards a Japanese ship heading to Asia via the Panama Canal where his Japanese hosts show interest in the American defense plans for the canal zone.

Director John Huston , Vincent Sherman Release Date September 5, 1942 Writers Richard Macaulay , Robert Carson Cast Humphrey Bogart , Mary Astor , Sydney Greenstreet , Charles Halton , Victor Sen Yung , Roland Got , Lee Tong Foo , Frank Wilcox Character(s) Rick Leland , Alberta Marlow , Dr. H.F.G. Lorenz , A.V. Smith , Joe Totsuiko , Sugi , Sam Wing , Capt. Morrison Runtime 97 Minutes Main Genre Adventure Expand

Humphrey Bogart reunited with The Maltese Falcon director John Huston for the spy film Across the Pacific, a thrilling story set on the eve of the United States entering World War II. The plot of Across the Pacific originally involved a plan to avert a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; however, when, in a shocking twist, the real Pearl Harbor was actually attacked, the script was revised, and the target was changed to Panama (via TCM.) Huston was replaced by director Vincent Sherman in mid-production after Huston joined the United States Army Signal Corps.

Across the Pacific melded action and melodrama to produce an enduring war feature with plenty of espionage thrills. Bogart worked well when reunited with his romantic co-star from The Maltese Falcon, Mary Astor, and the duo maintained their incredible chemistry. While Across the Pacific was a solid war movie with great performances, a strong script, and accomplished direction, it sadly did not achieve the same cultural impact and legacy as Bogart and Huston’s first work together.

3 Sahara (1943)

Humphrey Bogart as M/Sgt. Joe Gunn

Humphrey Bogart as M/Sgt. Joe Gunn in Sahara (1943)

Sahara (1943) ApprovedWarActionDrama

After the fall of Tobruk in 1942, during the Allied retreat in the Libyan desert, an American tank picks-up a motley group of survivors but they face advancing Germans and a lack of water.

Director Zoltan Korda Release Date November 11, 1943 Writers John Howard Lawson , Zoltan Korda , James O’Hanlon Cast Humphrey Bogart , Bruce Bennett , J. Carrol Naish , Lloyd Bridges , Rex Ingram , Richard Aherne , Dan Duryea , Carl Harbord Character(s) Sgt. Joe Gunn , Waco Hoyt , Giuseppe , Fred Clarkson , Sgt. Maj. Tambul , Capt. Jason Halliday , Jimmy Doyle , Marty Williams Runtime 97 Minutes Main Genre War Expand

Humphrey Bogart channeled his reputation as a gritty, tough guy for the desert war film Sahara, where he played an American tanker in Libya defending a water supply from a German Afrika Korps battalion. Set amidst the Western Desert Campaign of World War II, Sahara was based on a novel by Philip MacDonald. As Master Sergeant Joe Gunn, Bogart captured the cool-headed charisma and suave charm he did so well in film noirs and transported it into the war genre through his infectious characterization.

It was war movies such as Sahara that kept the public entertained during the difficult period of WWII, as it highlighted stories of American bravery happening as the conflict waged all over the world. Although movies such as Sahara can appear to romanticize war and conflict, there was nothing romantic in this film as it featured an all-male cast and non-stop action. While Bogart stood out as the lead, Bruce Bennett gave an incredible performance as Waco Hoyt, and J. Carrol Naish was nominated for an Oscar for Best Support Actor for the part of Giuseppe.

2 The Caine Mutiny (1954)

Humphrey Bogart as LCDR Philip Francis Queeg

Humphrey Bogart looking sideways in The Caine Mutiny

The Caine Mutiny (1954) ApprovedWarDrama

The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 drama film directed by Edward Dmytryk, featuring Humphrey Bogart as the unstable Captain Queeg. Set during World War II, the film follows the crew of the USS Caine, who grapple with Queeg’s erratic behavior, leading to a courtroom drama to determine the legitimacy of their actions. Fred MacMurray, Van Johnson, and José Ferrer co-star in this adaptation of Herman Wouk’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Director Edward Dmytryk Release Date June 24, 1954 Writers Stanley Roberts , Michael Blankfort , Herman Wouk Cast Humphrey Bogart , Jose Ferrer , Van Johnson , Fred MacMurray , Robert Francis , May Wynn , Tom Tully , E.G. Marshall Runtime 124 Minutes Main Genre Drama Expand

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Hermann Wouk, The Caine Mutiny was a military trial film about events on the U.S. Navy destroyer-minesweeper and the subsequent trial for mutiny. As Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg (Humphrey Bogart) gained command of the WWII ship USS Caine, he started to show signs of mental instability, and his crew relieved him of his command, later facing a court martial for mutiny. Plenty of naval drama, emotional intensity, and powerful performances made The Caine Mutiny among the best naval war movies ever.

Bogart delivered an exceptional performance in one of his final film roles as Queeg in a film that not only acted as an excellent insight into naval life but also an extraordinary character study. With a complexity of character that went above and beyond many of his most famous gangster roles, Bogart showcased why he was one of the biggest stars of his era in The Caine Mutiny. Bogart was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor but lost to Marlon Brando for On the Waterfront.

1 To Have And To Have Not (1944)

Humphrey Bogart as Harry ‘Steve’ Morgan

Humphrey Bogart smoking a cigarette while Lauren Baccall looks sideways in To Have and Have Not

To Have And To Have Not (1944) ApprovedAdventureComedyFilm Noir

During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer.

Director Howard Hawks Release Date January 20, 1945 Writers Ernest Hemingway , Jules Furthman , William Faulkner Cast Humphrey Bogart , Lauren Bacall , Walter Brennan , Dolores Moran , Hoagy Carmichael , Sheldon Leonard , Walter Szurovy , Marcel Dalio Runtime 100 Minutes Main Genre Film Noir Expand

The greatest of all Humphrey Bogart’s war movies was the romantic adventure To Have and to Have Not directed by Howard Hawks. As the first pairing between Bogart and his future wife Lauren Bacall, To Have and to Have Not was a historic moment in cinematic history that signaled the dawning of one of the most important Hollywood couples there ever was. Taking place during World War II and inspired by the novel by Ernest Hemingway, To Have and to Have Not blended Bogart’s skill for film noir and war movies into one compelling feature.

With equal parts comedy, tension, and drama, it’s easy to see why Bogart and Becall became such an onscreen powerhouse, as their incredible chemistry worked perfectly with Hawks’ impeccable direction. As the American expatriate Harry Morgan transported a French Resistance leader and his wife to Martinique, romance oozed out of every scene. Although there were similarities to earlier Bogart movies such as Casablanca, Morocco, and Across the Pacific, the success of To Have and to Have Not proved how well-suited Bogart was to this style of filmmaking.

Source: TCM

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