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Guest Programmer: Hugh Hefner
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Guest Programmer: Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner, renowned as the publisher of the world's most famous men's magazine, Playboy, steps in as this month's guest programmer on TCM, choosing an evening of movie entertainment that focuses exclusively on Humphrey Bogart films from the 1940s. Hefner comments on the films from his Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, the elite section of Los Angeles where Bogart once lived and his Rat Pack once socialized. According to some genealogists, Hefner is a ninth cousin once removed of Bogart.

Hefner's appearance comes two days before his birthday; he was born on April 9, 1926, in Chicago, where he studied art and worked for Esquire before beginning his own magazine. The first issue of Playboy, with its famous calendar photo of Marilyn Monroe, was published in 1953.

Hefner's first Playboy Club, which operated in Chicago from 1960 to 1986, was said to have been inspired in part by Bogart's "Cafe Americain" in the movie Casablanca (1942).

Hefner contributed funds for the restoration of the original release print of another Bogart classic, The Big Sleep (1946), co-starring Lauren Bacall. His other Bogart picks are The Maltese Falcon (1941), with the star in a legendary turn as private eye Sam Spade and To Have and Have Not (1944), Bogart's first film with Bacall.

by Roger Fristoe
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