Name: Sidney (Leifer) Fox
Birthdate: December 10, 1907
Number of Films Made With Humphrey Bogart: 2
After an all too short career, personal turmoil overcame young actress Sidney Fox and she took her own life just a month shy of her 35th birthday. While critics didn’t make a lot of her two roles with Bogart, I personally thought that their chemistry stole the show in both of their films. Even when playing the bad girl, Fox was able to keep the audience’s sympathy on her side despite some pretty horrendous onscreen behavior. While Fox won’t go down in history as one of Bogart’s most famous or celebrated costars, I thought that she deserved a spot in The Usual Suspects considering she was the first early love interest that I thought Bogart had real magic alongside.
The Bad Sister – 1931
Fox plays Marianne Madison, a mischievous young woman who can have any man in town, but has the poor choice to fall for con man Valentine Corliss (Humphrey Bogart). Marianne’s relationship with Corliss quickly causes trouble for her family as Corliss is able to swindle her father and his friends out of a lot of money. Sidney’s so cute though, that I was ready to forgive her for all of the horrible behavior right up until the point that she rages against her father for not falling in with Corliss.
Fox and Bogart have really wonderful chemistry, and they are given a lot of time shine here. They click so well together as they con everyone around them that it’s a wonder Valentine didn’t take Marianne on the road with him. It’s also the first film for Fox’s costar, Bette Davis, and the two play off each other well in the scenes that they share together. You can find my original write up on the film here.
Midnight / Call It Murder – 1934
Fox plays Stella Weldon, the daughter of a jury foreman. Stella meets up with small time hood Gar Boni (Humphrey Bogart) while watching her father chair a jury on a murder case. Again, I thought it was another great showcase for Fox and Bogart’s chemistry, and the moment that they share sitting together after Gar Boni insults the jury before realizing who he’s sitting next to, is sweet and funny. If the rest of the film had used more of their chemistry, it might have turned out better. The problem is that the two actors with the most onscreen charisma – Bogart and Fox – are also the two main actors that appear the least in the film.
Stella eventually becomes the focus of the movie after confessing to a murder that we’re never sure she committed. It’s a bit of a stretch for the young actress to pull off at the end of the film, but she does well up until the climax.
My favorite scene comes when Gar has to break a date with Stella and ends his apology like this:
Bogart: Mad at me?
Fox: You know I am.
Bogart: Well, kiss me anyway.
And they do! You can find my original write up on the film here.