Birth Name: Everett H. Sloane
Date of Birth: October 1, 1909
Date of Death: August 6, 1965
Number of Films Everett Sloane Made with Humphrey Bogart: 2
It was a recent rewatching of The Enforcer and Sirocco that really brought Sloane to my attention for The Usual Suspects. They were the only two films that he shared with Bogart, and the roles are so diametrically opposite from one another that it gave me a whole new respect for the actor who first appeared in a little known film called Citizen Kane.
Sloane started his career at age 7 on the stage before receiving some tough reviews as a young adult and retiring early to become a Wall Street runner. Yet, as fate would have it, Sloane headed back into performing after the stock market crashed and he eventually hooked up with another radio personality named Orson Welles.
Welles hired Sloane for his radio company and then went on to cast him in what were probably Sloane’s two most well known films – Citizen Kane and The Lady from Shanghai.
Sloane’s personal filmography is certainly nothing to sneeze at, and combined with his stage work, radio broadcasts, and later television appearances, it all makes for a pretty incredible resume despite the fact that his life was cut short when he committed suicide at 55 after struggling with the fact that he was going blind.
It leaves all of us to wonder what great work might have been left in his life if he’d sought help, but there is still so much to love about the work he left behind! So let me happily induct Everett Sloane into The Usual Suspects!
The Enforcer – 1951
Sloane plays Albert Mendoza, the criminal mastermind behind a ring of hit men-for-hire. It makes me greatly ashamed that I saw this one before I saw Sirocco and didn’t even mention Sloane in my original write up as I hadn’t yet seen his full range. In a Third Man-esque twist, we don’t even get to see the much talked about gangster until the last act of the film, leaving us to wonder just what this dastardly n’er-do-well looks like. We hear about him. We see the effect that he has on his sniveling subordinates. But it’s not until the end that we get to see just how cruel and Machiavellian he can be.
Sloane’s first big scene with Ted de Corsia sets the stage for his true madness as he happily takes an incredible beating from de Corsia just to see if the thug is worth hiring for a new criminal enterprise. Only minutes later, when we get to see Sloane’s big comeuppance with Bogart, you’ll be surprised that his devious mug wasn’t lurking in the background of the film the entire time.
You can read my original post on the film here.
Sirocco – 1951
Again, I feel terribly remiss to have left Sloane out of the original post on Sirocco as I think I must have let Lee J. Cobb and Bogart overshadow his performance. But Sloane plays French General LaSalle, commanding officer to Lee J. Cobb, who is tasked with tracking down the local black market businessmen who are helping Syrian insurgents thwart the French occupation of Sirocco.
Having just rewatched the film again, I can say that Sloane does wonderfully as the over-taxed, and sometimes iron willed, French officer, and it’s his pressure on Cobb’s subordinate officer that gives the final act its true stakes.
I am off to correct the first two posts now, but you can read my original post on this film here.
*The Usual Suspects is an ongoing feature at the Bogie Film Blog where we dive a tad bit deeper into some of Bogart’s most recurring collaborators. You can find the rest of the posts here.*