Monday, September 8, 2014
Lauren Bacall-Part 3 on my list
Lauren Bacall born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924-died August 12, 2014.
She became a hit with her first film, met and married her co-star Humphrey Bogart and remained married to him until his death from cancer. She was sultry in voice and body and men loved to whistle if that meant she would come to them (You have to see the first film she made). Her nickname was Slim and she preferred to be called Betty in her private life. Bogie and Bacall made 4 films together and they started the famous rat pack, not Frank Sinatra. After Bogie died, she became involved with Sinatra who promptly dumped her when she mentioned to the press they may get married (nice guy eh?). She married Jason Robards Jnr whom she later divorced. She was strong-willed, sexy, gutsy and spoke her mind. I love it that one her last "roles" was on Family Guy. Now I don't watch that show but I think it is quite funny that this 89 year old Grand Dame lent her voice to this program. Now on to my favourite top 10. Again if there are any you can add, let me know:)
10. The Mirror Has Two Faces-1996- OK I resisted this film for a while because it was produced, directed and stars Barbra Streisand who, at that time, seemed to have a head as big as Cleveland. Don't get me wrong, I love her in "What's Up Doc" and "Funny Girl" and she has a beautiful voice but she can be annoying:) Have you ever tried to sit through "Yentl". OK this film is redeemed by the great acting of Lauren Bacall and when she was nominated for an Oscar (her first!), everyone expected her to win...she didn't (Juliette Binoche won for "The English Patient").
9. Young Man With A Horn-1950- This is supposed to be based on the life of Bix Beiderbecke who did not have a happy ending and this film does but most films gloss things over. It is a good film with solid acting and Lauren plays a woman who is not the most sympathetic.
8. Written On The Wind-1956-A Douglas Sirk film. He directed "Magnificent Obsession" and "Imitation of Life" and is known for great melodramas and that 1950's colour one thinks of in a typical film from that era. It is fun, a bit trashy and all played to the hilt by Bacall and Rock Hudson.
7. The Shootist-1976-This, to me, is one of the saddest films because it shows an ailing John Wayne in his last role as a once great western man, fast with a gun, who is dying of cancer. I cry every time and, if this was a list on John Wayne's films, it would be higher but this is on Lauren Bacall. She plays his one time girlfriend who still harbours feeling for him and vice versa but knows it is of know use. Considering she was an ardent democrat and he was an ardent Republican, they still both got on well and they respected one another off screen.
6. Dark Passage-1947-An interesting camera style as it is shot, mostly, from looking through the eyes of Bogie's character. This is the third pairing of Bogie and Bacall and she does a great job as his love interest.
5. How To Marry a Millionaire-1953- This is quite a fun comedy starring Bacall as a smart gal who doesn't believe in true love but believes in marrying for money...in other words, all the fake T & A gals of today who are marrying old male stars who have one foot in the grave. I digress. It also stars Betty Grable in one of her final roles and Marilyn Monroe who does a great comedic performance as a very blind gal, when not wearing her glasses, looking for money..um...I mean a man. It is fun, and shows 3 different women but all are strong.
4. Key Largo-1948- This is the last pairing of Bogie and Bacall on the big screen. Edward G Robinson plays another bad man but always great. His gang is holed up in a home with Lionel Barrymore as the patriarch and Bacall plays his daughter. The tension of the people being kept prisoner by the gang really sets the tone. Claire Trevor won an Oscar for her boozy take on a good girl gone a bad way. I always cringe at how Lionel Barrymore is treated in the film as he was really in a wheelchair suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis.
3. To Have And To Have Not-1944- The film that introduced Bacall to the world and also to Bogie her future husband. "You know how to whistle Steve....you just put your lips together ..and blow". Sultry, sexy, strong and she sings in this film. Not bad for a first start!
2. Murder On The Orient Express- 1974-Agatha Christie novel starring a cast of characters all stuck on the famed train. There are many big stars on this film from Albert Finney, Sean Connery to Ingrid Bergman but Lauren Bacall just about steals the show as a blowsy rich dame who talks up a storm. Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar for her performance but I think it should have been given to Bacall.
1. The Big Sleep-1946- The plot is so mind bending that if you can figure it out I shall give you a gold star. The great acting from Bogie and Bacall is so classic in the second outing together it is a pleasure to see them spur and bring on the heat especially when they are talking about horse racing but they mean something entirely different. Thank god the censors were too dull-witted to get the true meaning.
So here we are my 3rd outing on 3 greats we lost during the summer. I know all of you have lost a wonderful friend in the blogging world and I would have made a sunflower card in Tina's honour but my supplies are packed up at the moment. May you all have a wonderful time remembering your friend.