Tribute: Lauren Bacall

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm

We mourn the loss of Lauren Bacall, who has died at age 89.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVmdQontEs4

bacall“Anybody got a match?”

With those words, a teenager born Betty Perske from Brooklyn made her first screen appearance, in To Have and Have Not. Her chin slightly lowered, she looked up at her co-star, Humphrey Bogart, with a gaze so smoking that (1) she was instantly and forever a star, and (2) by the time the shooting was finished, Bogart had left his wife to marry Bacall. And that was even before she taught him to whistle and movie history was made.

They made three more films together, had two children, and until his death from cancer, lived together with such happiness that she later said, for the rest of her life, “whenever I hear the word ‘happy’ I think of then.”

No matter that her famous gaze was her effort to hide her nervousness by keeping her head steady. Or that Andy Williams may have dubbed in some of the notes in the song she sang with Hoagy Carmichael. She was a natural on screen and she had what one-time MGM studio head Dore Schary called “motor,” that special spark that makes some performers come alive on screen.

This scene with Bogart from “The Big Sleep” is another classic.

I’m very fond of her comedies, like “Designing Woman,” with Gregory Peck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9er1hL6fpA

And “How to Marry a Millionaire” with Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oyJHM5RtbA

She was wonderful in “Murder on the Orient Express”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFgOoQ5YUOQ

And in Barbra Streisand’s “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” for which she was nominated for an Oscar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG9OoVeaaWc

And with Henry Fonda in “Sex and the Single Girl.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbLnUBNHlIU

There is so much more. A fond farewell to one of the brightest stars from Hollywood’s golden era. May her memory be a blessing.

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Actors Tribute

Star of the Day Month on TCM

Posted on August 1, 2010 at 8:39 am

I love Turner Classic Movies. When I was invited, with a small group of film critics, to meet with Martin Scorsese, I was delighted to hear that he keeps it on a lot of the time and frequently calls out to everyone in his office to stop what they are doing and come watch some special moment. This month, a different star gets the spotlight every day, giving us a chance to enjoy some classics and neglected gems and see some of our favorites in a variety of roles over the course of their careers. Some to look out for:
Aug 2: Julie Christie (“Darling,” “Petulia,” “Shampoo,” “Dr. Zhivago”)
Aug 3: Steve McQueen (“The Great Escape,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Reivers”)
Aug 6: Ingrid Bergman (“Spellbound,” “Notorious,” “Casablanca,” “Gaslight”)
Aug 7: Errol Flynn (“The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” “The Sea Hawk,” “Gentleman Jim”)
Aug 10: Kathryn Grayson (“Kiss Me Kate,” “Show Boat”)
Aug 15: Margaret O’Brien (“Meet Me in St. Louis,” “The Secret Garden,” “Little Women,’ “Our Vines Have Tender Grapes”)
Aug 20: Katharine Hepburn (“Woman of the Year,” “Without Love,” “Bringing Up Baby,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Summertime”)
Aug 21: Paul Newman (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Harper,” “The Sting,” “Cool Hand Luke”)
Aug 23: Elizabeth Taylor (“National Velvet,” “Father of the Bride,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” “The VIPs”)
Aug 25: Lauren Bacall (“To Have and Have Not,” “Designing Woman,” “Key Largo”)
Aug 26: Lee Remick (“A Face in the Crowd,” “The Wheeler Dealers,” “Anatomy of a Murder,” “The Days of Wine and Roses”)
Aug 28: Peter O’Toole (“Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Stunt Man,” “My Favorite Year”)
Every single day has something special. And don’t forget The Essentials Jr., the outstanding Sunday night series of family classics. Enjoy!

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For Your Netflix Queue Movie Mom’s Top Picks for Families Neglected gem
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Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall

Posted on September 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Has there ever been a better movie entrance line than “Anybody got a match?” delivered by 19-year-old Lauren Bacall to 40-something Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not? Bacall said her iconic look, head tilted a little downward, glancing upward, came from her nervousness. She was so terrified that her head was shaking, and that was the only way to hold it steady. But it was dubbed “The Look” and it made her a star.
Director Howard Hawks nicknamed Bacall’s character “Slim” after his wife who discovered Bacall on a magazine cover. Hawks told Bogart he was going to do something that had not been tried before. “We are going to try an interesting thing,” he told his star. “You are about the most insolent man on the screen and I’m going to make a girl a little more insolent than you are.”
Bacall played a woman who knew enough to teach Bogart a few things, including how to whistle. She won her co-star’s heart in this film, on and off-screen, and how could he resist? Happy birthday, Ms. Bacall!

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Actors
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