Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Lauren Bacall: Classy and Sassy To The End

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Some people may not have even notice Lauren Bacall’s passing.

There’s certainly a lot going on in the world, various humanitarian crisis, in Syria, Iraq, Gaza; Ebola virus in Africa; the Trojan trucks drama; economic and environmental issues; war; Ferguson; climate change wrecking havoc with our weather; the loss of Robin Williams, and so much more. There are probably some that already thought Lauren Bacall had already died.

Old Hollywood had a glamor that has been difficult to replicate. Those days, those movies were anything but perfect yet they still stand out as fascinating and timeless.

Lauren Bacall (Betty Joan Perske) was iconic for many reasons. Was it “The Look”? The Look apparently came from nerves, she always said the only way she could stop from shaking was to put her head down and look up at Bogie, who knows if that’s true, but it’s a cool story. Her beauty? Her sultry voice? Her intrigue? Being married to Humphrey Bogart? Maybe a combination?

1bacall12I’m a Humphrey Bogart fan. I’ve watched Casablanca too many times to be healthy.
Bogart and I had so much in common.
Our love of chess.
We were honest, to a fault.
Then I found out he was married.
Then I found out he’d been dead for years before I was even born.
These facts tend to put a bit of a damper on even an imaginary red-hot romance.

I’m not sure of Bogart was my first movie boyfriend, but he’s still in my top 10.

The much-lauded relationship between Bogie and Bacall (Maybe their celebrity couple name could be: Bocall or Bagie) always left me thinking, yes, I’m sure it was the romance of the century, a love that would endure through time and space, but he was married when he started their relationship. That’s a tad smarmy.

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Lauren Bacall w1bacall14as not only a unique beauty, she had brains, style, talent, and integrity (aside from being the other woman).

Her career, from model to leading lady to character actress spanned decades and though times had changed, she stayed classy and sassy.

I would be hard-pressed to name my favourite Lauren Bacall work, although Key Largo springs to mind.
Also liked: How To Marry A Millionaire (with Marilyn Monroe; although clearly I didn’t take the advice), Dark Passage, Sex and the Single Girl, Written on the Wind, The Walker, The Shootist, Misery, The Sopranos, Dogville, To Have and To Have Not, and she’s brilliant in The Mirror Has Two Faces.

This icon managed to stay relevant – my teenage son knows her from Howl’s Moving Castle and Family Guy (12th episode of 12th season; 222nd episode); not my favourite episode, not her fault, the story was choppy; the subplot with Stewie and Brian was amusing.

So from thrilling Hollywood goddess in the 40s all the way to Family Guy in 2014 and so much in between.

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I love classic movies. What they lack in political correctness they make up for in style, witty dialogue, cinematography, direction, and of course, the actors.

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“I think your whole life shows in your face
and you should be proud of that.”
~Lauren Bacall
1924-2014

 

 

 

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Casablanca

casa1Still one of my fav movies for dialogue. And it stars Humphrey Bogart, my first love, well, one of the firsts, it’s hard to remember.

Sadly, Ingrid Bergman is more of a Barbie figure with limited facial expressions: worried and adoring, sometimes worriedly adoring or adoringly worried. I never thought this was her best, although I loved her wardrobe.

This was a love story with a perfect ending. If that doesn’t satisfy the viewer you can always imagine Ilsa and Richard get together after the war when Laszlo doesn’t need her strength anymore.

The bromance between Riccasa7k (Bogart) and Renault (the magnificent and sardonic Claude Rains) is the best part of the movie; especially as Renault And Rick walk off into the fog together and Rick says: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

If you’ve never given yourself the gift of watching this movie, do so. If you have, do it again…you’re worth it.

Some interesting info about Casablanca:

Casablanca wasn’t expected to be a hit, just one in a string of patriotic World War II films and Bogart’s first try as a leading man. Bit of a shock when it went on to be one of the greatest movies of all time.

Humphrey Bogart was a brilliant chess player. casa2

 Many extras in Casablanca were European émigrés who shed real tears while filming the battle of the anthems scene. Conrad Veidt, (Major Strasser) had escaped with his Jewish wife from Germany in 1933 when he learned he was being targeted by the SSVeidt was resolute in being cast only as Nazi villains believing it would help the war effort.

Even though it’s in black and white (spare yourself the horror of the Colorized version) we know the colour of Ilsa’s dress the day the Germans invaded Paris. “The Germans wore gray. You wore blue”.

casa9There’s been talk of a sequel and a few unsuccessful remakes and prequels, but no success. However, I did love Bugs Bunny in Carrotblanca and The Marx Bros in A Night in Casablanca.

No one in Casablanca ever says, “Play it again Sam”…one of the most famous misquotes of all time.casa5

Rick dramatically reads the dissolving note from Ilsa in the rain at the train station in Paris…seconds later he and Sam are getting on the train, dry as a bone.

Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre (he was sooo cool) had previously appeared in the amazing The Maltese Falcon together.

Dooley Wilson (Sam) was actually a drummer; didn’t play piano.

Too many best lines, here’s a few…

Yvonne: “Will I see you tonight?”
Rick: “…I never make plans that far ahead.”

Rick: “…My health, I came to Casablanca for the waters.”
Renault: “The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.”
Rick: “…I was misinformed.”

Ugarte: “You despise me, don’t you?”
Rick: “…If I gave you any thought, I probably would.”

Renault:Major Strasser’s been shot.” (Glances at Rick, holding the smoking gun, and he repeats–) “…Round up the usual suspects.”

Rick: “But it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now. Here’s looking at you, kid.”casa4