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Archive for ‘Lauren Bacall’

Lessons Of Love In Weddings

By , 15 December, 2011, No Comment

In 1953, Marilyn Monroe was getting married — on screen — a lot. First in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and then in How To Marry a Millionaire. While the films played around with the ideas of gold digging women trying to marry men for money, both films centered on the notion that the best laid schemes of mice and men women are often run asunder by true love.

In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn delivers the punch about men and women to a disapproving father who doesn’t want his son trapped by a gold digger. As Lorelei Lee, Marilyn says, “Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?”

Jane Russell & Marilyn Monroe At The Alter

But in How To Marry a Millionaire, it’s Lauren Bacall’s character who is taught about love.

As Schatze Page, Bacall and Cameron Mitchell (playing the role of Tom Brookman) share an attraction. But it’s an attraction Schatze doesn’t want. She knows from prior marital experience that marrying a “gas pump jockey” for love isn’t a good investment. By the end of the film, Schatze just can’t go through with her wedding to the older wealthy man — she loves Tom!

Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable & Marilyn Monroe At The Alter

But the trick is on her, as Tom is uber wealthy — wealthier than the older man she left at the alter. This Schatze and her friends discover when they are eating at a diner and Tom pays the bill.

I’m guessing most of you know these films; they are not only classic, but wildly popular and shown on TV quite often. The main reason I write about these films is that a friend of mine is getting married and we’ve been talking wedding preparations. (Rather non-stop, actually; such is the way it goes with an engaged friend lol) During a recent discussion about wedding invitations, the subject of vintage wedding invites came up. When I showed her these invites with the classic cans tied to a car motif…

Vintage Styled Wedding Invites

I swear, she looked just like the cast of How To Marry A Millionaire making their discovery at the dinner!

Shock At The Dinner

In a good way, I assure you! Such instant shock and delight!

(…Though we aren’t sure if they will pass with the Mother of The Groom yet. *sigh*  Weddings are a lot of work!  Neither of these films covered those issues. *wink*)

PS Weren’t sheer floral lace wedding dresses popular in 1953!

Bacall's Sheer Lace Wedding Dress

Bacall Tweets On Twilight

By , 7 October, 2009, No Comment

I can’t swear this is really Lauren Bacall’s Twitter account, but with tweets like this, I so want to believe it is!

Yes I saw Twilight my granddaughter made me watch it, she said it was the greatest vampire film ever.After the “film” was over I wanted to..

smack her accros her head with my shoe, but I do not want a book called Grannie Dearest written on me when I die, so instead I gave her a

DVD of Murnau’s 1922 masterpiece Nosferatu and told her, now thats a vampire film! and that goes for all of you! watch Nosferatu instead!

If you don’t want to be hit in the head with Lauren Bacall’s shoe, get Nosferatu!

John Galliano Claims Film Noir As Inspiration For Dior, Spring 2010

By , 6 October, 2009, No Comment

John Galliano continued his “tailoring-with-underwear” theme with Christian Dior’ Spring 2010 couture collection. According to Sarah Mower, this collection is based on a forties film noir theme:

Galliano said he found the cinematic cue while thinking about Lauren Bacall. “She was a great Dior client; there are amazing photos of her in the salon with Bogart. It was that and Arletty in Hôtel du Nord,” he said. That central character—a provocative, smoldering femme fatale with a side-parted, over-one-eye hairdo and red lips—gave him free reign to script a wardrobe narrative. It started with abbreviated wartime trenchcoats, flipped through silver lamé dresses, arrived at a sequence in which the heroine is seen in her scanties, and then followed her out to make a drop-dead entrance in some nightclub or other.

Christian Dior, Photo by Monica Feudi

Christian Dior, Photo by Monica Feudi

Dior Runway, Spring 2010, Photo by Monica Feudi

Dior Runway, Spring 2010, Photo by Monica Feudi

But when I look at the photographs of what walked down the runway, what I saw was fashion stories depicting wealthy women deemed homeless, each doomed to wear whatever she had on her back that night her house burst into flames. That may sound like “film noir” to some, but to me, it was far more 1980’s Madonna than 1940’s Bacall; right down to the ZZ Top Legs video girl ankle socks.

Pink Pumps and White Ankle Socks in ZZ Top's Legs Video

Pink Pumps and White Ankle Socks in ZZ Top's Legs Video

Of the 47 looks shown, only two seemed to have the elegance of Bacall and real film noir style in mind. The first, a bustier bodice with skirt, seems to have forsaken the less-is-more mantra with a bulky necklace.

Glamorous Bustier Skirt Dior Combo SS2010

Glamorous Bustier Skirt Dior Combo SS2010

This red ensemble is fabulous though — had Bacall dared to bare her bra, this one seems most likely to be chosen.

Elegant Vintage Style in Red, Dior 2010

Elegant Vintage Style in Red, Dior 2010

All Christian Dior photos by Monica Feudi.

Defending To Have And Have Not

By , 8 January, 2009, 5 Comments
Bogart and Bacall in To Have and Have Not

Bogart and Bacall in To Have and Have Not

Recently I joined The Golden Age of Hollywood group, and, upon seeing that he had listed Casablanca as one of his favorite films and was a huge Bogart fan, I began a discussion with Michael B. Druxman.

I probably should have read his profile a bit more closely — seen the “Screenwriter, Playwright, Novelist, Hollywood Historian” bit — before I blundered on in and babbled my question; but hey, I didn’t. And so, Jaynie, the not-a-film-critic-but-a-fan found herself discussing debating film with a person certainly more suited to the role of film critic than herself.

While I was/am admittedly out of my element, I thought the conversation was worth sharing here.

It began innocently enough, with me, a person who favors To Have And Have Not, asking, “I’d be interested to know what you think of To Have And Have Not v. Casablanca…”

He replied, nicely, but showing his greater film education:

CASABLANCA is my all time favorite movie, but I’ve always considered TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT to be one of Bogart’s lesser films. It’s okay…but it’s not in the same league as CASABLANCA, THE MALTESE FALCON, KEY LARGO, etc.

Although the scenes with Bacall certainly sizzle, they also slow down the forward movement of the story, which takes the title from Hemingway’s book and little else. The remake with John Garfield (i.e. THE BREAKING POINT) was much closer to the book and, I think, a better movie.

To which I replied:

I’m sure my ignorance to the book puts me in a weak position overall for debating/defending To Have And Have Not, but…

I’ve never been a real fan of Casablanca. Bogart is excellent, but Ingrid Bergman, while beautiful, has a coldness and is so passionless that frankly, I’d have put her on the plane and been relieved to see her go. Without that tension, there’s no dilemma, no story. However, in To Have And Have Not, the sizzle as you call it (and the characters) drive the action for me.

Again, the book v. film perspective I lack — and addressing that might then very well change my views — but I think it’s at least interesting to note that you, a man, watch/address/see Bogart, while I, a woman, watch/evaluate/respond to the female leads. On the surface you could just say I’m reacting to them as ‘chick flicks’ but I think there’s something more to it…

In any case, I very much enjoy the discussion. 🙂

He replied, likely sensing my intimidation, including his more personal reactions on becoming a fan:

The first time I saw CASABLANCA was at a revival theater when I was in college…and I didn’t like it. In hindsight, I realize that the reason I didn’t like it was because I was expecting an action movie, and this was a romantic drama. However, upon a 2nd viewing (on TV) it started to grow on me and every time I see it (20 times?) I see something new. The characters. The situations.

I must disagree with you about Bergman’s performance. Why shouldn’t it be on the cold side. This woman has been running from the Nazis. Her husband has been tortured by the Nazis. Yes, she has feelings for Rick, but she’s torn. This is not a happy woman.

Regarding TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, this is generally considered to be one of Hemingway’s weaker novels. In fact, I believe that director Howard Hawks bet Papa that he could make a movie out of the book when Hemingway bet he couldn’t.

He also added that he’s sure the conversation will continue. I’d like to, but I’m a little less sure how to continue…

Nothing against him — he’s been very nice dealing with a movie fan whose ignorance is pretty clear — but how do I better articulate my thinking that our perceptions may be, at least in part, influenced by our genders (and related expectations, emulations, and emotions) without sounding like a silly girl? Or worse yet, some foaming-at-the-mouth feminazi?!

I suppose the first step is getting my hands on (and nose in) a copy of Hemingway’s book; and the second step is to watch The Breaking Point.

But then, assuming my thinking about the films (that To Have and Have Not is better than Casablanca) and/or our gender reactions remain the same, I’m still stuck on step three: How to say it without sounding like an off-putting (and female) idiot.

Ride Bacall’s Shirttails

By , 24 November, 2008, No Comment

More of Lauren Bacall in To Have And Have Not; this time in vertical stripes.

Lauren Bacall In Striped Shirtdress

Lauren Bacall In Striped Shirtdress

Lauren Bacall In Stripes

Lauren Bacall In Stripes

While Lauren is wearing a shirtwaist dress, you can see how lovely a simple blouse with vertical stripes can be.

Simple Vertical Striped Blouse

Simple Vertical Striped Blouse

Pair it with pants or a pencil skirt, tucked in and belted properly is a must. You might also like to insert a pair of shoulder pads to help with the silhouette. Keep it simply elegant, crisp and classic by keeping the accessories to a minimum.

If you adore the shirtwaist look (and who doesn’t?) but not the stripes (it could happen!), here’s a vintage dress from the 1940’s in that style.

1940s Shirtwaist

1940s Shirtwaist

To Have (And Not Have?) Bacall’s Look

By , 19 November, 2008, No Comment
Lauren Bacall & Humphrey Bogart In To Have And Have Not

Lauren Bacall & Humphrey Bogart In To Have And Have Not

One of my favorite films is To Have And Have Not (1944), starring Bogie and Bacall. The film was (loosely) based on Ernest Hemingway’s 1937 novel of the same name, and William Faulkner himself helped write the screen play (with Jules Furthman) in order to keep Hemingway’s sharp dialog.

This was Lauren Bacall’s film debut, at the age of 19. She stunned everyone with her sizzling sexuality and her ability to deliver the stinging dialog. It’s also the film where she and a married Humphrey Bogart met & fell in love. After his divorce from wife number three, the two were married in 1945. She was his forth and last wife.

The film’s plot & construction are much like Casablanca. It’s set in an exotic locale during WWII, with Bogie as an unmarried ex-patriate American (named Captain Morgan — insert giggle over the booze here) who is politically apathetic amidst resistance fighters and the Vichy/Gestapo police captain — until his romantic love (Bacall, of course) interest walks into his regular cafe/bar — complete with resident a piano player (Hoagy Carmichael).

Some say To Have And Have Not is too much like Casablanca — but I adore it for the charming characters (watch it and you can’t forget the ‘being bit by dead bees’ running gag), the clever witty and biting dialog — and for the feisty, sexy Bacall.

This film is most known for two stand-out Bacall moments. The first being the scene where Bacall, with downcast face, using her eyes to sizzling look at him, lights Bogie’s cigarette — earning her the name The Look. The second is the famous, “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together – and blow.”

My favorite scene, however, takes place just before that scene. In it, Bogie as Captain Steve Morgan and Bacall as Marie, nicknamed Slim by Morgan, are in Morgan’s room. Slim puts herself in his lap and kisses him…

Steve: What’d you do that for?
Slim: Been wondering whether I’d like it.
Steve: What’s the decision?
Slim: I don’t know yet.
After a brief pause, she kisses him again. Then she stands & says, “It’s even better when you help.”

She proceeds to exit his room, delivering the classic whistle & blow line.

Hot!

See for yourself!

No wonder she ends up with Bogie in this film (and real life!), while Ingrid Bergman, in Casablanca, does not.

I much prefer the biting, feisty, sizzling chemistry of this couple to the weepy ‘romantic’ couple in Casablanca. In fact, this is why I love To Have And Have Not; and don’t care much for Casablanca. (No, it’s not the ‘happy ending’; it’s the sizzle, I tell you!)

You might not be able to pull off all of Bacall’s moves, but you can emulate her look in fabulous checked suits from the 40s’.

A Scene From To Have And Have Not

A Scene From To Have And Have Not

While from the 1950’s, this black & white checked suit would be worthy of Bacall.

Vintage Black And White Checked Suit

Vintage Black And White Checked Suit

This vintage Jaeger worsted check suit is from the 50’s too, but it still has the look.

Vintage Jaeger Checked Suit

Vintage Jaeger Checked Suit

Finding a suit with a peplum, a collar and in checks won’t be easy… Maybe you can sew one, or hire a seamstress to make you one? If you love the silhouette, it’s worth buying a pattern.

Hollywood Pattern Number 172, Two Piece Suit

Hollywood Pattern Number 172, Two Piece Suit