It says something about my taste in films that, although I understood why so many people were upset by the tragic news yesterday of Robin Williams succumbing to the depression that seems to haunt so many comedy actors, it is as nothing compared to the sadness I feel about the news of the, hardly tragic, death of the great Lauren Bacall at the age of 89.
Just in case anyone does not know her story in films and theatre (at the very beginning and towards the end of it), here is a summary by Reuters. It does not deal with her private life or her somewhat silly political pronouncements but it does give the impression many of us share that there was some wastage of a fine talent there. Then again, she may not have felt it was a wastage. It is hard to tell.
Anyway, film clips. One has to be from To Have And Have Not, her first film and the one in which she and Bogart met and fell in love on and off screen. No other film, in my experience, conveys the sexual chemistry between the two stars as well as this one. I decided not to choose the famous clips about whistling but one of Bacall singing while Hoagy Carmichael (Cricket in the film) plays the piano. And yes, she did sing herself. The story of the young Andy Williams dubbing for her is a myth.
The other clip is from a far less well known film but one that shows Bacall in an unexpected comedy role with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, How to Marry a Millionaire.
And last but not least, the trailer from Murder on the Orient Express, not, in my opinion, a particularly good film but with a cast that was truly stellar (though, possibly, the biggest star of all, was the train).