Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Dreaming of Bacall

Lauren Bacall ,the woman with the brandy and cigarette voice who slithered on screen at the tender age of 19 playing against a tough guy, who was 25 years her senior, known to the world as Bogey, is about to become an octogenarian.

Slinking into the public psyche in 1944’s To Have and Have Not, Bacall was the ultimate dame. Sleek and sexy yet tough as nails, she was the quintessential Film Noir Femme Fatale … she was made to shoot in black and white.

Humphrey Bogart knew there was something special about her when he laid eyes on the teen bombshell, and he married her a year later. One wonders if Bacall’s infamous delivery of the infamous line, "If you want anything, just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? Just put your lips together and blow.” is what sealed the deal in this love match.

Now known as Bogey and Bacall, the married icons made three more films together The Big Sleep, Key Largo and Dark Passage; they also produced two children as well as working for several civil rights groups (which garnered them both a bit of black-balling at the time).

In 1957, Bogey died. Lauren, now a single mother, continued film work until the late 60’s when Broadway beckoned, she starred in several acclaimed productions including Applause (the musical version of All About Eve).

Movies were still her first love and she’s done them all from mysteries (The Orient Express), to slasher films (The Fan).

Today, one can hear that still sexy voice as the voice of PBS as well as various other voice overs for untold products.

I bring all of this up, because last night I had a dream about Lauren Bacall. I dreamt that she was my next door neighbor and she had invited me over for this huge feast at her home. When I walked into her home, I saw that she was as radiant and beautiful as she was in the 1940’s. She showed me to my seat and sat across from me and began asking me questions about myself. I was overwhelmed that this movie star would even care about me; but she did. I asked her about herself and her movies, and she said, “Dear, one never watches one’s own work, its silly”.

There really isn’t anything else about the dream I remember, that was it, but it stayed with me all day long … and then I came across this form Reuters today; Lauren Bacall Avoids Her Films -- All 50 of Them … yeah, it shocked me.

And then I was reminded of that quote of hers from some years back that went, "Find me a man who's interesting enough to have dinner with and I'll be happy." ---that’s OK with me, Betty, even if it’s only in dreams.

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