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Response to hifiguy (Original post)

Thu Aug 14, 2014, 11:55 AM

1. The Look

" ... famously so green that her legendary “Look”—chin low, eyes glancing up in a come-hither but still better-than-you stare—was born out of a need to stop her head from trembling. "

Lauren Bacall was the ideal postwar star—as sexy as any pin-up, but she was a woman’s woman at heart, a reminder in the age after Rosie the Riveter that a great woman is exactly like a great man, only better. She looked better, she sounded better, she wore better clothes, she could flirt better, sing better, walk better than every man she ever shared the screen with, including her husband, and he knew it. Even decades later, the timeless pleasure of those Bogie and Bacall duets is in watching a pair whose delight in themselves was only eclipsed by their delight in each other.


Bacall was a working mother in a time when most women were at home, and after Bogart’s death she was maybe the most visible single working mother in America. She was a sex bomb without a backlash, an actress whose career outlived her youth, and a movie star whose life seemed as happy as it was interesting. If it took a while to realize just how unusual Bacall really was, well, it was probably because she was too tough to criticize and too cool to ever break a sweat anyway.

Lauren Bacall never needed hosannas to know she was great. But today, I’ve got a glass, a hand, a cigarette, a flag, a proto-feminist rallying cry, and a salute to raise for her anyway. Even if they never ask, all great artists deserve a little thanks.

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