Nov 14, 2006

Just for fun: a candid shot from a great film


Click to enlarge-it's worth it

Confession: The only connection I can make with animation vis a vis this still is that Bacall and Bogart featured in at least two Warner Bros shorts, a Clampett and a Freleng, both must-sees: "Bacall To Arms" and "Slick Hare".

Title card borrowed from the great Dave Mackey's indispensable website
Aside from that, it's one from my personal collection that my husband has listed on Ebay; browsing over the recent listings I noticed this was up and got a charge out of seeing it again.
Betty "Lauren" Bacall is 19 years old here, in what looks to me like a relatively unretouched candid shot. Bogart is 40-something and they're wildly in love during filming of this project, Howard Hawks' "To Have and Have Not". The expression on both of their faces is an example of the ineffable spirit of real people being real together that no CG "recreations" of such men as Bogart will ever accomplish). Drawn animation has come much closer, but in precious few instances--mainly due to the fact that there simply aren't enough scenes in current animated films where this sort of intimate, shared delight is possible for two characters. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen--and it's something to shoot for.


More eye candy up for grabs, straight from my old still books...this one is from a hell of a watchable, classic pre-code DeMille epic, "The Sign Of the Cross". One of my favorite thirties directors, Mitchell Leisen, designed Colbert's costumes and much of the scenery in this racy potboiler(at one point Claudette takes a bath in asses--well, actually cow's milk--in the nude; it's really something if you haven't been exposed to pre-code films before).
Leisen was a trained artist who'd intended to pursue that profession before he fell into working for DeMille; his rise to the heights of Paramount studios resulted in a wonderful, if now largely forgotten career.

I have a self-portrait Leisen painted in the late 30s that I'll never part with. The book about Leisen by David Chierichetti, "Hollywood Director" is one of the absolute best for a true feeling of what it was like to work in the studio system at its height.

One more, one of my absolute gems-Jean Harlow in her prime--they don't make them like this anymore:

5 comments:

Boris Hiestand said...

big smile pasted on my face!

Paul Naas said...

This past weekend TCM showed "To Have And Have Not" followed by "Bacall To Arms." Great stuff!

R.Dress said...

,,,so inspired

Skylark- said...

You know how to whistle doncha? Just put your lips together and blow...

This blog is so well-researched, it's amazing...

Anonymous said...

By the way, Lauren Bacall married to the two-time consecutive Oscar Winner for Best Actor and also the cousin of H. Neal Glanville, Jason Robards!