OK, let me just throw a shamelessly non-P.C. admission right out on the table: I nursed a serious crush on the late, great Lauren Bacall for more years of Late Show viewing and home-video re-viewing than I would want to admit in polite company. Loved her impudent wit and sleek sultriness in The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, Key Largo -- and, of course, To Have and Have Not.
Sure, I also enjoyed her graceful comic turn in How to Marry a Millionaire, her intensely dramatic performance in Written on the Wind, her campy villainy in Shock Treatment, and her dryly amusing cameos in Harper and Murder on the Orient Express. I even endured the wretched excess of The Fan because of the sporadic sparks she set off with co-star James Garner. But back in her 1940s heyday... well, let me put it like this: Even Bugs Bunny was not immune to her intoxicating charms. (Look around the 1:23 mark.)
Farewell, good lady. Hope you find Bogie waiting for you on the other side. I suspect you won't even have to whistle to beckon him.
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