Gnomicon 166

If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.

Gnomicon  166
Monday 22 October 2012
Read gnomica 1-150 here!

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I am not a has-been.  I am a will-be.
Lauren Bacall (16 Sep 1924 –  )

In my view, one of the truly great actresses of the twentieth century!

And she appears not to have taken it all too seriously – which I like – suggesting that, as she said on another occasion, “stardom isn’t a profession, it’s an accident.”  Which is another, more elegant and understated way of sticking it to all those twerps who go on and tediously on about their ‘art and artistry’:  look, she seems to be saying, you happened along at just the right time and you got really, really lucky!  How many other pretty boys who did not get lucky could do on screen pretty much the same thing that a Tom Cruise or a Brad Pitt does, or even better?  And what about a Karen Black or a Christina Ricci?  Escapes me!

On the screen, Bacall was pure class, and it oozed through from her very first appearance as the 20-year old ingenue female lead in To Have and Have Not (1944) – who doesn’t remember that inimitable scene with Slim’s (= Bacall’s) sultry come-on to Steve (= Bogart):

“You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything,
and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle.
You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve?
You just put your lips together and… blow.”

True, she had a great script to work from, based on a Hemingway novel and co-written by William Faulkner.  Still, nobody could have done this cinematic icon of an exchange but Bacall with Bogie!

And that was just the beginning.  She went on to do some sixty-odd films — the most recent one (The Forger) this year (2012).  And, starting in the fifties, she had steady gigs on television.  She worked on stage, and she was the author of several books.  I’d say that’s quite a career and one worthy of the high esteem in which she and her work is held.

She certainly never was a has-been and, given her record, she would seem safely to endure as an eternal will-be.  That kind of a statement from anybody late in life comes across to me as an attitude to be emulated – you sit up and think about it a minute, and then, perhaps, decide that it isn’t really over for any of us until it’s over.  Till then, were still will-be-s and we still have a lot left to do.

Why not log on to Netflix and get To Have and Have Not?

This entry was posted in FILM REVIEW, GNOMICA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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