Monday, August 1, 2011

Bogie and Bacall

Noman has long preferred "The Big Sleep" in Bogie and Bacall's oeuvre, even to their first of four movies together, "To Have and Have Not."  But, that's all changed now.  Despite Noman's predilection for film noir, and appreciation for the convoluted yet captivating plot of "TBS", "THaHN" features a sequence of five scenes that so deliciously ratchet up the romantic tension between B&B as to change Noman's mind.  It starts in a police station where a cop slaps Bacall with a glove, and ends with the scene appended below.  Bacall is at her best--sassy, languid, nearly brash in her prancing prowess--and it's her performance that marks the crucial difference between the two films.  Noman absolutely loves the way she calls Bogie a "stinker" before planting a great movie kiss on him in the clip below.  Earlier in the film they refer to each other by nicknames, and she rejoins "I'd appreciate your not calling me "Slim"; I'm a little too skinny to take it lightly."  She delivers the line perfectly.

Bogie dominates "The Big Sleep" somewhat to the movie's detriment.  They were a powerful screen couple, but more so when she held her own, and her character held independent interest.  Plus, as a romantic protagonist, Bogie was a lousy movie kisser as the following trailer indicates.  (It's that way of holding a woman's face by her jaw in pucker position, like he does with Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.)  Noman's favorite scene in "The Big Sleep" (which he can find on You Tube, but for some reason can't link) occurs early in the movie when she chides him for his bad manners.  He retorts: "Well I'm not crazy about yours either.  I didn't ask to see you.  I don't mind if you don't like my manners.  I don't like them myself.  They're pretty bad.  I grieve over them on long winter evenings..."  It's classic Bogie.

This is all by way of saying that if you're looking for some classic movie entertainment, you could do much worse than these two films.  Watch them both, and let Noman know what you think.

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