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Movie Mom

Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall

posted by Nell Minow

Has there ever been a better movie entrance line than “Anybody got a match?” delivered by 19-year-old Lauren Bacall to 40-something Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not? Bacall said her iconic look, head tilted a little downward, glancing upward, came from her nervousness. She was so terrified that her head was shaking, and that was the only way to hold it steady. But it was dubbed “The Look” and it made her a star.
Director Howard Hawks nicknamed Bacall’s character “Slim” after his wife who discovered Bacall on a magazine cover. Hawks told Bogart he was going to do something that had not been tried before. “We are going to try an interesting thing,” he told his star. “You are about the most insolent man on the screen and I’m going to make a girl a little more insolent than you are.”
Bacall played a woman who knew enough to teach Bogart a few things, including how to whistle. She won her co-star’s heart in this film, on and off-screen, and how could he resist? Happy birthday, Ms. Bacall!

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