Bringing Ernest Hemingway’s story to life couldn’t be an easy job, but no one but Lauren could’ve bled that sentimental, romantic side out of Humphrey Bogart. Always tagged the hard guy, with the hard face, deep voice, and tough guy act, no one thought he could ever pull off a believable romantic lead, and yet- here we see him as putty in Lauren’s hands. We see it in almost every film they did together. Howard Hawks next pairing for the lovebirds would be Chandler’s The Big Sleep, a screenplay written in 8 days by Faulkner and Jules Furthman. “Whats wrong with you?” Bogart asks, “ Nothing you can’t fix,” she purrs.
He just does not seem this desirable in movies without her in them! Lauren, even after she’s settled into her happy married life with Humphrey Bogart, continues to pull the best out of her costars, by being the best herself. We see her in Designing Woman, a mediocre film, able to coerce romantic gestures and boyish grins from a weathered Gregory Peck in 1957. And again when working on Marilyn Monroe’s comedic vehicle for Fox, How to Marry a Millionaire, she not only ups the acting standard for both Grable and Monroe, but succeeds in making the older, and debonair William Powell crumble to pieces as he struggles letting her go to a young man. For all of Lauren’s great Classic Hollywood Films this month, check out TCM who’s honoring her birthday as well with a full lineup all through September.Happy Birthday Lauren Bacall!