Bogart and Bacall

Bogart and Bacall

The on screen partnership between movie icons Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart is perhaps one of cinema’s most famous.

It not only spanned four pictures, including The Big Sleep and To Have and Have Not, but became a successful marriage until Bogart died in 1957.The pair met in 1944 on the set of To Have and Have Not which was directed by Howard Hawks.

The film followed jaded American fisherman who helped the French Resistance smuggle on to the island of Martinique, which was under the Vichy regime. When an American pickpocket, Marie ‘Slim’ Browning, arrives on the island a romance develops between the pair.

At just nineteen years old To Have and Have Not made Lauren Bacall a star and this legendary partnership, which director Howard Hawks claims he was behind, began.

When the pair met Bogart was forty five and an icon of the big screen while Bacall was just nineteen, and breaking with all tradition this was Bogart's first affair with a leading lady.

But Bogart was still married to Mayo Methot so the beginning of their affair was quiet and discreet, however director Howard Hawks did not approve of their relationship claiming that Bogie fell in love with the character she played, so she had to keep playing it the rest of her life."

They were reunited on screen in The Big Sleep and Bogart was still torn between his marriage and Bacall but in February 1945 Bogart and Methot were divorced.

Just months later the pair married, Bacall was Bogart's fourth wife while Bacall was being married for the first time.

The pair went on to appear together in two further movies. In 1947 they starred in Dark Passage, a big screen adaptation of David Goodis’ novel of the same name.

The real-life couple’s third big screen partnership was, unlike The Big Sleep and To Have and To Have Not before it, was met with mixed reviews with some criticising Bogart’s performance but praising the work of Bacall.

However over the years the film, which is a lesser known project by the pair, has come to be viewed as another vintage performance by the actors.

Their final on-screen performance together came in Key Largo in 1948 which also starred Edward G. Robinson and Claire Trevor.

Away from the big screen the pair had a strong relationship, despite their age gap, in 1949 Bacall gave birth to their first child Stephen Humphrey Bogart and a second, Leslie Howard Bogart in 1952.

But by the late fifties Bogart's health was poor due to being a heavy smoker and drinker and he suffered from cancer of the oesophagus.

But even after an operation to remove his oesophagus, a rib and two lymph nodes and a course of chemotherapy he passed away on January 14th 1957 at the age of fifty seven. Bacall went on to marry again in 1961 to Jason Roberts but they divorced in 1969.

Even today Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart remain one of cinema's greatest on screen partnerships as well as being one of Hollywood's legendary love affairs.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw


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