The Golden Age of American cinema has given us thousands of important movies that have written history. These movies paved the way to the cinema we have today. Our favorite period is the 1940s which not only gave birth to cinematic masterpieces but also introduced the great movie starlets that were synonymous with glamor, sex appeal and style. Back then it was all about the attitude, the intense gaze and the sexy voice. One of those great divas was of course Lauren Bacall. She appeared in more than 60 movies and won numerous awards for her great performances. Here are the 10 essential Lauren Bacall movie roles.
1. To Have and Have Not (1944)
This was Lauren Bacall’s debut movie made when she was only 19. This is actually the first movie in which she starred along her soon to be husband, the heartthrob Humphrey Bogart. The two actors fell in love while making the movie and Howard Hawks, the director of the movie knew how to take advantage of the couple’s chemistry which made the movie even more intense.
2. The Big Sleep (1946)
This one is one of our favorite and one of the most important film noir ever made. In this movie Lauren and Humphrey were already married. The movie, directed by Howard Hawks was based on the Raymond Chandler’s whodunit story from 1939. Although the plot was pretty intricate and confusing, the movie was a total success and Lauren’s role played a big part in that.
3. Key Largo (1948)
Another one of the essential Lauren Bacall movie roles is Key Largo from 1948, another film noir in which she starred with Humphrey Bogart. The movie was directed by the brilliant John Huston and it was the last of four movies in which she starred with her husband, Bogart. This movie later inspired Bertie Higgins song “Key Largo” from 1981.
4. How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)
A little different than the dark film noirs in which she starred previously, this is a lighthearted comedy in which Lauren Bacall starred along two other great divas Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable. In this movie the actresses played the roles of models who wanted to get their hands on rich husbands. One of the famous lines in the movie was: “You don’t think he’s a little old?” and Lauren’s character replies “Wealthy men are never old”.
5. Designing Woman (1957)
On our list of essential Lauren Bacall movie roles we had to mention Designing Woman from 1957. It’s a romantic comedy in which Bacall played opposite Gregory Peck. Lauren Bacall plays the role of a fashion designer and Gregory Peck is her sportswriter husband. During the movie Lauren was deeply distressed because her real husband, Humphrey Bogart died of cancer a few months before the movie was released.
6. Applause (1970)
For this role Lauren won a Tony Award for best actress. It was a Broadway play based on the super popular Bette Davis movie “All about Eve” from 1950. Lauren played the role of Margo Channing in the musical adaptation of the movie.
7. Murder On The Orient Express – Essential Lauren Bacall Movie Roles
We all love a good mystery, especially if it was written by the mistress of all mysteries, Agatha Christie. In this Agatha Christie adaptation Lauren Bacall plays the role of a widowed socialite and everyone in the movie is a suspect. It’s a great whodunit full of unexpected events and great lines.
8. Woman Of The Year (1981)
For this magnificent role Lauren Bacall won her second Tony Award. The musical was written by John Kander and Fredd Ebb and was based on another classic movie from the 1940s starring the great Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
9. The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)
In this movie Lauren Bacall played the vain and obnoxious mother of Barbra Streissand’s character. She received an Academy Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
10. Dogville (2003)
In this 2003 movie written and directed by the controversial Danish director, Lars von Trier, Lauren Bacall starred along Nicole Kidman who played the role of a woman hiding in a small town set in the Depression-era Colorado.
A few days ago another great actor, Robin Williams passed away. On the 12th of August 2014 Lauren Bacall left this world but also left us with great movie performances and she will always be remembered as one of the great American actresses. She was talented, intense and she was the incarnation of style and attitude. We hope you enjoyed our list of essential Lauren Bacall movie roles. What’s your favorite Lauren Bacall movie? Let us know in the comment section below.