MovieChat Forums > Written on the Wind (1956) Discussion > What is beautiful about Laurel Bacall?

What is beautiful about Laurel Bacall?


I still can't get over the fact the she is considered beautiful! Where is the beauty in her if Ingrid Bergman and Elisabeth Taylor are also beauties!

Mohsen Qassemi

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I agree with you. One of my problems with this movie (I have many) is the disbelief I feel when I think that any man could prefer Bacall to Dorothy Malone. I mean, really. Did everybody notice, by the way, that the Malone character is described in the notes on the film as a "nymphomaniac"? That's a girl who likes sex, I guess.

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I also never thought Lauren Bacall to be that beautiful, but she did have a way about her that always looked attractive and ladylike in all her films. Hey, Humphrey Bogart fell for her so she must have something special. My son who is in his forties thinks she is beautiful.

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She looked great in two films "To Have and Have Not" and "The Big Sleep". afterwards the frump started to set in - too much boozing with Bogie and the early rat packers. Still she moves gracefully and has a cool reserve that's attractive.

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As far as I am concerned, she is way too thin. But to each is own, there are many type of beauty!

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I never quite found her beautiful either -- attractive, but that's a different thing. But ultimately beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

But the poster who said she became a "frump" after The Big Sleep (which came out in 1946) clearly has a very weird definition of "frump". Bacall always remained slender and elegant, and she certainly didn't lose her looks in her 20s or 30s, and not due to drinking or other practices. If you see newsreels and other real-life film or photos of her in the 50s (attending movie premieres and the like) she actually looked pretty devastating, better than in most of her films. Good-looking if not beautiful, and again, that's all a matter of personal opinion.

I happened to meet Miss Bacall about three years ago and while, at 86 (then), she no longer looked like the chic younger woman she was in the 40s and 50s, she still looked classy. More importantly, she's intelligent, witty and well-read, and very with it, attributes too many of today's young stars are strangers to.

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Hey, Humphrey Bogart fell for her so she must have something special.


Who appointed Bogart the arbiter of female beauty? Especially since he was one very ugly guy!

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I liked the way that her eyebrows fancied Dorothy Malones's eyebrows; mind you, so did I.

Marlon, Claudia and Dimby the cats 1989-2005, 2007 and 2010.

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She wasn't a stunner, but she did have a certain charisma about her in this movie. And when you consider that Kyle and Mitch's circle was probably full of flighty socialites like Marylee, Lucy probably was all the more desirable because she was so down-to-earth.

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What is beautiful about Scarlett Johansson? It's in the eye of the beholder, dummy. It also has to do with a person's place in history. What is beautiful about Mona Lisa?

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LB effortlessly exuded intelligence, class, grace and honesty and a keen eye for truth, and never suffered fools,--all noble qualities to have, esp. in the corrupt worlds of the super rich.

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Lauren Bacall was utterly stunning when very young...but her looks hardened quickly. She is very much of a certain "modelesque" type...tall, wiry, cool and symetrical.

SEE: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PTYpAFUjfSs/U-uB6dcPNiI/AAAAAAAADGw/jdzocvHoOKA/s1600/slide_362563_4077805_free.jpg

I personally don't think she had much actual acting talent at all, which is what made her seem to almost "withdraw" onscreen. The safest thing for her to do was basically hold still!

This made her seem appealing and mysterious in her first films for Howard Hawks, but without his careful direction and presentation, she was out of her depth.
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I agree with this assessment of Bacall's looks. She is stunning in her early movies - namely the four with Bogart and Young Man with a Horn. But she quickly started to look really hard. Maybe it had something to do with the haircut? To me she definitely looked better with longer hair, she needed it to soften her up. By the time she did Written on the Wind and Designing Woman she looked quite middle-aged, and she was only in her young 30s.

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Several Semitic or Jewish actresses were pretty and cute when they were young, but aged badly. Bacall, Ina Balin, Janet Margolin, and Debra Winger come to mind.

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