best film:   The Big Sleep is right there near the top as one of the best film noir entries, but Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind is a virtual deadlock tie. The Big Sleep was slightly higher on the last top 500 films of all-time update so that will live here for now, it may flip with the next update.



Bacall had some trouble finding her footing after her four collaborations with Bogart in the 1940s (and these were four of her five first films- and all before the age of 25), but one surefire success for Bacall was her 1956 film Written with the Wind opposite Rock Hudson and working with the great Douglas Sirk.




best performance:  To Have and Have Not. Although The Big Sleep is the better film, the better performance from Lauren Bacall is unquestionably To Have and Have Not. Bacall plays “Slim” and this is one of the greatest acting debuts of all-time. The 19-year-old model turned actor steals scenes from prime Bogart, captures many hearts (including Bogart’s), and walks off with the sublime ending.



Bacall as Slim in her debut, To Have and Have Not. She gets the walk off final shot and dialogue like “You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow”



stylistic innovations/traits:  Lauren Bacall was a model for Harper’s Bazaar in her teens who had an archiveable film career that spanned 60 years (first in1944 and last in 2004) with an archiveable film in every decade except the 1980s. The sheer number of archiveable films (13) is a plus for Bacall in comparison with most other actors on this list. That said, she is here because of her work with her four-time costar (and husband) Humphrey Bogart. The two Hawks’ films are the best of them, but Dark Passage and Key Largo are fantastic as well. Bacall is known for her easy charm and deep sultry voice seemingly predestined to be in black and white film noir.



directors worked with:    Howard Hawks (2), John Huston (1), Douglas Sirk (1), Don Siegel (1), Sidney Lumet (1), Lars von Trier (1) Rob Reiner (1) and Jonathan Glazer (1).



Bacall as Vivian Rutledge in The Big Sleep– an integral part of Howard Hawks’ smoky labyrinth of a film noir



top five performances:

  1. To Have and Have Not
  2. The Big Sleep
  3. Written on the Wind
  4. Key Largo
  5. Dark Passage




archiveable films

1944- To Have and Have Not
1946- The Big Sleep
1947- Dark Passage
1948- Key Largo
1953- How to Marry a Millionaire
1955- Blood Alley
1956- Written on the Wind
1966- Harper
1974- Murder on the Orient Express
1976- The Shootist
1990- Misery
2003- Dogville
2004- Birth