Complicated and slightly creepy: the Bogart-Bacall romance

Whenever an actor and an actress begin an affair on the soundstage they like to believe they are the new Burton and Taylor. Actually they’ll be lucky to resemble Christopher Timothy and Carol Drinkwater, who had a fling on that vet programme – and now here are Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall to live up to as well. Of their love story, William J. Mann avers: ‘It was wonderful; it was passionate; it was complicated.’ Also, it was creepy. Bacall was 19, Bogart 45. There was a ‘significant power differential between them’ when they met in 1944 during the filming of To Have and Have Not. Mann is probably pointing

In praise of character actors

The star system is a false hierarchy: the best rarely make it to the top. I thought of this recently when it was announced that David Warner had died. Few outside acting could name him, though you may have seen his head flying off in The Omen, a film in which heads are cheap. Warner was a Manchester-born jobbing actor: a character actor, better defined by what he is not, which was a star. I could write pages about why a star is a star, and a character actor remains a character actor, but the most significant reason is simple. Warner was brilliant but he was not handsome. Yet he