leadThere is a very good reason for the phrase ‘old-fashioned romance’. Romance of that caliber, that level of magic, that pace of heart-race, is rarely found today. The irritating thing is that you just can’t beat it.

It is no wonder then, that in the greatest attempt to switch on the pure gold romance that is now so often defunct, we must look back over our shoulders to the black and white, or Technicolor celluloid screens of yesteryear for a little inspiration. Romance is not dead, just better suited to the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe. So instead of mourning it, let us beg, steal and borrow: Jodie Kharas has a step-by-step guide to achieving fluttering eyelashes and sweaty palms.

Step 1: The ‘sparks flying’ First Meeting

Typically, the moments when the eyes of Hollywood lovers first lock on screen, fall into one of either two categories. Either, one half of the couple is completely oblivious to the impending love affair, or, it is literally love at first sight. Either way, the on-screen chemistry sizzles for the audience and it is a moment to be relished.

Before being beaten into submission, independent socialite Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961) refuses to accept fated love, and lives by her motto “People don’t belong to people”. Even so, the instant affection that Hepburn and Peppard share is delicious.

At the other end of the spectrum are the eternal stares of a multitude of Hollywood lovers. The film adaptation of Gone With the Wind (1939) allowed us to witness the full intensity of the lovers meeting eyes and hearts that Margaret Mitchell so skillfully described in the original text. However as the principle meeting unfolds, sparks are a definite must.

Step 2: “Anybody got a match?”

What better way to relieve all that sexual tension than to light up a smoke? During Hollywood’s sparkling, diamond-encrusted era, cigarettes were as inevitable as the film credits. A cigarette would become the accessory to any intimate scene between the on-screen lovers. Try and picture any scene of any Sinatra film without a pack of twenty consistently emerging from his suit pocket.

Perhaps one of the most thrilling smoking scenes ever to grace the screen, has to have occurred in the 1944 Howard Hanks picture To Have and to Have Not. I personally believe the Bogart and Bacall marriage could have developed from that scene alone. Bacall appears as if from nowhere, leaning on the doorframe she utters “Anybody got a match?” a verbal response is not deemed necessary, as she catches the box of matches that Bogart flings at her, he knows she means business.

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One Response

  1. Rocketblast

    Loved this piece! Ah, if only real life was like that, and if only I looked like Rita Hayworth…