Sunday, January 31, 2010

Be Sure to Have Paul Henreid Order Your Drink

I recently rewatched the 1942 Bette Davis melodrama "Now, Voyager" and was struck by the confidence and specificity with which her co-star Paul Henreid orders drinks. On two occasions during the pleasure cruise on which Davis and Henreid's characters meet, he talks the reins and orders with flawless taste. At an outdoor cafe, where they are having red wine, he tells Davis, "I hope you don't mind. I took the liberty of ordering us two Cointreau." Later, in the ship's dining room, Davis asked him to order drinks for them and he immediately suggests "Bourbon Old-Fashioneds." Very particular, given that rye would be the norm back then.

This made me think of Henreid's other big 1942 film, "Casablanca," and how he would always order Champagne Cocktails at Rick's. The actor's suave, elegant, yet self-effacing characters always seemed to know exactly what they wanted. No pause, no hesitation, no glance at the menu. No wonder Davis falls in love with him.


Randy Fuller said...

In "Dial M For Murder" Ray Milland isn't very specific, but he sure wants to drink. He suggests a drink probably 20 times in the course of the film!

Robert Simonson said...

Don't you mean another Milland film, "The Lost Weekend"?