Slim darling, you came along and into my arms and into my heart and all the real true love I have is yours – and now I’m afraid you won’t understand and that you’ll become impatient and that I’ll lose you – but even if that happened, I wouldn’t stop loving you for you are my last love and all the rest of my life I shall love you and watch you and be ready to help you should you ever need help.
All the nice things I do each day would be so much sweeter and so much gayer if you were with me. I find myself saying a hundred times a day, ‘If Slim could only see that’ or ‘I wish Slim could hear this.’ I want to make a new life with you – I want all the friends I’ve lost to meet you and know you and love you as I do – and live again with you, for the past years have been terribly tough, damn near drove me crazy. You’ll soon be here, Baby, and when you come you’ll bring everything that’s important to me in this world with you.
— Humphrey Bogart’s letter to Lauren Bacall
MAY 21, 1945: Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are married
“As I glanced at Bogie, I saw tears streaming down his face - his ‘I do’ was strong and clear, though. As Judge Shettler said, ‘I now pronounce you man and wife,’ Bogie and I turned toward each other - he leaned to kiss me - I shyly turned my cheek - all those eyes watching made me very self-conscious. He said, ‘Hello, Baby.’ I hugged him and was reported to have said, ‘Oh, goody.’ Hard to believe, but maybe I did. Everyone hugged and kissed everyone else and more tears were shed. Bogie said it was when he heard the beautiful words of the ceremony and realized what they meant - what they should mean - that he cried.”
While filming To Have and Have Not, Humphrey Bogart became enchanted with Lauren Bacall. This became apparent, according to Bacall, about three weeks into the shooting of the picture. Immediately it presented problems, because Bogart was still married to Mayo Methot, who was as watchful and as jealous as ever. A few weeks earlier, when he was congratulating Bacall on her screen test (which consisted of the famous ‘If you want me, just whistle’ scene), his prescient comment had been ‘We’ll have a lot of fun together,’ but for a while it seemed as if fun was the last thing on their agenda: they would drive their cars to secluded residential streets and sit holding hands and talking, or write each other long, ardent, frustrated letters. And when shooting on To Have and Have Not was over, they had no further excuse for being together. Fortunately fate was quick to step in, in the kindly guise of Howard Hawks and Warners executives, who were so pleased with the on-screen chemistry between the two stars that they decided to waste no time before pairing them again. In October 1944 they began filming their second film The Big Sleep where they resumed their affair with a vengeance.