With her sleepy, seductive eyes and patrician, pack-a-day voice, the actress enters the room of Humphrey Bogart’s world-weary fishing-boat captain, Harry Morgan. She calls him “Steve” even though that is not his name, and offers him money to help him get out of a fix—we get the impression that it’s merely the latest in a long line of fixes resulting from hard luck and muddled politics that Bogie’s character will have to get out of. He stubbornly refuses her offer. Pride and all that. She falls into his lap and plants a kiss on his unexpecting lips. She pulls away. “What did you do that for?” he asks. “Been wondering whether I’d like it,” she replies.
Later, as she’s leaving his room, she delivers an exit speech for the ages: “You know, you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”
“Just put your lips together and… blow.” As the words come out of her mouth, every man and woman in the audience is leaning forward in their seats, thinking the same exact thing: Who is this woman? It is 1944. She is 19 years old. And with that one indelible scene of serve-and-volley flirtation, her life is about to change forever. She will not only become a movie star from this moment forward, her kiss will force the biggest big-screen icon of his era to leave his wife and ask her to marry him despite their 25-year age difference.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s back up…. READ FULL STORY