“I wish to live to 150 years old, but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.”
There’s a reason Lauren Bacall was chosen for a Suntory whisky ad in 1978, Bette Davis advertised for Jim Beam in 1974, and most recently, Christina Hendricks is the face of Johnny Walker. They bring a cool sophistication. Women want to be them. Men want them. And everyone wants the whiskey.
“Give me a whiskey, ginger ale on the side,” she tells the waiter. “And don’t be stingy, baby.”
On the (much) lighter side is Billy Wilder’s cross-dressing comedy, Some Like it Hot, a film that opens with a coffin leaking whiskey after it’s shot by cops who are chasing the hearse as it speeds up to Mozzarella’s Funeral Parlor. Hint: this is Prohibition. And that’s not a real funeral parlor. Although they only serve coffee: Scotch coffee, Canadian coffee, sour mash coffee…
“I don’t want you to think I’m a drinker,” she tells them. “I can stop any time I want to. Only I don’t want to.”
Then there's Butterfield 8. The film opens with Elizabeth Taylor as she wakes up in a married man’s bed, then proceeds to wander around his apartment in her slip with a glass of whiskey, which she swirls, sips, and uses to brush her teeth. She finds a note from the man with money, “I hope $250 is enough.” In pure whiskey diva form, she writes “No sale” on the mirror in lipstick, grabs his wife’s fur coat, and takes a bottle of whiskey, leaving a few dollars - to cover the whiskey, not the coat.
I would not bet against these women. But I would join them for a drink.