Here’s what crossed my mind when President Obama delivered his long-winded SOTU address last night: “This is the man who returned a bust of Winston Churchill, a gift from Britain.”
Is it because Obama’s Communist, alcoholic, womanizing father hated the British imperialists? And this was Obama’s childish and petulant payback.
Or because Churchill saved Western civilization and Obama is kind of, y’know, ambivalent on the whole issue.
No matter the reason, it was a low-rent gesture.
Which brings us to Winston Churchill and Brigitte Bardot.
Two figures not usually associated in the same thought. But Churchill was a great man and Bardot a great movie star, thus it’s not surprising that fate brought them together for a delightful meeting in a hotel lounge while Bardot was shooting her breakthrough film And God Created Woman. (1956) The anecdote is related by Roger Vadim, the man who discovered Bardot and Catherine Deneuve.
“When I was eight years old and heard you on the radio, you frightened me,“ said Brigitte, “But now you seem rather cute, considering you’re a legend.”
Cute was not a word people normally used to describe Churchill to his face! The great orator remained speechless.
“What are you doing in Nice?” Brigitte asked, in order to fill the silence.
“Painting,” replied Churchill. “You are an actress, and I am a painter. We have art in common.”
“My father bought one of your landscapes,” said Brigitte.
“I don’t sell my paintings.”
“Well, then your friends do. The painting my father bought has a hill, a parasol pine in the foreground and the sea in the background. Do you remember it?”
“And on the right a broom bush in flower?”
“Yes. Do you like to paint?”
“I love painting. But I shall never go down in history with Cézanne.”
“You know, my films are not nearly as good as your paintings. And I never won a war.”
“That is no great loss,” Churchill concluded.
A few days later, Churchill invited Bardot to dinner, but she couldn’t make it. Too bad, it could have been one of history’s great conversations.
From: Bardot, Deneuve, Fonda by Roger Vadim