Friday, November 15, 2013

Bardot, Gunter Sachs and the Fleeting Nature of Passion

Sometimes a name, or an obscure news story will open up a window to another era and allow the glamor and excitement of a past time to come rushing back in for a short time. It was thus in Brideshead Revisited when Charles, a dutiful army officer going through the motions in a dull company, arrives at a camp close to a great house that’s now abandoned. He realizes suddenly it’s Brideshead where he spent so much of his audacious and dashing youth, alas now shuttered due to war and bereft of its inhabitants.

 Earlier this week, an article in The Telegraph also shed light on a romantic and glamorous episode, now long forgotten.
 
 

 
The 10-roomed apartment in Paris where French film star Brigitte Bardot and her German playboy-cum-art-collector husband Gunther Sachs, lived in when they were married is now up for sale for a mere 6.1 million euros.

Bardot and Sachs were described as “impossibly glamorous” when they were together, but few recall them now.

 
Bardot was one of the best known sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, while Sachs was one of the leading playboys of his generation. Bardot had put the tiny and little-known fishing village of St Tropez on the map in the Fifties after making the film And God Created Woman there.

 
They met in St Tropez and, by all accounts, the sexual chemistry fizzed. Sachs famously dropped hundreds of red roses over her St Tropez beach home from a helicopter, then dropped out of the helicopter and swam up to her back door with two suitcases in tow.

 
Later, knowing Bardot’s love of animals, he bought her a tame cheetah.   

 
It was a hard act to follow, and it seemed they failed to live up to the early pace. By the time they married in Vegas in 1966, Bardot was already becoming irritated by her lover’s antics. Their marriage lasted three years and died amid acrimony. In the latter years of their marriage, the apartment bore the brunt of the acrimony.

 
“The marble floors and lack of carpets must have made this anideal venue for cup-smashing. Mind you, there were plenty of rooms to stomp off to, including a rather elegant billiards room and an oval-shaped, glass-roofed discotheque, said to have been inspired by the celebrated Chez Rėgine nightclub, just off the Champs Elysées,” wrote Christopher Middleton in The Telegraph.

 
So, it seemed a relationship that started with roses ended up like the War of the Roses.

Still, it was glamorous while it lasted and the older we get the more we cling to those shards of erstwhile glamor.

We’ll never know if Sachs thought of the roses one day in 2011 when he took his life in his villa in the jet-set Swiss resort of Gstaad fearing an illness he would only call A, which is thought to have been Alzheimer’s, would take over his body.

 
Bardot is still alive but has lived a reclusive life for many years, her animals her best companion. A recent article in the Daily Mail described her as a recluse with a dubious private life who hasn’t aged well. In her defense, she is 79-years-old.

 
The relationship between Bardot and Sachs could teach us many things – passion is fleeting or the French will never get on with the Germans.

 
More than anything else, it’s probably a reminder to seize the moment before we are hobbling around seeking out a hip replacement.

 

11 comments:

  1. I only saw one of her movies, 'Dear Brigitte' which Bill Mumy was in.

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    1. yes haven't seen many myself JoJo

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    3. Bardot and Sachs were described as “impossibly glamorous” when they were together, but few recall them now.

      Bardot Coupon

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  2. This is a really cool post. Obviously, I knew about Bardot (who doesn't?!) but I don't know much of her life, hence did not have a clue about this husband. His romantic antics sound like something straight out of a movie. Like something James Bond in love would do, jumping out of helicopters and stuff. I wonder if there's ever been a movie made about their relationship. Or at least a book. I bet that would be a best seller.

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    1. Thanks Jen - it does sound dead cool doesn't it. Love that whole era really..

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  3. Thanks for this, David. What it's taught me is that, rather than just being financially comfortable, what I *really* want is to be so bleeding rich that I, too, can have a glass-roofed discotheque in my own home in which to rock out. Only you won't catch me playing The Smith's "Panic" or Green Day's "Hang the DJ," for obvious reasons.

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    1. Ooopsie, got a little muddled in my own attempts at cleverness, there; the Green Day song is "Kill the DJ."

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    2. for real Mina - I want a glass roofed discotheque too. Oh well would never have known but cool song naturally...:)

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  4. I adore Bardot. She, along with a handful of others, could walk in a room today as she was in the 60s and fit right in. So gorgeous and passionate. Love her big hair and bigger passion. Sigh David! This post made me so happy.

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