Thursday, September 6, 2012

To Have and Have Not (1944).

To Have and Have Not (1944). Hot Romance/war/adventure film. Directed by Howard Hawks. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan and Lauren Bacall in her first film at the age of 19. Based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway.

Howard Hughes sold the book rights to director Howard Hawks, who sold them to Warner Bros. William Faulkner, helped with the script. Hawks' wife "Slim" (whose nickname would be used for Bacall's character, Marie) noticed Bacall on the cover of Harper's Bazaar and showed the photo to her husband, who then signed her for the role.

After filming began, a romance developed between Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, despite the disapproval of Hawks. This romance ended of Bogart's marriage to Mayo Methot, his third wife and to Bacall and Bogart getting married. The onscreen chemistry between the two would continue in the classic films: The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Largo.

Although Hawks had a high regard for Hemingway's writing, said, To Have and Have Not, was a "bunch of junk," so Hawks and Hemingway worked on the story together. The film uses the book's title and the names and characteristics of some of the characters.

The setting was moved from Cuba to Martinique, because of the Roosevelt administration, whose "good neighbor" policy did not to want to show Cuba in a bad light. This change, of the plot made the film similar to the film, Casablanca.

Other changes from the book, was introducing the piano player (Hoagy Carmichael), who had not appeared in the Hemingway book but was in the film, Casablanca.

Several cast members from Casablanca, also appear in the film such as, Dan Seymour, who plays the French/Vichy official Renard - a similar name and position to Casablanca's Capt. Renault. The plotline of Bogart's character helping husband-and-wife resistance fighters was also similar to Casablanca.

Hawks, recognizing the star-making potential of the film for Bacall, emphasized her role, downplaying Dolores Moran's, role the film's other female lead.


The story begins, shortly after the war in Martinique, an American named Johnson hires professional fisherman Harry Morgan, to take him deep sea fishing on his charter boat. Johnson, complains about everything including the cost of the expedition and the other passenger Eddie, a drunk and native Horatio.

During the trip Johnson, carelessly loses a rod and reel belonging to Harry. Harry, who has had enough of him, cancels the rest of the trip and wants Johnson pay him for his lost equipment. Johnson, says he will pay what he owes, after the banks open the next morning.

Back in Fort de France, bartender Frenchy asks Harry, to rent him his boat to smuggle in an important underground leader, but.. Harry does not want to become involved in any political activities.

Later, in the hotel bar, Harry witnesses Marie Browning pick Johnson's pocket and follows her to her room to demand that she return Johnson's wallet. In the wallet Harry, finds enough traveler's checks to pay his fees and also that Johnson, was planning to leave before the banks open.


After Marie, whom Harry has nick named Slim, returns the wallet to Johnson, Harry wants him to sign off some of the checks, but... instead Johnson is shot and killed. The police detain everyone at the bar for questioning, slowing down their plans.

Later that night, Harry needing money and wanting to help Marie return to America, he agrees to pick up Frenchy's friends and buys Marie a ticket on the first plane leaving that afternoon for the United States.

After picking up Helene and Paul De Bursac, Harry is seen by a patrol boat and Paul, is wounded before they escape. Harry, is surprised to find that Marie, did not leave on the plane. Harry removes the bullet from De Bursac's shoulder and learns that the De Bursacs, are supposed to help a man escape from Devil's Island. De Bursac asks for his help, but... will Harry risk his life to help someone he does not know?

The is a wonderful adventure film, where sparks fly between Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who is amazingly cool and smooth at the age of 19... Lauren Bacall, has become one of our favorite classic movie stars of the 1940s.

More Fun Facts:

The most famous scene in To Have and Have Not is undoubtedly the "you know how to whistle" dialog sequence. It was not written by Ernest Hemingway, Jules Furthman or William Faulkner, but by Howard Hawks. Hawks wrote the scene as a screen test for Bacall, with no real intention that it would necessarily end up in the film. The test was shot with Warner Bros. contract player John Ridgely acting opposite Bacall. The Warners staff, of course, agreed to star Bacall in the film based on the test, and Hawks thought the scene was so strong he asked Faulkner to work it into one of his later drafts of the shooting script.

At the funeral for her husband, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall put a whistle in his coffin. It was a reference to the famous line she says to him in their first film together To Have and Have Not: "You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and blow.".

When Howard Hawks discovered Lauren Bacall, he gave her the choice to work with either Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart. She was very tempted to work with Grant, but Hawks ended up casting her with Bogart in To Have and Have Not, and one of Hollywood's greatest romances was started.

"To Have or Have Not" was remade as "The Breaking Point" with John Garfield and "The Gun Runners" with Audie Murphy…

Dolores Moran (January 27, 1924 – February 5, 1982), brief career as a film actress began in 1942 with a uncredited role in, Yankee Doodle Dandy.

By 1943 she had become a popular pin-up girl and appeared on the cover of such magazines as Yank. She was given supporting roles in films: Old Acquaintance (1943) with Bette Davis and Warner Bros. attempted to increase interest in her, promoting her along with Lauren Bacall as a new screen personality when they co-starred with Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not (1944). The film made a star of Bacall, but Moran languished and her subsequent films did little to further her career, this probably had something to do with Howard Hawk's decision to marginalise Moran in order to boost the screen presence of Bacall, excising some of Moran's scenes.

The Horn Blows at Midnight, gave her a leading role with Jack Benny and Alexis Smith but her film appearances after this were sporadic, and she suffered ill health that reduced her ability to work.

Her film career ended in 1954 with a featured role in the western film, Silver Lode. She was married to the film producer Benedict E. Bogeaus in Salome, Arizona, in 1946. They divorced in 1962. Moran had an affair with director Howard Hawks while filming, To Have and Have Not, which Hawks undertook mainly as revenge for his rejection by Bacall in favour of Bogart.


  1. I am going to be out of step with most of your readers, but I do not care for this film. For that reason, I almost skipped out on the 2 other versions...John Garfield's "The Breaking Point" and Audie Murphy's "The Gun Runners." Boy, would I have been missing out!! I LOVE "The Breaking Point" is my absolute favorite Garfield film (and I adore John Garfield, and it was only my love for him which caused me to give the film a chance). I also REALLY like the Murphy version and consider that to be my favorite of Audie's films.

    By the way, "The Breaking Point" is said to be the most faithful to Mr. Hemingway's novel; however, since I have never read it, I don't know that for a fact.

    I hope you are feeling well, Dawn, and that your cancer scare is COMPLETELY behind you.

  2. Hey Patti, I think that your favorite version of Mr. Hemingway's novel, is the one with your favorite actors. At least that is the way it is for me.

    I'm feeling great!! I hope I never have to go through that again... Only, time will tell. Thank you, for going through that journey with me. You do not know how much it meant to me.

  3. Dawn,I love this film, Walter Brennan, steals this film, I love the last shot with him and Lauren's baggage going out the door .One of my favorite Howard Hawks films.

  4. I loved Lauren Bacall's little shuffle out the door.. Very cute!!

  5. Dawn, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT is one of my absolute favorite films! I freely admit that THE BREAKING POINT with John Garfield (no slouch in the awesomeness department himself! :-)) is more true to Hemingway's original, but by golly, I just adore the chemistry between Bogart and Bacall, the music and fun character bits with Hoagy Carmichael, the great supporting cast, and Hawks' eye for beautiful women. Maybe it's not 100% true to the book, but the film is so darn entertaining, it seems churlish to quibble! :-) Too bad Dolores Moran's role became smaller while Bacall's role increased because Hawks had his eye on her, too -- who wouldn't have? :-) Oh well, as they say, that's show biz! :-) Excellent review, Dawn, as always!

  6. DorianTB, Thank you. Because of yours and Patti's high phrases for the classic film, THE BREAKING POINT. I'm going to have see if I can find it and watch it for the first time. So, I can compare the two great films.


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