To Have and Have Not (1944)


“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.” – Slim

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – An American boat captain in the need for money, helps the French resistance transport some of their operatives which causes a lot of problems with the members of the local police who are supporters of the Vichy Government.

My Take on it – This is another film that I had heard about for years yet never got around to watching it until I recently decided to watch more films starring Humphrey Bogart on order to expand my knowledge about his film resume.

This is a great war film that works on numerous levels and is one of the films that definitely established Bogart as a great actor and as a very prominent romantic lead on screen.

He has amazing chemistry with future wife Lauren Bacall in this film and watching them together makes it so understandable why they were so great together both on and off screen.

The problem with this movie is the fact that the plot might be a bit too reminiscent of Bogart’s most famous film Casablanca (1942) that came out not long beforehand.

When one views this film and bases it on its own merits, it works quite well and stays quite gripping throughout.

Loved seeing Walter Brennan in a very strong supporting role which allows him to truly stand out here.

Bottom Line – Another great Bogart film that helped establish him as a great actor and a great romantic lead. His work here with Bacall is great largely due to the chemistry between the two of them in their first pairing. The story itself is a bit too reminiscent of Bogart’s masterful performance of the previous year, but still works when one views it on its own. Brennan does a great job in a supporting role. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The most famous scene in the film 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. He 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. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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One thought on “To Have and Have Not (1944)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1944 | MovieRob

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