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USA 1944
Directed by
Howard Hawks
100 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

To Have And Have Not

To Have And Have Not is Howard Hawks' Casablanca (1942) with Humphrey Bogart once again a super-cool tough guy who can be counted on to be a true hero despite his veneer of self-interested pragmatism.

The scenario is similar to thet earlier film, with Bogey’s Harry Morgan, a stoical fishing tour operator in Martinique, saving the lives of a Free France operative and his wife, most of the action taking place in a smoke-filled hotel bar, as Harry dodges the Vichy French and Hoagy Carmichael tickles the ivories and sings his own number "Am I Blue" amongst others.

Whilst overall the film hasn’t the sophistication of Curtiz's, with Walter Brennan’s rummy side-kick being over-exposed, what it does have is Hawks-protégé Lauren Bacall, an amazingly poised 19 year-old, making her screen debut. The interaction between her and Bogart is absolute magic with Hawks making full use of lighting and mise-en-scène to focus our attention on the pair. Scriptwriters Jules Furthman and William Faulkner provided some sensational dialogic exchanges which crackle with provocation, Bacall’s line to Bogart about all him having to do is whistle to get her attention being one of the most quoted of all time (in real life he was married at the time but they would later marry).

The three re-teamed to good effect in the The Big Sleep in 1946 whilst Bogey and Bacall paired up again in 1947 in Dark Passage and yet again in 1948 for Key Largo.


 

 

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