There is a charm to Howard Hawks’ 1944 To Have and Have Not. Based on the Ernest Hemingway novel with a screenplay co- written by William Faulkner is certainly a solid start. With the immortal Howard Hawks at the helm at his peak- is another important ingredient. Add into this stew Bogie and Bacall ( in her screen debut) and add in Walter Brennan, Dan Seymour, the great Hoagy Carmichael and Sheldon Leonard and it’s over the top. Sparks are flying everywhere. One of the great American classics.
Note: The film played recently on TCM. It is badly in need of a current restoration. The copy they showed was terribly flawed. It needs to be shown in it’s pristine state!
From TCM and written by John Miller is this great overview of To Have and Have Not from Warner Brothers.
TCM’s article on To Have and Have Not teaser To Have and Have Not (1944)
Harry Morgan is the owner of a cabin boat called the Queen Conch. With his shipmate Eddie, he takes wealthy tourists on fishing cruises off the Caribbean island of Martinique. It is WWII and with France under Nazi occupation, Martinique is Vichy-controlled. Harry is approached by Gerard, who is a member of the French Resistance and the owner of the hotel where Harry lives. He would pay for Harry to smuggle an important Free French leader into Martinique but Harry refuses. Meanwhile, a newcomer has arrived in the room across from Harry – a sultry, restless woman named Marie who strikes up a flirtatious friendship with him. She soon finds herself stranded without money when her provider is killed by stray gunfire in a police raid at the hotel bar. Harry agrees to help her leave the island, but to raise the money his only option is to offer his services to Gerard and provide the boat to pick up the resistance fighter, a situation that puts him in extreme danger.
Producer/Director: Howard Hawks
Executive Producer: Jack L. Warner, Screenplay: Jules Furthman, William Faulkner
Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway, Cinematography: Sidney Hickox
Editing: Christian Nyby, Art Direction: Charles Novi, Set Decoration: Casey Roberts, Costumes: Milo Anderson, Makeup: Perc Westmore, Production Manager: Eric Stacey, Assistant Director: Robert Vreeland, Sound: Oliver S. Garretson, Special Effects: Rex Wimpy
Cast: Humphrey Bogart (Harry ‘Steve’ Morgan), Lauren Bacall (Marie ‘Slim’ Browning), Walter Brennan (Eddie), Dolores Moran (Hellene de Bursac), Hoagy Carmichael (Cricket), Sheldon Leonard (Lt. Coyo), Walter Szurovy (Paul de Bursac), Marcel Dalio (Gerard /Frenchy), Walter Sande (Johnson), Dan Seymour (Captain Renard).
WHY TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT IS ESSENTIAL
To Have and Have Not is a crackling entertainment from producer/director Howard Hawks and the Warner Bros. studio system, working at its peak wartime efficiency. Probably the best movie ever made on a bet (Hawks bragged to buddy Ernest Hemingway on a fishing trip that he could make a good movie from his worst novel), To Have and Have Not is admired today for its charged dialogue and witty scenes, establishing Bogart as a romantic lead, as the debut vehicle for Lauren Bacall (and her first pairing with Bogart), and for presenting the quintessential Hawks hero, an individualist who expresses his sense of justice and morality through action.
Hawks famously threw out most of Hemingway’s story, keeping the focus on one character, fishing boat captain Harry Morgan, rather than splitting the story between two disconnected characters as the novel had done. His screenwriters (Jules Furthman and William Faulkner) then fashioned a script which, by Hawks’ admission, was more concerned with snappy dialogue and appealing characters than following the tangled intrigues of the plot. (One of Hawks’ rules for a good movie was to feature four memorable scenes and no boring ones).
For such an endeavor to succeed, casting is all-important. Humphrey Bogart had just come off Casablanca (1942), which had helped in his evolution from a stock Warner Bros. tough guy into a romantic lead. To Have and Have Not would establish the new Bogart persona for the movie-going public. Harry in this film is more emotionally hardened and morally ambiguous that Rick from Casablanca. He is also more believably romantic and passionate, due to the obvious sparks that were flying between him and his leading lady.
The female lead opposite Bogart was a 19-year-old model in her acting debut, Betty “Lauren” Bacall. Though behind the scenes there were anxieties and many months of voice training and acting lessons, the result is nothing less than one of the most complete, electrifying personalities to emerge full-blown on the screen. Also essential to the tone of the film and the interacting personalities on display are the honky-tonk piano player Cricket, charmingly played by Hoagy Carmichael, and Harry’s alcoholic shipmate Eddie, essayed by the venerable Walter Brennan.
But Harry Morgan is the real focus of the film, from his romance with Marie whom he nicknames “Slim,” to his trusted friendships with Eddie and Cricket, to the moral choices made in relation to these characters and to the political situation he faces. In typical Hawksian fashion, this hero is an individualist who is forced into desperate circumstances, but even under duress, he honors personal relationships above all else.
The film version of To Have and Have Not, as several critics pointed out, owed more to I>Casablanca than to Hemingway, but most of the reviews fixated on the sultry Lauren Bacall and her steamy scenes with Bogart. The usually cool and judicious James Agee was inspired to write: “Lauren Bacall has cinema personality to burn…a javelinlike vitality, a born dancer’s eloquence in movement, a fierce female shrewdness and a special sweet-sourness.” Despite all the praise and the film’s obvious popularity with moviegoers, it received no Academy Award nominations in any category.
By John M. Miller & Margarita Landazuri
To Have and Have Not (1944)
During the Golden Age of cartoons, it was common for animators to caricature movie stars or to parody certain movie genres, but it was uncommon for cartoons to feature full-blown parodies of specific movies. In 1946 Warner Bros. released Bacall to Arms. In it a group of cartoon animals find their seats in a movie theater, including a raucous wolf, and watch To Have and Have Not starring Bogey GoCart and Laurie BeCool. The wolf has particular troubles keeping his cool while watching the sultry BeCool character. There is not a director credited, because it is an awkward amalgam of two cartoons. Much of the movie theater audience material was lifted from a 1937 Friz Freleng cartoon called She Was an Acrobat’s Daughter. The other material was new and was directed by the great Bob Clampett. The animators were clearly inspired by Lauren Bacall’s performance in To Have and Have Not – when the cartoon Bacall walks across the screen, she leaves fiery footprints. Certain specific lines and situations from the film are parodied. When Bogey and Bacall kiss, Bogey asks afterward “What did you do that for?” A young duck in the audience enthusiastically squeals to his father, “I know why, Daddy! I know why!” The Bacall character delivers the famous line “You know how to whistle, don’t you?” and proceeds to give a wildly exaggerated New York-style taxi whistle, fingers in mouth. The animator for this shot was probably Clampett mainstay Rod Scribner. Screen and theater characters intersect at the end of the cartoon, as Bacall throws a cigarette off screen and the wolf grabs it. Bogey shoots the wolf dead and retrieves the butt. It explodes, however, leaving him in Rochester-style blackface. He then proclaims, “My, oh my! I can work for Mr. Benny now!”
To Have and Have Not contains three songs: “How Little We Know” by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer, “Hong Kong Blues” by Carmichael and Stanley Adams, and “Am I Blue?” by Harry Akst and Grant Clarke.
While To Have and Have Not escaped being excerpted in Carl Reiner’s 1982 film noir spoof Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, it nevertheless got referenced in the film’s dialogue: at one point sultry Juliet Forrest (Rachel Ward) says to Rigby Reardon (Steve Martin), “If you need me, just call. You know how to dial, don’t you? You just put your finger in the hole and make tiny little circles.”
To Have and Have Not was remade in 1950 as The Breaking Point, starring John Garfield as Harry Morgan. It was directed by Michael Curtiz. In 1958, the Hemingway source material was used for yet another film version – The Gun Runners, directed by Don Siegel and starring Audie Murphy as a charter boat skipper named Sam Martin.
by John Miller
For no reason given in the movie, the Bogart and Bacall characters call each other by the nicknames “Steve” and “Slim.” This is appears from the earliest scripts by Jules Furthman, and would seem to be arbitrary until one discovers that these were the pet names also used in real life by Howard Hawks and his wife Nancy.
The most famous scene in To Have and Have Not is undoubtedly the “you know how to whistle” dialogue sequence. It was not written by Ernest Hemingway, 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.
Lauren Bacall was not the only actor making their film debut in a featured role in To Have and Have Not. Songwriter Hoagy Carmichael was a friend of Hawks, having been a regular at parties hosted by Hawks and his wife Nancy. He basically plays himself in the film in a breezy, appealing performance. He plays most of his scenes with a matchstick in his teeth. Seeing this on the set at the start of shooting, Bogart gave kudos to Carmichael, telling him that the matchstick was a nice touch and would make him stand out in the film. Carmichael was surprised afterward to see a scene being filmed with Bogart and Walter Brennan, both of them chewing matchsticks throughout the shot! They finally revealed that they were having a bit of fun at Hoagy’s expense. Carmichael went on to appear in over a dozen films, most notably The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and Young Man with a Horn (1950), co-starring again with Lauren Bacall.
Gerard in the film is played by Marcel Dalio, the great star of French cinema in the 1930s. He is most famous for his roles in the Jean Renoir classics The Grand Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939). The year previous he appeared as the croupier in Casablanca (1942).
A persistent rumor during the 1960s and 70s revival showings of To Have and Have Not was that Bacall’s singing voice in the film was dubbed by a young Andy Williams, who in the 1940s was touring the country as part of the Williams Brothers singing group. The theory was that Bacall’s voice was so deep, a male tenor like Williams would have had the best chance of capturing the appropriate sound. Hawks cleared up the discussion in an interview before his death, saying that Williams had recorded the song (“How Little We Know” by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer) with Hawks’ intention to dub it over Bacall’s singing, but that the director found Bacall’s voice perfectly satisfactory.
Famous Quotes from TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Slim (Lauren Bacall): I’m hard to get, Steve. All you have to do is ask me.
(Slim kisses Steve)
Steve (Humphrey Bogart): What did you do that for?
Slim: I’ve been wondering if I’d like it.
Steve: What’s the decision?
Slim: I don’t know yet.
(She kisses him again)
Slim: It’s even better when you help.
Renard (Dan Seymour): What are your sympathies?
Harry: Minding my own business.
Eddie (Walter Brennan): Was you ever bit by a dead bee?
Slim: Who was the girl, Steve?
Harry: Who was what girl?
Slim: The one who left you with such a high opinion of women.
Slim: 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: You know Steve, you’re not very hard to figure, only at times. Sometimes I know exactly what you’re going to say. Most of the time. The other times… the other times, you’re just a stinker.
Eddie: Drinking don’t bother my memory. If it did I wouldn’t drink. I couldn’t. You see, I’d forget how good it was, then where’d I be? Start drinkin’ water, again.
(Steve is carrying the fainted Dolores Moran)
Slim: What are you trying to do, guess her weight?
Steve: She’s heftier than you think.
Steve: Better loosen her clothes.
Slim: You’ve been doing all right.
Compiled by John Miller
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teaserTo Have and Have Not (1944)
The tale associated with the origins of the film To Have and Have Not is a famous and oft-told one. On a particular fishing trip, producer/director Howard Hawks was trying to persuade his friend, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway, to come to Hollywood to try his hand at screenwriting. Hemingway balked, saying that much of his work was unfilmable. Hawks countered in a boast, saying that he could make a good film out of his worst novel. “What would that be?” asked Hemingway. “That bunch of junk To Have and Have Not” replied Hawks. The challenge was on, and Hawks hired Jules Furthman to adapt the novel. Clearly, Hawks felt that the tact to take in making a good film from a poor novel was to change it radically.
Hemingway had actually already sold the film rights to his book prior to Hawks’s decision to make it, for $10,000 in 1939 to Howard Hughes. To proceed, Hawks needed those rights, so although he had connections to the Hughes Co., he paid $92,500 for the rights in October 1943. In a shrewd deal, Hawks turned and sold these rights to Warner Bros. for $92,500 plus one-forth of the gross receipts of the picture.
When To Have and Have Not was released, it enjoyed both a commercial and critical success, but a common complaint among the press and public alike was that Warner Bros. had tried to duplicate the success of the previous year’s Casablanca (1942) with a similar story, setting and characters. In truth, the political motives and exotic setting were imposed on Hawks and Warner Bros. through wholly unexpected channels.
Hemingway’s novel was set in Cuba and the Florida Keys in the 1930s and his Harry Morgan was a booze runner. Furthman’s early drafts retained this setting. The Office of Inter-American Affairs raised an objection to the filming of the novel because of its depiction of deep corruption and violence in Cuba. Part of the Roosevelt administration’s “Good Neighbor Policy” was to encourage positive cooperation among the American nations to discourage the infiltration of Axis influence. The Inter-American Affairs office carefully monitored popular culture, especially motion pictures, and encouraged upbeat depictions of cooperation such as the Disney picture The Three Caballeros (1944). Warners and Hawks were not about to cancel the film outright. By most accounts, it was William Faulkner who saved the picture by suggesting a shift to the Vichy-controlled island of Martinique, which was not only out of the influence of the Inter-American office, it also afforded the opportunity to add Gestapo-influenced villainy.
Hawks actually thrived on the sort of spontaneity in filmmaking that such changes demanded. Faulkner was his favorite script doctor, and he remained available in Hawks’ office and occasionally on the set to finish polishing the script as filming began. At this point, Hawks shifted his attention to the personal relationships of the story over the politics and was able to capture the spontaneous on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Bacall as they fell in love during the making of the film.
A mini-industry among the producing elite in Hollywood’s Golden age was the finding and grooming of new female stars. Perhaps the premier trendsetter in this area was David O. Selznick, who groomed and promoted Ingrid Bergman and Jennifer Jones, among many others. Often a producer could earn more in loaning out such a major star to other studios than in film production itself. By 1943 Howard Hawks entered this arena by signing 18-year-old New York model Betty Bacal to a seven year contract. Hawks’ wife had actually made the suggestion after spotting her on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. After a year of coaching and waiting for the right project, Hawks sold Warner Bros. on letting him cast her in the lead of the Hemingway picture. (Warner Bros. insisted Hawks sell them half of Bacall’s contract). Shooting began in March of 1944.
Lauren Bacall (the first name and 2nd “l” in the last name came from Hawks) was terrified on the set of her first film. Fortunately, her leading man was able to put her at ease with humor and acting tips. Bacall had nervous shakes in her first scenes and quickly learned that keeping her chin down and her eyes up kept her head from trembling. It developed into a trademark sultry look.
Unknown to Bacall, Hawks had the option to revert to a partial Furthman script which gave some of Bacall’s dialogue to another actress should the aspiring actress not work out. It wasn’t needed. In fact, shooting continued with Faulkner re-writing scenes to spotlight Bacall’s character. Hawks shot at a leisurely pace. In the mornings the cast would run through the script (usually fresh pages from Faulkner) while sitting in canvas chairs. Here Hawks and Bogart would often juggle or change lines to suit the personalities of the characters. After lunch, the scenes would be filmed.
Bacall writes in her autobiography that it was in the third week of shooting that friendly banter between her and Bogart turned to something more. At the end of shooting one day, “…he leaned over, put his hand under my chin, and kissed me. It was impulsive – he was a bit shy – no lunging wolf tactics. He took a worn package of matches out of his pocket and asked me to put my phone number on the back. I did.” Bogart was 44 years old and in an unhappy third marriage. The relationship with Bacall was obvious on the set, and while it sparked the onscreen chemistry for his movie, Hawks was furious. He warned Bacall away and threatened that the relationship could damage her career – that she could end up at Monogram Pictures. (By some accounts, Hawks was jealous and had designs on Bacall himself). Hawks warned that Bogart would drop Betty after filming was completed, but nothing could be further from the truth. Bogart was divorced and married Bacall in 1945. They made three more films together and remained married until Bogart’s death from cancer in January, 1957.
by John Miller
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teaserTo Have and Have Not (1944)
Actors claim that the term “overnight star” is a publicist’s fantasy, that most who are given that title have labored long and hard in obscurity for the “sudden” recognition.
Then there’s Lauren Bacall.
Oh, she wanted to be an actress all right. But in 1943, at age18, Betty Bacall had barely set foot on a stage, and never on a soundstage. She was working as a fashion model in New York when the chic wife of director Howard Hawks saw her on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, and pointed her out to Hawks. Hawks sent for Bacall, cringed at her nasal voice, told her to lower it, and changed her first name. Then, for her first film, To Have and Have Not (1944), he teamed her with Humphrey Bogart, the tough-guy newly-turned romantic hero on the heels of Casablanca’s success. Fireworks flew, on-screen and off. Gushy reviews, like this one from the usually cool and judicious James Agee: “Lauren Bacall has cinema personality to burn…a javelinlike vitality, a born dancer’s eloquence in movement, a fierce female shrewdness and a special sweet-sourness…”
But then, Hawks was a gambler. Bacall wasn’t the only one making her film debut in To Have and Have Not. Hawks met songwriter Hoagy Carmichael at a party, and had a hunch he’d make a good actor. As Cricket, the saloon pianist, Carmichael did. The film was the result of Hawks’ bet with his good friend, novelist Ernest Hemingway, whom Hawks was unsuccessfully trying to convince to write for the screen. Hawks bet that he could make a movie out of Hemingway’s worst book — To Have and Have Not. The film version, as several critics pointed out, owed more to Casablanca than to Hemingway, but Hawks won his bet.
So like all Hollywood fantasies, this one had a happy ending. To Have and Have Not was a hit, Bacall became an instant star, and found the love of her life. She and Bogart married in 1945, and stayed married until his death in 1957. She remains a star to this day.
Director: Howard Hawks
Producer: Howard Hawks, Jack L. Warner (executive)
Screenplay: Jules Furthman, William Faulkner, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway
Cinematography: Sid Hickox
Editor: Christian Nyby
Art Direction: Charles Novi
Music: Franz Waxman (uncredited), Hoagy Carmichael (song)
Cast: Humphrey Bogart (Harry Morgan), Walter Brennan (Eddie), Lauren Bacall (Slim), Dolores Moran (Mme. Hellen de Bursac), Hoagy Carmichael (Cricket).
BW-101m. Close captioning. Descriptive video.
By Margarita Landazuri
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teaserTo Have and Have Not (1944)
“The best of the picture has no plot at all, but is a leisurely series of mating duels between Humphrey Bogart at his most proficient and the very entertaining, nervy, adolescent new blonde, Lauren Bacall. Whether or not you like the film will depend I believe almost entirely on whether you like Miss Bacall…about all that Howard Hawks and his writers – and Bogart try to do is to set this arrogant neophyte off to the best possible advantage, to cover up her weaknesses – or turn them into assets – and to toss campstools under her whenever she wobbles. This in itself is a pleasure to watch; so is the way she rewards them; still more, I enjoyed watching something that obviously involved relaxed, improvising fun for those who worked on it.” – James Agee, The Nation, November 1944.
“There is much more character than story in the telling of this tough and tight-lipped tale, and much more atmosphere than action of the usual muscular sort. And thatis generally just as well. For Mr. Bogart is best when his nature is permitted to smolder in the gloom and his impulse to movement is restricted by a caution bred of cynical doubt…Lauren Bacall, a blondish newcomer, is plainly a girl with whom to cope. Slumberous of eye and softly reedy along the lines of Veronica Lake, she acts in the quiet way of catnip and sings a song from deep down in her throat.” – Bosley Crowther, New York Times, October 1944.
To Have and Have Not affords considerable picture interest because of some neat characterizations. And it introduces a newcomer, Lauren Bacall, in her first picture. She’s an arresting personality in whom Warners has what the scouts would call a find. She can slink, brother, and no fooling! Warners has given the pic its usual nifty productional accoutrements, and that includes casting, musical scoring and Howard Hawks’ direction, but the basic story is too unsteady. Carmichael as an actor is somewhat of a surprise: he’s actually playing himself, a pianist-songwriter in the Martinique cafe that affords the story’s background. He and Johnny Mercer have collabbed on one tune that merits more than passing attention, “How Little We Know.” – Kahn, Variety, 1944.
“Don’t be misled: it’s the Warners mixture as before – sex and politics – but better this time…This film belongs to the movie era in which characters were clearly defined, and if a man was perverse, you knew he was a Nazi. The refreshingly, daringly sexy Bacall burst through the conventions of the era. A writer said of her that her “husky, underslung voice, which is ideal for the double-entendre, makes even her simplest remarks sound like jungle mating cries.” – Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies.
“An unassuming masterpiece…this is Hawks’ toughest statement of the necessity of accepting responsibility for others or forfeiting one’s self-respect – the sum total of morality for Hawks – and the perfect bridge from the free and open world of Only Angels Have Wings  to the claustrophobic one of Rio Bravo .” – Phil Hardy, TimeOut Film Guide.
“The film itself becomes confusing and klutzy, the ending is weak, and the secondary characters are poor substitutes for Casablanca’s (1942) memorable cast of heroes and villains. But every time Bogie and Bacall have a scene together, we feel the romance that was building on and off camera.” – Danny Peary Guide For the Film Fanatic.
Compiled by John Miller