To Have and Have Not

Critics Consensus

With Howard Hawks directing and Bogey and Bacall in front of the cameras, To Have and Have Not benefits from several levels of fine-tuned chemistry -- all of which ignite on screen.



Total Count: 35


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,323
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Movie Info

Humphrey Bogart plays Harry Morgan, owner-operator of charter boat in wartime Martinique. Morgan's right-hand man is Eddie (Walter Brennan), a garrulous alky whose pet question to anyone and everyone is "Ever get stung by a dead bee?" While in port, Harry is approached by Free French activist Gerard (Marcel Dalio), who wants to charter Harry's boat to smuggle in an important underground leader. Adopting his usual I-stick-my-neck-out-for-no-one stance, Morgan refuses. Later on, he starts up a dalliance with Marie Browning (screen newcomer Lauren Bacall), an attractive pickpocket. In order to help Marie return to America, Harry agrees to Gerard's smuggling terms. He uses his boat to bring resistance fighter De Bursac (Walter Molnar) and De Bursac's wife Helene (Dolores Moran) into Martinique. The Vichy police, suspecting that something's amiss, hold Morgan's pal Eddie hostage, tormenting the poor rummy by denying him liquor. Predictably, Morgan comes to Eddie's rescue and manages to escape Martinique, with the delectable Marie as cozy company. In the hands of director Howard Hawks and screenwriters Jules Furthman and William Faulkner, the end result bore only a passing relation to the original story by Ernest Hemingway: instead, it was a virtual rehash (but a good one!) of the recently released Casablanca, replete with several of that film's cast members. The film's enduring popularity is primarily -- if not solely -- due to the sexy chemistry between Bogart and Bacall, especially in the legendary "You know how to whistle, don't you?" scene. The most salutary result of To Have & Have Not was the subsequent Bogart-Bacall marriage, which endured until his death in 1957. It's widely believed that Lauren Bacall's singing voice was dubbed in by a pre-puberty Andy Williams; this is not true. For the record, a more faithful-to-the-source cinemadaptation of the Hemingway original was filmed in 1950 as The Breaking Point.

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Critic Reviews for To Have and Have Not

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (7)

  • In many ways the ultimate Hawks film: clear, direct, and thoroughly brilliant.

    Aug 15, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Lauren Bacall has cinema personality to burn, and she burns both ends against an unusually little middle.

    Aug 15, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Bogart is in his usual metier, a tough guy who, no less, has the facility of making a dame go for him, instead of he for her. That's where Bacall comes in.

    Mar 16, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Bogie and Bacall fell in love while making the film, and their scenes reflect this, giving To Have and Have Not a degree of emotional presence that is unusual in the 'bite on the bullet' world of Hawks.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Phil Hardy

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The movie is entertaining in its own right, and representative of the era in which it was produced, but, aside from the legendary interaction between Bogart and Lauren Bacall, there are only moderate reasons to recommend the film.

    Jan 29, 2004 | Rating: 3/4
  • The scenes between Bogart and Bacall are so dazzlingly about attraction and sex that they encapsulate the whole magic of movies.

    Jan 10, 2004

Audience Reviews for To Have and Have Not

  • Jun 11, 2019
    The Bogey-Bacall chemistry is fascinating and director Howard Hawks deserves credit in concocting it. The film is highly derivative of Casablanca but not as satisfying
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • May 28, 2017
    'To Have and Have Not' is far from perfect. It's derivative of Casablanca from two years earlier, includes a character who quickly becomes annoying (Walter Brennan, who plays a toper), is implausible in places, and has little to do with the novel by Ernest Hemingway. On the other hand, it was 19-year-old Lauren Bacall's first film, and she displays a sultriness and presence not often seen in someone so young. Bogart is also strong as the fishing boat skipper in Martinique who wants nothing to do with politics or the French resistance, but finds himself drawn into events as they unfold. He's gritty, tough, and real, and has a couple of fantastic scenes with Bacall, where their chemistry is apparent despite him being 25 years older, including the one where she so famously says to him "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and ... blow." I also liked musical performances led by Hoagy Carmichael, though Bacall's singing in the numbers she was in was pretty awkward. Like I said, it's not perfect, but it is solid and entertaining, and as the start of 'Bogie and Bacall', has a place in film history.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2016
    The legendary first meeting of Bogart and Bacall seems to be Casablanca-lite in many respects and while this film cannot surpass that one, it is still very enjoyable.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2014
    Bacall exudes a lot of magnetism and sensuality in her debut on the screen, a decent sort-of-rip-off of Casablanca - based on Hemingway and co-written by William Faulkner no less - that relies on a strong chemistry between her and Bogart in their first of four films together.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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