To Have and Have Not Reviews
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall first met and fell in love on set of Howard Hawks' wartime classic, and their infatuation with one another simmers in every shared scene; which, sadly, are few and far between. The duo's exchanges rise above the mediocre melodrama which characterises the rest of Hawk's film: a not-so-fine-tuned fairytale torn between capitalising on the likes of Casablanca and introducing and exploring wistful subplots.
Bogie's bone-dry wit and Bacall's devilish glare are a recipe for some of the best sexual tension in 1940s cinema - and producers quickly latched onto this following the film's release. Both actors have made better pictures since, but will always be best remembered for that iconic 'whistle' scene. Hawks has gifted us a great on-screen pairing, but this muddy film has little to offer once the whistling fades.
Martinique in the Caribbean, 1940. France has fallen to Germany and the
Vichy French are now in charge of the island. An American, Harry Morgan
(played by Humphrey Bogart) runs a charter boat and is determined to
stay out of politics and not get involved in the war. However, there
are Free French sympathisers and agents who would dearly like his help.
To make things more complicated, a beautiful American woman, Marie
"Slim" Browning (played by Lauren Bacall) keeps drifting across his
An excellent drama, based on the Ernest Hemingway novel and directed by
Howard Hawks. Solid, intriguing plot. Does resemble Casablanca at times
- at one point I thought it was just Casablanca transported to the
Caribbean - but ultimately differentiates itself quite well from that
other classic Bogart movie.
Has the legendary Humphrey Bogart smoothness and coolness. Lauren
Bacall is great in her film debut - cool, beautiful, stylish and
doesn't take a backward step to Bogart. This would be the first of many
collaborations between the two. Moreover, they would marry a year after
the movie was released...
Cast also includes Hoagy Carmichael as the bar's singer / band- leader,
Only two negative aspects. One is the Eddie character - quite irritating at
times. Him and his flaws are necessary to the plot, however. Walter
Brennan did a decent job playing him, but every time he appeared I lost
some interest in the scene.
The other negative is that the Bogart-Bacall dialogue battles sometimes
felt overdone. There are some terrific quotes and word plays but it's
as if the writer or director didn't know when to stop.
These are minor issues, however, in what is a fantastic movie.