To Have and Have Not is a 1944 American romance-war-adventure film directed by Howard Hawks, loosely based on Ernest Hemingway's 1937 novel of the same name. It stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan and Lauren Bacall; it also features Dolores Moran, Hoagy Carmichael, Sheldon Leonard, Dan Seymour, and Marcel Dalio. The plot, centered on the romance between a freelancing fisherman in Martinique and a beautiful American drifter, is complicated by the growing French resistance in Vichy France.
Ernest Hemingway and Howard Hawks were close friends and, on a fishing trip, Hawks told Hemingway, who was reluctant to go into screenwriting, that he could make a great movie from his worst book, which Hawks admitted was To Have and Have Not. Jules Furthman wrote the first screenplay, which was set in Cuba like the novel. However, the screenplay was altered to be set in Martinique instead of Cuba because the portrayal of Cuba's government was believed to be in violation of the United States' Good Neighbor policy with Latin American countries. Hawks's other good friend, William Faulkner, was the main contributor to the screenplay, including and following the revisions. Because of the contributions from both Hemingway and Faulkner, the film represents the only film story on which two winners of the Nobel Prize of Literature worked. Filming began on February 29, 1944, while Faulkner continued to work on the script, and ended on May 10.
The film released nationally on October 11, 1944. Audience reception of the film was generally good. Reviews were mixed, with many claiming that the film was a remake of Casablanca (1942). Critics specifically mentioned Lauren Bacall's performance or the chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall on screen. Bogart and Bacall began an off-screen relationship during production and married in 1945, after the film's release. To Have and Have Not was one of the top thirty grossing films in 1944 and it received an award from the National Board of Review.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Release
- 5 Reception
- 6 Analysis
- 7 Legacy
- 8 Influences and adaptations
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Trivia
- 11 References
- 12 External links
In the summer of 1940, world-weary Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) operates a small fishing-boat, the Queen Conch, in Fort-de-France, on the French colony of Martinique. It is not long since the fall of France and the island is controlled by pro-German Vichy France. Harry makes a modest living chartering his fishing boat to tourists, along with his unofficial mate Eddie (Walter Brennan). Eddie is Harry's close friend and one time trusted co-worker, but he has become a loud-mouthed drunk. The island is a tinder-box of dissent, harboring many people sympathetic to Free France.
At his hotel home, hotel owner Gérard (Marcel Dalio) (known as "Frenchy" to English speakers) urges Harry to help the French Resistance by smuggling some people onto the island. Harry steadfastly refuses, choosing to keep aloof from the current political situation. Also at the hotel, he meets Marie ("Slim") Browning (Lauren Bacall), a young American wanderer who has recently arrived in Martinique. An accomplished singer, she sings "How Little We Know" with pianist Cricket (Hoagy Carmichael) in the hotel bar.
Harry's current charter client, Johnson (Walter Sande), owes Harry $825. Johnson insists he hasn't enough ready money, but promises to get the funds when the banks open the next day. In the hotel bar, Harry notices Slim pick Johnson's pocket and he later forces her to hand over the wallet. On inspection the wallet is found to contain $1,400 in traveler's cheques and a plane ticket for early the next morning (before the banks are open). On returning the wallet to Johnson, Harry demands that Johnson sign the traveler's cheques to pay him immediately. But just then, there is a shootout in front of the hotel between police and the Resistance, and Johnson is killed by a stray bullet. The police take Harry and several others for questioning, and seize Harry's passport and money.
Back at the hotel, Gérard offers to hire Harry and his boat for one night to transport Resistance members Paul de Bursac (Walter Surovy) and his wife Hélène (Dolores Moran). Now effectively penniless, Harry reluctantly accepts Gérard's offer. Meanwhile, a romance has been developing between Harry and Slim, the latter of whom feels that Harry changed his mind about the smuggling to help her out. Her suspicions are bolstered by the fact that Harry has used some of the money he earned in transporting the fugitives to buy her a plane ticket back to America.
Harry picks up the de Bursacs, but his boat is seen and fired upon by a navy patrol boat. His passenger Paul de Bursac is wounded, but Harry manages to escape by turning the Queen Conch into a fogbank. On returning to the hotel, he learns Slim has not used the ticket he purchased for her and instead has stayed in Martinique to be with him. The de Bursacs are hiding in the basement of the hotel and at Frenchy's request, Harry removes the bullet from Paul's shoulder. He learns the couple have come to Martinique to help a man with the Free French escape from the penal colony at Devil's Island. De Bursac asks for Harry's assistance in this operation, but Harry respectfully turns him down.
The police return to the hotel and reveal that they recognized Harry's boat the previous night. They also reveal that they have Eddie in custody. Exploiting his problems with alcohol, they plan to withhold liquor until he reveals the details of the smuggling plot. His friend in custody and his back against the wall, Harry decides to act. With Slim's help, Harry gains access to a gun in his desk, and turns the tables on the police, killing one of them in the process. He holds Vichyite Police Captain Renard (Dan Seymour) at gunpoint and forces him to order Eddie's release and sign harbor passes. When Eddie returns, Harry, Slim and the de Bursacs escape on the Queen Conch, Harry having agreed to help the de Bursacs with their mission.
- Humphrey Bogart as Harry "Steve" Morgan
- Walter Brennan as Eddie
- Lauren Bacall as Marie "Slim" Browning
- Dolores Moran as Mme Hélène de Bursac
- Hoagy Carmichael as Cricket
- Sheldon Leonard as Lieutenant Coyo
- Walter Surovy as Paul de Bursac
- Marcel Dalio as Gérard (Frenchy)
- Walter Sande as Johnson
- Dan Seymour as Capitaine Renard
- Aldo Nadi as Renard's bodyguard
- Paul Marion as Beauclère
- Eugene Borden as Quartermaster
- Patricia Shay as Mrs. Beauclère
- Emmett Smith as Bartender
- Pat West as Bartender
On a ten-day fishing trip, independent director Howard Hawks tried to convince Ernest Hemingway to write him a script, but Hemingway was not interested in working in Hollywood. Hawks insisted he could make a film from his "worst story". Although Hawks had a high regard for Hemingway's works in general, he considered To Have and Have Not to be his worst book, a "bunch of junk", and told Hemingway so. Hemingway and Hawks worked on the screenplay during the remainder of the fishing trip. Hemingway and Hawks had discussed that the film was not going to resemble the novel, and would rather tell the story of how Morgan met Marie. Marie's character was extensively altered for the film.
In May 1939, Hemingway sold book rights to Howard Hughes. Hughes sold the book rights to Hawks in October 1943, who then sold them to Warner Bros.. Because the rights to the novel bounced between sellers, Hawks made ten times more money selling the rights of the novel than Hemingway did. Hemingway reportedly refused to speak to Hawks for "three months" upon finding this out. The screenplay for To Have and Have Not bears little resemblance to Hemingway's novel of the same name. The only similarities include the title, the name and a few personality traits of the main character Harry Morgan, the name of Marie, the name of Eddie, and the name and character traits of Johnson. Johnson is the only character that remained the same in the novel, in every revised screenplay, and in the film. The film only bears resemblance to the first four chapters of the novel.
Howard Hawks recruited Jules Furthman to work on the screenplay. Completed on October 12, 1943, the initial screenplay was 207 pages. It resembled the novel more than the final screenplay did. By the end of December, Furthman had completed a revised screenplay with sixty fewer pages. Hawks instructed Furthman to alter Marie's character to be more sultry and masculine like Marlene Dietrich. In the previous version of the script, Bacall's purse was stolen; after the revision, Bacall's character stole the purse. Much of Bacall's character was based on Hawks's wife Slim Keith. Some of her lines reportedly came directly from Keith. According to Keith, Furthman even suggested she ask for script credit. Hawks instructed Furthman to work on the final screenplay and stop writing the second version of the screenplay. The second version had Bacall as a minor character in case she proved to be poor for the role. Furthman worked on the screenplay throughout January and February 1944 and recruited Cleve F. Adams and Whitman Chambers to help him with the work. He completed it before February 14, 1944.
Joseph Breen read the script and cited three dozen instances which violated the Production Code, citing that Morgan was portrayed as an unpunished murderer and the women as suggested prostitutes. He stated that the characters must be softened, the studio must remove all suggestions of inappropriate sexual relations between men and women, and that murder must be made clear to appear as self-defense. As the movie was filmed during World War II, Hawks moved the setting from Cuba to Vichy-controlled Martinique as required by the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs to placate the Roosevelt administration. They objected to the unfavorable portrayal of Cuba's government as against the U.S. government's "Good Neighbor" policy toward Latin American nations. Writer William Faulkner was hired on by Hawks on February 22, 1944, to avoid recounting political conflict between Free France and the Vichy government in the story line and to satisfy the Production Code. It was reportedly Faulkner's idea to change the setting of the film to Martinique, because he had been working on an unproduced story line involving Charles de Gaulle, so he was familiar with the details. Furthman stopped writing after Faulkner was brought on the project.
Faulkner and Hemingway never met, but To Have and Have Not is considered by Charles M. Oliver the best adaptation for film of Hemingway's novels. In order to satisfy the Production Code, Faulkner wrote that every character would sleep in the same hotel, but put Morgan and Marie's bedrooms across from each other to facilitate interactions between them as well as reducing Marie's drinking in the film. He also removed scenes in which Morgan appeared to be a murderer. Other additions included Marie becoming Morgan's sole romantic interest and Helen and her husband becoming fighters for the resistance. Finally, Faulkner made the time frame for the film three days instead of the many months depicted in the novel. Hawks intended to have the screenplay be loosely modeled on Casablanca, which also starred Humphrey Bogart, hoping for the same success Casablanca had met at the box office.
Production began on February 29, 1944, with only thirty-six pages of the screenplay written, due to changes required by the Production Code office. Faulkner had very little time in between the rebuilding of sets to continue the screenplay, therefore, each scene was written three days before it was filmed. The final cast reading was done on March 6, 1944 with final script changes finished by April 22. Line by line, Hawks and Bogart changed the script to create a more sexual and comedic film. For example, the line "It's even better when you help", was not originally in the script and was added during filming. After 62 days, filming was completed May 10, 1944. Bogart and Hawks served as their own technical advisers, because of their experience with fishing and sailing.
After filming began, a romance developed between Bogart and Bacall, despite Hawks's disapproval. Bogart was married and at 45 years old, he was more than twice Bacall's age. They kept their relationship a secret from Hawks. This romance eventually led to Bogart divorcing Mayo Methot, his third wife. He and Bacall married a year after To Have and Have Not and remained married until Bogart's death in 1957. Hawks expanded Bacall's part to take advantage of the Bogart-Bacall chemistry. According to the documentary, "A Love Story: The Story of To Have and Have Not", included on the 2003 DVD release, Hawks recognized the star-making potential of the film for Bacall. He emphasized her role and downplayed Dolores Moran's role, the film's other female lead. (Hawks and Moran had their own affair during production). Two weeks before the end of production, Bacall was called to Hawks's home. Hawks told her Bogart did not love her and she was in danger of losing career opportunities. After he threatened to send her to B-list Monogram Pictures, Bacall was very upset. She told Bogart and he became upset with Hawks. This caused an argument between Hawks and Bogart, stunting production for two weeks. Bogart recognized his power and used negotiation to his advantage. After negotiating with Warner, Bogart received an extra $33,000 salary, as long as Bogart promised to no longer stall production.
In her autobiography, Lauren Bacall described what she called Hawks's "brilliantly creative work method" on set. She described that every morning on set, Hawks would sit with Bacall, Bogart, and whoever else was in the scene in chairs in a circle as a script girl read the scene. After reading through the scene, Hawks would add sexual dialogue and innuendo between Bacall and Bogart. After Hawks and Bogart felt the changes were adequate, Hawks would add one light on the set and they would go through the scene. Hawks would encourage them to move freely and do what felt comfortable for them. After going through the scenes a few times, cinematographer Sidney Hickox would discuss camera set ups with Hawks.
According to biographer Todd McCarthy, To Have and Have Not is a quintessential Hawks film. It contains classic Hawksian characters such as the strong male and his female counterpart. He also states that although elements of Hemingway, Faulkner, and Casablanca can be found in the film, it represents Hawks's capacity for expression, claiming it is, "beyond doubt, exactly the work its director intended it to be, and would have been nothing like this in the hands of anyone else."
Cricket, the piano player in the hotel bar, was played by the singer-songwriter Hoagy Carmichael. In the course of the movie, Cricket and Slim perform "How Little We Know", by Carmichael and Johnny Mercer, and "Am I Blue?", by Harry Akst and Grant Clarke. Cricket and the band also perform "Hong Kong Blues", by Carmichael and Stanley Adams. "The Rhumba Jumps", by Mercer and Carmichael, is performed by the hotel band. Bacall shimmies out at the end of the movie to a faster "How Little We Know". The song Baltimore Oriole was intended to be Bacall's theme for the movie, but was merely added as background music on the soundtrack due to Bacall's vocal inexperience. Background music or nondiegetic music is minimal in the picture. However, the film score including the main title was composed by Franz Waxman. One music cue, 7b, is credited to William Lava on the original cue sheet. William Lava was a music staffer at Warner Bros who regularly contributed additional cues.
According to professor of film studies Ian Brookes, Howard Hawks uses jazz, particularly through interracial performance scenes, to underscore anti fascism in the story line of the film. A persistent myth is that a teenage Andy Williams, the future singing star, dubbed the singing for Bacall. According to authoritative sources, including Hawks and Bacall, this was not true. Williams and some female singers were tested to dub for Bacall because of fears she lacked the necessary vocal skills. But those fears were overshadowed by the desire to have Bacall do her own singing (perhaps championed by Bogart) despite her less than perfect vocal talent. This myth is disputed in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide entry for this film, but the myth is propagated in a 1986 episode of MacGyver, entitled "Three for the Road", when the character of a movie veteran asks his wife this particular question, whereupon she answers that Andy Williams, when 14, did dub the voice for Lauren Bacall. Several sources on the film set have stated this myth is false. In fact, Bacall's low singing voice in the film helps her character establish a form of masculine dominance.
In one scene, Marie says to Morgan, "I'm hard to get, Steve. All you have to do is ask me." This quote came from the earlier 1939 Hawks film Only Angels Have Wings in which Jean Arthur says to Cary Grant, "I'm hard to get, Geoff. All you have to do is ask me."
Warner Bros. released To Have and Have Not on October 11, 1944.
The critical reception of To Have and Have Not at the time of release was mixed yet often unflattering. Firstly, early publicity and much of the initial reaction to the film centered around Lauren Bacall, either praising her or criticizing her part in the film as merely as a gimmick for attention from the press. Other critics found the film to be betraying Hemingway's work due to only the first fifteen minutes of the film bearing resemblance to his novel. Finally, Americans were preoccupied with World War II and had little interest in a hero (Bogart) who consistently rejected commitment and whose only interest in France's cause was financial, to help himself and his girl (Bacall). Critics called the film a fast, witty romance with a plot as merely "an excuse for some good scenes." Variety cited the film's inferiority to Casablanca and other Warner Bros. melodramas, but acknowledged the film's success in its characterization. Time called the film a "tinny romantic melodrama which millions of cinemaddicts have been waiting for ever since Casablanca." New York Variety was mixed about the film citing, "nifty productional accoutrements" with "too unsteady" a story line. Other reviewers called it, "definitely swell entertainment", while others stated it was an delightful remake of Casablanca. American film critic James Agee liked the film but felt Going My Way was better, because To Have and Have Not focused too much on "character and atmosphere" rather than on plot. Agee was far more interested in Bacall's performance than the anti-Fascist themes in the film.
The film was one of the top thirty grossing pictures of 1944. According to Warner Bros records the film earned $3,652,000 ($53,040,000 in 2020 terms) domestically and $1,605,000 ($23,310,000 in 2020 terms) foreign, coming close to the high earnings of Casablanca.
Aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports 97% approval of To Have or Have Not, with the critical consensus stated as, "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."
|National Board of Review Awards||Best Actor||Humphrey Bogart||Won|
Screenwriter and film critic Paul Schrader classified the film as noir, made during the first or "wartime" period of film noir. Some other scholars categorize the film as noir, while some don't believe Howard Hawks ever made a true "noir". The names of the characters in To Have and Have Not are directly related to the quality of the characters. Characters which are meant to elicit sympathy from the viewer are known by their nicknames: Steve, Slim, Eddie, Frenchy, and Cricket. In this way, Hawks creates the illusion of a character by devoiding it of past and present social roles that may be associated with a surname. Villains or corrupted characters are called by their surnames such as Johnson.
According to English film critic Robin Wood, To Have and Have Not presents "one of the most basic anti-fascist statements the cinema has given us." The film portrays anti-fascist themes common to the time period through its emphasis on individual liberty expressed through Bogart's character and through its representation of people progressing and working together well. When he decides to join the resistance cause, Morgan reasons, "maybe because I like you and maybe because I don't like them." The power of this anti-fascist statement comes because it's instinctive rather than coming from an expected ideology. More generally, Hawks expresses a protest of authoritarianism and infringement of individual rights. Hawks, however, claimed he wasn't interested in politics and the focus of the movie was on the relationship between Bogart and Bacall. Regardless, the anti-fascist themes come through in the relationship between Bogart and Bacall. They represent the individual standing up to those who abuse their power. According to Ian Brookes, during the scene where Bacall sings "Am I Blue?" with Hoagy Carmichael, her low-voice establishes herself as "one of the boys" and thus a "soldier" in the anti-fascist cause. Moreover, during this scene, the patrons at the bar represent different races and are racially integrated throughout the space, challenging the ideas of segregation and race during the time period. The next song, Limehouse Blues is reminiscent of Django Reinhardt's pre-war version. This represents French resistance spirit, as swing music became a symbol of resistance in France, because it was the only available example of American culture in France at the time.
A common theme of war films such as To Have and Have Not is the conversion narrative. An individual who originally does not want to be involved in the war effort eventually becomes converted through a changed attitude and accepts their duty as a citizen to participate in the war efforts. Along with Harry Morgan's transformation, the Humphrey Bogart persona changed along the years, making him an important casting decision for the film. Harry Morgan, the fisherman, represents the center of the story line of To Have and Have Not. According to Robin Wood, Harry Morgan represents, at the same time, the personality of Humphrey Bogart and the Hawksian hero. Harry Morgan, as a character, represents a myth the audience accepts as real such as the heroes of Homer. Morgan represents the heroic ideal. Morgan acts on his own interests, yet is not self-indulgent, minding his "own business". He does good, because of the responsibility he feels he has for his personal alliances. Morgan controls and establishes the morality of the film through the distinctness of what one does and what one is. Bogart's character establishes: one's personal identity is not determined by one's actions if they do not allow it to happen. In the film, Slim steals Johnson's wallet. Harry overlooks this to a point because he (Johnson) did not pay Morgan for his services as a boat captain. When they are both approached by Morgan, Slim shows no shame, indicating her morality was not affected by her actions. Johnson, however, shows shame and doesn't receive sympathy, because he reveals he is defined by his actions. Bogart's character is direct and blunt, yet makes an effort to not judge a person by their actions. Harry Morgan encompasses the qualities of the "Hawksian" hero due to his personal integrity, and at the same time could be described as a Hemingway code hero because of his courage and loyalty.
One of the biggest differences between the film and the novel is the resolution of Harry Morgan. In the novel, Morgan is beaten down through the story line and perishes in the end. In the film, however, Morgan ends up a winner. This was specifically altered by Hawks because he did not like stories about "losers".
With some regarding To Have and Have Not as one of Hawks's best, the film represents the only time two Nobel Prize winners, Faulkner and Hemingway, worked on the same film story. Some of Bacall's lines became renowned as double entendre; for instance, "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and ... blow ..." (said while looking at him provocatively). This quote is ranked at #34 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes list. When Humphrey Bogart was buried, Bacall put a gold whistle with the inscription "If you want anything, just whistle" in his coffin, a nod to her line in their first film together.
Influences and adaptations
To Have and Have Not is noted for its similarity to earlier films Casablanca (1942), Morocco (1930), and Across the Pacific (1942). There are some similarities to the plot of the earlier Casablanca, and both stories involve the French Resistance. Other changes from Hemingway tended in the same direction, such as the introduction of a sympathetic piano player as an important supporting character. Carmichael's Cricket was not in the Hemingway book, and parallels Dooley Wilson's Sam in Casablanca. Several cast members from Casablanca also appear in the film; apart from Bogart and Dalio (Emil in Casablanca), Dan Seymour (Abdul in Casablanca) plays Captain Renard, whose name and position resemble Captain Renault in Casablanca. As in Casablanca, Bogart's initially reluctant character assists husband-and-wife Resistance members.
To Have and Have Not was adapted as an hour-long radio play for Lux Radio Theater, with Bogart and Bacall reprising their screen roles. It was broadcast on October 14, 1946.
Warner Brothers adapted the novel a second time with the film The Breaking Point (1950) directed by Michael Curtiz, who was also so credited for Casablanca. This screenplay stayed closer to the novel; it bore little resemblance to the 1944 film. Screenwriter Ranald MacDougall and Curtiz were interested in creating a film better modeled after Hemingway's novel. The film did not remotely resemble Casablanca. Despite the film's faithfulness to the novel, it remains less popular than To Have and Have Not, though Hemingway said the remake, "suited him". The film was remade another time in 1958 by director Don Siegel as The Gun Runners. Siegel was reluctant to remake the film, but "needed the money". The film was shot quickly and cheaply. According to author Gene D. Phillips, The Gun Runners was nothing more than a "crass exploitation of the Hemingway book".
From 1951 to 1952, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall participated in a weekly, half-hour radio adventure series called Bold Venture, intended to be a spin-off of To Have and Have Not.
Bacall to Arms, is a 1946 Looney Tunes short, spoofing scenes from To Have and Have Not, and featuring "Bogey Gocart" and "Laurie Becool". It is included as a Special Feature on the DVD release of To Have and Have Not.
Differences from the novel
- To Have and Have Not (film) at AllMovie
- To Have and Have Not (film) at the TCM Movie Database
- To Have and Have Not (film) at the American Film Institute Catalog
- on YouTube
- To Have and Have Not on Lux Radio Theater: October 14, 1946
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