Friday, 31 December 2010
To Have and Have Not 
In To Have and Have Not, Howard Hawks has mixed elements of the espionage, romantic comedy, film noir et al, to create a film that is a crackling viewing experience and that managed to capture a sizzling pair out of Hollywood heartthrobs Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. In fact this was the movie that introduced Bogart to newcomer Bacall, and they immediately hit it off, and this is evident in their interactions onscreen. Bogart plays the owner of a boat at a small politically-charged, French speaking island in the Caribbean. He gets to meet a pretty drifter played by Bacall, and to help her get home to America, he grudgingly agrees to help a group of underground political dissidents, much against the explicit wishes of the Captain of the island. Based on a book by Ernest Hemingway, and adapted for screen by William Faulker, Bogart did a memorable personification of the kind of characters that he made archetypal – sardonic, cynical, chain-smoking loner who sticks out his neck for nobody. The film has a reasonably capturing story, and made more so by the interactions onscreen, with the topping for the cake served by Bogart’s cynical one-liners. Okay, it does have a Casablanca hangover about it, but its entertaining nature, among others, ensured it’ll always be remembered as a great American film.
p.s. To Have and Have Not is part of Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection, a wonderful boxset release by Warner Bros.
Director: Howard Hawks
Genre: Romantic Drama/War