To Have and Have Not (film)

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To Have and Have Not
To Have and Have Not (1944 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Howard Hawks
Produced by Howard Hawks
Jack L. Warner
Screenplay by Jules Furthman
William Faulkner
Based on To Have and Have Not
by Ernest Hemingway
Starring Humphrey Bogart
Walter Brennan
Lauren Bacall
Dolores Moran
Hoagy Carmichael
Music by William Lava
Franz Waxman
Cinematography Sidney Hickox
Edited by Christian Nyby
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • October 11, 1944 (1944-10-11) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,684,000[1]
Box office $3.65 million (US)[2] or $5,257,000 (worldwide)[1]

To Have and Have Not is a 1944 American war film[3] directed by Howard Hawks, and produced by Hawks and Jack L. Warner. Written by Jules Furthman and William Faulkner, the screenplay is based on Ernest Hemingway's 1937 novel of the same name. However, the story was altered for the film, it stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan and Lauren Bacall in her film debut. The plot centers on the romance between a freelancing fisherman in Martinique and a beautiful American drifter which is complicated by the growing French resistance in Vichy France.

Audience reception of the film was generally good, with most film critics stating that the film was a remake of Casablanca (1942), either stating that it was acceptable or poor, after the film's production, Bogart married Bacall in 1945. The film was one of the top thirty grossing films in 1944 and it received an award from the National Board of Review.


Bacall, Dalio and Bogart in the scene for the film

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 of late succumbed to heavy drinking, 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 off 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 that 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 that 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 they have Eddie in custody. Exploiting his addiction to 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 turns the tables on the police, 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, he Harry, Slim and the de Bursacs and escape on the Queen Conch, Harry having agreed to help the de Bursacs with their mission.


Left to right: Dan Seymour, Aldo Nadi, Humphrey Bogart, Sheldon Leonard, Marcel Dalio and Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not


On a ten day fishing trip, independent director Howard Hawks tried to convince Ernest Hemingway to write him a script, but Hemingway wasn't interested. Hawks insisted that he could make a film from his "worst story"[4]:15-16. 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.[5][6] Hemingway and Hawks worked on the screenplay during the remainder of the fishing trip; in May 1939, Hemingway sold book rights to Howard Hughes. Hughes sold the book rights to Hawks in October 1943, who sold them to Warner Bros.[4]:16 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 Hawks's character Marie that he developed for the film. Humphrey Bogart was cast by Warner Bros. in early 1943. Lauren Bacall was then a 18-year-old model. She appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, and was noticed by Hawks' wife, Nancy "Slim" Keith, who showed the cover photo to her husband. Hawks sought Bacall out in April 1943 and signed her for the role, her first movie appearance; in the movie, Harry calls her by the nickname "Slim", and she calls him "Steve", the nicknames used between Keith and Hawks.[4]:18[7] The initial screenplay was completed on October 12, 1943 and resembled the novel more than the final screenplay.[4]:19

Hawks instructed Jules Furthman, who had worked on the screenplay, to alter Marie's character to be more sultry and masculine, resembling Marlene Dietrich, after Bacall turned nineteen, Hawks changed her name to Lauren Bacall (she was born Betty Perske) and shot her screen test in January 1944. Hawks instructed Furthman to work on the final screenplay and stop writing the second version of the screenplay which had Bacall in a minor role in case she proved to be poor for the role.[4]:18-19 Furthman worked on the screenplay throughout January and February 1944 and completed it before February 14, 1944.[4]:27

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.[4]:31 This change created many similarities to the plot of Bogart's earlier, highly successful Casablanca (1942). Other changes 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 parallel Captain Renault in Casablanca. As in Casablanca, Bogart's initially reluctant character assists husband-and-wife Resistance members.

The film preserves the book's title, and the names and characteristics of some of the characters, but nothing from beyond the first fifth of the volume. Another novelist William Faulkner, an intense rival of Hemingway, but "out of print and broke", also worked on the script,[8] the screenplay was developed further by Jules Furthman and, near the end, by Faulkner.[9] Furthman stopped writing after Faulkner was brought on the project.[4]:28 Faulkner was hired on by Hawks on February 22, 1944 to avoid recounting political conflict between Free France and the Vichy government in the storyline, 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. Filming was completed May 10, 1944.[4]:32,35 Bogart and Hawks served as their own technical advisors, because of their experience with fishing and sailing.[4]:39

After filming began, a romance developed between Bogart and Bacall, despite Hawks' disapproval. Not only was Bogart married but, at 45, he was more than twice Bacall's age, they kept their relationship a secret from Hawks until The Big Sleep, after which Hawks never worked with either of them.[4]:39 This romance eventually led to Bogart divorcing Mayo Methot, his third wife, he and Bacall later married, 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 that of Dolores Moran, the film's other female lead. (Hawks and Moran had their own affair during production).[10]


Much of the initial reaction to the film centered around Lauren Bacall, either praising her or criticising her part in the film as merely for publicity and attention from the press. Critics called the film a fast, witty romance with a plot as merely "an excuse for some good scenes."[4]:50 Variety cited the film's inferiority to Casablanca and other Warner Bros. melodramas, but acknowledged the film's success in its characterization.[11] Time called the film a, "tinny romantic melodrama which millions of cinemaddicts have been waiting for ever since Casablanca.[4]:50 New York Variety was mixed about the film citing, "nifty productional accoutrements" with "too unsteady" of a storyline.[4]:50 Other reviewers called it, "definitely swell entertainment", while others stated it was an delightful remake of Casablanca.[4]:50 American film critic James Agee liked the film but felt that Going My Way was a better film, because To Have and Have Not focused too much on "character and atmosphere" rather than on plot.[4]:51 The film was one of the top thirty grossing pictures of 1944 and received an award from the National Board of Review.[4]:51

Box Office[edit]

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $3,652,000 domestically and $1,605,000 foreign.[1]


Cricket, the piano player in the hotel bar, was played by real-life songwriter and band leader 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".[12] According to professor of film studies Ian Brookes, Howard Hawks uses jazz, particularly through interracial performance scenes to underscore the concerns of anti fascism in the storyline of the film.[13]

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 that 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.[14] 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 veteran movie asks his wife this particular question, whereupon she answers that Andy Williams, when 14, did dub the voice for Lauren Bacall.[15][16] However, several sources on the film set have stated that this myth is false.[17]

Cultural references[edit]

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."[18]:232,239


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.[19] 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."[20]


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.[21]

Warner Brothers adapted the novel a second time, in the 1950 film The Breaking Point, this screenplay stayed closer to the novel; it bore little resemblance to the 1944 film.[22]

See also[edit]

  • Bacall to Arms, 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.[23]


  1. ^ a b c Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 25 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. ^ Thomas Schatz, Boom and Bust: American Cinema in the 1940s Uni of California Press, 1999 p 220
  3. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; October 14, 1944, page 168.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Furthman, Jules; Faulkner, William (1980). Kawin, Bruce F., ed. To Have and Have Not. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0299080943. 
  5. ^ Hawks telling Hemingway he could film his worst book and that this one was "a bunch of junk": interview with Hawks by Joseph McBride for the Directors' Guild of America, October 21–23, 1977, private publication of the Directors' Guild, p. 21; quoted at length in Mast, p. 243.
  6. ^ You Must Remember This (retrospective for Warner Brothers' 85th anniversary), American Masters, PBS, broadcast September 23, 2008.
  7. ^ Bacall, Lauren (1978). Lauren Bacall by myself. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0394413083. 
  8. ^ Sperber and Lax 1997, p. 250.
  9. ^ "the film's many upstairs sequences are Faulkner's primary contribution to the film's conception." Mast, Gerald. Howard Hawks, Storyteller. 257
  10. ^ Thomson, David (October 16, 2012). "The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies". Macmillan – via Google Books. 
  11. ^ "To Have and Have Not". Variety. October 11, 1944. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  12. ^ rauloparedes (November 1, 2010). "Lauren Bacall "To Have and Have Not"" – via YouTube. 
  13. ^ Brookes, Ian (2016). "'More Than Just Dance Music':Hawks and Jazz in the 1940s". In Brookes, Ian. Howard Hawks: New Perspectives. Palgrave. p. 177. ISBN 9781844575411. 
  14. ^ McBride, Joseph. Hawks on Hawks. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1982. p. 130.
  15. ^ "To Have and Have Not". Turner Classic Movies. Turner Classic Movies, Inc. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  16. ^ Zlotoff, Lee David; Lenhart, Kerry; Sakmar, John J. (December 1986). "'Three for the Road'". MacGyver. ABC. 
  17. ^ Hagen, Ray (January 2, 2000). "'Dubbing' Bacall; It Says It Right Here". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  18. ^ Dibbern, Doug (2016). "Irresolvable Circularity: Narrative Closure and Nihilism in Only Angels Have Wings". In Brookes, Ian. Howard Hawks: New Perspectives. Palgrave. ISBN 9781844575411. 
  19. ^ "AFI's 100 Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time". American Film Institute. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  20. ^ "To Have or Have Not (1944)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Bacall & Bogart Lux Theatre Stars". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 12, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved October 1, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  22. ^ Valladares, Carlos (October 25, 2017). "'The Breaking Point' is a more brutally honest 'Casablanca'". The Stanford Daily. The Stanford Daily Publishing Corportation. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  23. ^ Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. (1946), Bacall To Arms, retrieved 2018-07-02 


  • Mast, Gerald (1982). Howard Hawks, Storyteller. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-503091-5. 
  • Oliver, Charles M. (1999). Ernest Hemingway A to Z: The Essential Reference to the Life and Work. New York: Checkmark. ISBN 0-8160-3467-2. 
  • Sperber, Ann M., and Lax, Eric. (1997). Bogart. New York: William Morrow. ISBN 0-688-07539-8

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