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
Box office $3.65 million[1]

To Have and Have Not is a 1944 American romance-war-adventure film[2][3] directed by Howard Hawks. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan and Lauren Bacall in her film debut. Although it is nominally based on the 1937 novel To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway, its story was extensively altered for the film.


Lauren Bacall, Marcel Dalio and Humphrey Bogart in a scene from 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,[4] 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.[5]

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, Harry, Eddie, the de Bursacs, and Slim all escape on the Queen Conch, Harry having agreed to help the de Bursacs with their mission.[6]


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


Howard Hughes sold the book rights to independent director Howard Hawks, who sold them to Warner Bros. 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.[7][8]

Hawks and Hemingway worked on the screenplay together, 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,[9] the screenplay was developed further by Jules Furthman and, near the end, by Faulkner.[10]

As the movie was filmed during World War II, Hawks moved the setting from Cuba to Vichy-controlled Martinique 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. 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.

Lauren Bacall was then a 19-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 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.

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, 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).[11] 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.


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."[12]


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".[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.


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.[15]

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.

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.


  1. ^ Thomas Schatz, Boom and Bust: American Cinema in the 1940s Uni of California Press, 1999 p 220
  2. ^ Variety film review; October 11, 1944, page 12.
  3. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; October 14, 1944, page 168.
  4. ^ Crowther, Bosley. "Movies: About To Have and Have Not". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ "To Have and Have Not (1944)". Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "To Have and Have Not (1944) - Overview". Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ You Must Remember This (retrospective for Warner Brothers' 85th anniversary), American Masters, PBS, broadcast September 23, 2008.
  9. ^ Sperber and Lax 1997, p. 250.
  10. ^ "the film's many upstairs sequences are Faulkner's primary contribution to the film's conception." Mast, Gerald. Howard Hawks, Storyteller. 257
  11. ^ Thomson, David (October 16, 2012). "The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies". Macmillan – via Google Books. 
  12. ^ "To Have or Have Not (1944)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  13. ^ rauloparedes (November 1, 2010). "Lauren Bacall "To Have and Have Not"" – via YouTube. 
  14. ^ McBride, Joseph. Hawks on Hawks. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1982. p. 130.
  15. ^ "Bacall & Bogart Lux Theatre Stars". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 12, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved October 1, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read


  • 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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