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 Warner
Screenplay by Jules Furthman
William Faulkner
Based on the novel 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 dates
  • 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 and starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, and Lauren Bacall in her first film. Although it is nominally based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway, the story was extensively altered for the film.


The film is set in Fort-de-France, Martinique, in the summer of 1940, shortly after the fall of France and the installation of the Vichy regime. Its reach extends to the colony of Martinique. World-weary fishing-boat captain Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) is urged to help the French Resistance smuggle some people onto the island. He refuses, until the client, Johnson (Walter Sande), who has been hiring out his fishing boat (and owes him $825), is shot before paying him. The French police take him and several others for questioning, and they take Morgan's passport and money, including what Johnson had.

Gérard, the hotel owner known as Frenchy (Marcel Dalio) to English speakers, asks Harry to rent him his boat for one night to transport some members of the Resistance. Broke, Harry ends up smuggling Helene (Dolores Moran) and Paul de Bursac (Walter Surovy). Meanwhile, a romance develops between Harry and Marie ("Slim") Browning (Lauren Bacall), a young American wanderer who has come to the island. She feels Harry changed his mind on smuggling the resistance agents in order to help her.[4]

After picking up his passengers, Harry is spotted by a patrol boat. Their agents shoot and wound de Bursac before Harry can escape. Harry learns that Slim has stayed in Martinique to be with him. At Frenchy's request, Harry removes the bullet from Bursac's shoulder. He learns that the Bursacs have been assigned to help a man escape from the penal colony at Devil's Island, off the coast of French Guiana in South America. Bursac asks for Harry's assistance, but Harry turns him down.[5]

The police recognized Harry's boat the previous night. They reveal they are holding Eddie (Walter Brennan), his alcoholic buddy, in custody and plan to coerce him to tell the truth about the boat's cargo. With Slim's help, Harry turns the table on the police. At gunpoint, he forces Captain Renard (Dan Seymour) to arrange for Eddie's release and sign harbor passes, so that Harry can leave Martinique to take the Bursacs to Devil's Island. When Eddie returns from the police, Harry and Slim quickly depart with him and the French couple from Martinique.[6]



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. Noted author William Faulkner, “out of print and broke”, was also on the payroll and helped with the script.[9]

As this was being filmed during World War II, Hawks moved the setting from Cuba to Martinique, under the Vichy regime of occupied France, in order to placate the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. It did not want to portray Cuba unfavorably because of the US "good neighbor" policy toward Latin America. The screenplay was developed further by Jules Furthman and, near the end, by Faulkner, an intense rival of Hemingway.[10] This change, placing the plot on a French colony ruled by the Vichy Regime during the war, touched on issues similar 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 (Hoagy Carmichael) as an important supporting character. This figure was not in the Hemingway book but was conspicuously present in Casablanca. Several cast members from Casablanca also appear in the film; apart from Bogart and Dalio, Dan Seymour plays the French/Vichy official Renard, with a similar name and position to Casablanca's Capt. Renault. (In Casablanca Seymour played the role of Abdul.) The plotline of Bogart's character reluctantly assisting husband-and-wife resistance fighters was similar to Casablanca.

Lauren Bacall had been working as a model and was 19 years old when she started filming; this was her first movie. Hawks' wife, Nancy "Slim" Keith, had noticed Bacall's face as a model on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, and showed the photo to her husband. He sought Bacall out and signed her for the role. (In the movie Bogart calls her by the nickname "Slim," and she calls him "Steve," which were nicknames used between Keith and her husband 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 the age of Bacall. This romance eventually led to Bogart divorcing Mayo Methot, his third wife. He and Bacall later married.

Hawk 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).[citation needed] Due to the star chemistry, a couple of Bacall's lines became renowned as double entendre; she said, "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow," while looking at him provocatively (this quote is ranked at #34 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes list).


Hoagy Carmichael plays Cricket, the piano player in the hotel bar. Bacall sings "How Little We Know," written by Carmichael and Johnny Mercer. Another Carmichael song, "Hong Kong Blues," co-written with Stanley Adams, was also used. "Am I Blue?," written by Harry Akst and Grant Clarke, is performed by Carmichael and Bacall. "The Rhumba Jumps," by Mercer and Carmichael, is performed by the Martinique band.

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 [11]


To Have and Have Not was adapted as an hour-long radio play, broadcast on the October 14, 1946 edition of Lux Radio Theater, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall reprising their screen roles.

In 1950, Warner Brothers adapted the novel To Have and Have Not again. They released the new film under the title The Breaking Point, starring John Garfield (in his next to last film) in the role of Harry Morgan, and directed by Michael Curtiz.[12] Its screenplay by Ranald MacDougall was praised as more faithful to the Hemingway novel and tone, and admired by critic Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who wrote, "All of the character, color and cynicism of Mr. Hemingway's lean and hungry tale are wrapped up in this realistic picture, and John Garfield is tops in the principal role.[13] The film bore little resemblance to the 1944 Bogart//Bacall vehicle.

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".



  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. ^ Mast relates the contributions of each of the people who worked on the screenplay. He says "the film's many upstairs sequences are Faulkner's primary contribution to the film's conception" (p. 257).
  11. ^ Hawks on Hawks by Joseph McBride. [Berkeley, University of California Press, 1982] p.130.
  12. ^ "To Have and Have Not (1944)-Articles". Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ Crowther, Bosley. "Movies: The Breaking Point". The New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 


  • 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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