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
1937 novel
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 novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway, the story was extensively altered for the film.

To Have and Have Not is considered one of Hawks's stronger efforts, with critics often praising its acting and direction.


Lauren Bacall, Marcel Dalio and Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not

The film is set in Fort-de-France, in the French colony of Martinique, in the summer of 1940, shortly after the fall of France. The island is now controlled by pro-German Vichy France. World-weary Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) has a small fishing-boat which he charters to tourists. Eddie (Walter Brennan) is his unofficial mate, though he is little use to Harry due to his heavy drinking. Harry is urged to help the French Resistance smuggle some people onto the island, but he refuses.

At the hotel he meets Marie ("Slim") Browning (Lauren Bacall), a young American wanderer, who sings "How Little We Know" with pianist Cricket (Hoagy Carmichael) in the bar. Harry's current charter client, Johnson (Walter Sande), owes Harry $825 ($14,100 today), but Johnson says that he cannot pay till the bank opens the next day. Harry sees Slim pick Johnson's pocket, and forces her to give him the wallet – which contains $1,400 in traveler's cheques and a plane ticket for very early the next morning. On returning the wallet to Johnson, he 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.

Hotel owner Gérard (Marcel Dalio), known as "Frenchy" to English speakers, offers to hire Harry and his boat for one night to transport Resistance members Hélène (Dolores Moran) and Paul de Bursac (Walter Surovy). Now effectively penniless, Harry reluctantly accepts Gérard's offer. Meanwhile, a romance has commenced to develop between Harry and Slim, the latter of whom feels that Harry changed his mind about the smuggling to help her out.[4]

Harry picks up the Bursacs, but his boat is seen and fired on by a patrol boat; Paul is wounded, but Harry's boat escapes in the fog. Harry learns that Slim has stayed in Martinique to be with him. At Frenchy's request, Harry removes the bullet from Bursac's shoulder. The Bursacs are to help a man escape from the penal colony at Devil's Island. Bursac asks for Harry's assistance in this operation, but Harry turns him down.[5]

The police reveal that they recognized Harry's boat the previous night, and that they have Eddie in custody and will withhold liquor to make Eddie tell what the boat carried. With Slim's help, Harry turns the tables on them. He holds Captain Renard (Dan Seymour) at gunpoint and forces him to order Eddie's release and sign harbor passes. When Eddie returns, Harry, Eddie, Slim, and the Bursacs all escape on Harry's boat; Harry has agreed to help the Bursacs in their mission.[6]


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. Noted author 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 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. 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 (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.

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 14 October 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".


  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. ^
  12. ^ "To Have or Have Not (1944)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  13. ^
  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

External links[edit]

Streaming audio[edit]