To Have and Have Not (1944) is a thriller romance war adventure film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall that is nominally based on the novel To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway.
The film is set in Caribbean island of Fort de France, Martinique under the Vichy regime in the summer of 1940, shortly after the fall of France to the Germans. In this exotic location, the world-weary fishing boat captain Harry 'Steve' 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 accidentally shot before paying him.
The hotel owner Gerard, commonly known as Frenchy (Marcel Dalio) (the leader of the Free French), asks Harry to rent him his boat for one night to transport some members of the resistance underground. Broke, he ends up smuggling onto Martinique, Helene (Dolores Moran) and Paul De Bursac (Walter Szurovy). All the meanwhile, a romance unfolds between Harry and Marie 'Slim' Browning (Lauren Bacall), an American pickpocket who has come to the island.
After picking up Helene and Paul De Bursac, Harry is spotted by a patrol boat, and Paul is wounded before they escape. Harry is surprised to find that Marie stayed in Martinique to be with him. At Frenchy's request, Harry removes the bullet from De Bursac's shoulder and learns that the De Bursacs have been assigned to help a man escape from Devil's Island. De Bursac asks for Harry's assistance, but Harry turns him down.
Later, the police, who recognized Harry's boat the previous night, reveal that they have Steve's buddy, a rummy, Eddie (Walter Brennan) in custody and will coerce him to tell the truth about the boat's cargo. At gunpoint, Harry forces the police to arrange for Eddie's release and sign harbor passes, so that he can take the De Bursacs to Devil's Island. Slim says goodbye to her piano-playing Cricket (Hoagy Carmichael). After Eddie returns, he, Harry and Marie leave Martinique for a more committed life together.
Howard Hughes sold the book rights to independent director Howard Hawks. Hawks sold the rights to Warner Bros. William Faulkner, "out of print and broke", was on the payroll, helping with the script.
This was Lauren Bacall's first film, at the age of 19. Howard Hawks' wife "Slim" noticed Bacall on the cover of Harper's Bazaar and showed the photo to her husband, who soon sought out Bacall and signed her for the role. After filming began, a romance developed between Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, despite the disapproval of Hawks. This romance eventually led to Bacall's first marriage and ended Bogart's marriage with Mayo Methot, his third wife. It created a memorable onscreen chemistry between Bogart and Bacall, which would be used to advantage in several other movies, such as The Big Sleep.
Although Hawks had a high regard for Hemingway's works in general, he considered To Have and Have Not his worst book, a "bunch of junk," and told Hemingway so; Hawks and Hemingway worked on the story 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. The setting was moved from Key West to Martinique. The screenplay was further developed by Jules Furthman, and, at the end, William Faulkner (an intense rival of Hemingway). In addition, Slim's part was greatly extended to take advantage of the Bogart-Bacall chemistry.
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