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HUMPHREY BOGART & LAUREN BACALL 'TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT'

Title: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT Year: 1944 Rating: ***1/2

After Lauren Bacall, in her first feature film, says her iconic line about knowing how to whistle and leaves the room, there's a closeup on American charter boat captain Harry 'Steve' Morgan played by Humphrey Bogart, where he practically looks into the camera while doing a wolf-whistle, giving a knowing grin that seems more like a contrived promotion for the lovely newcomer than part of an action thriller, very loosely based on the novel... originally a magazine serial in pulp fiction style... by Ernest Hemingway...

However there are a few faithful elements, like the initial fishing trip with irate customer Walter Sande and Bogart's rummy sidekick Walter Brennan, who needs a drink every minute... only this being a movie, the score Mickey Mouses in a dated fashion (mirroring exact character movements), especially with Brennan who, despite being a pathetic lush, is the supposed comic relief in a picture with comedy as one of the genres...

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT

Not sure exactly why because the sparse plot, of Bogart hired to ship a boatload of French Resistance Fighters back to the island.. the most anticipated and suspenseful action sequence... is pretty darn grim, before and after reminding audiences of some extremely important elements of that time... Nazis and World War II... making TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT a looser version of the palpably patriotic CASABLANCA, including an initially apolitical anti-hero in a central hotel/nightclub, with pianist Hoagy Carmichael performing soft Latin or Orient influenced tunes in place of the more natural and fitting Arthur "Play It Again Sam" Wilson...

Meanwhile the chemistry between Bogart and the primary joint's secret pickpocket and sporadic singer Bacall differs from Ingrid Bergman in CASABLANCA since she's not winsome and wispy but the kind of perfect woman not only in looks, but is tough and resilient, like male heroes were depicted back then — so her and Bogey, without the distracting Brennan, could have handled those lethargic German-backed villains just fine on their own... because she needed far more scenes, but without the off-key crooning. 

Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Lauren Bacall in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Lauren Bacall in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT with Dolores Moran
Hoagy Carmichael in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Hoagy Carmichael in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT with with Dolores Moran & Joy Barlow
Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT with Lauren Bacall
Credits for TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Credits for TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Lauren Bacall in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT with Lauren Bacall
Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
The Big Heat actor Dan Seymour and Walter Brennan in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Humphrey Bogart and Walter Brennan in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT with Dan Seymour
Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT with Walter Brennan and Walter Sande
Humphrey Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT with Walter Sande

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