To Have and Have Not (1944)

To Have and Have Not
Bogart and Bacall

'To Have and Have Not' is a romantic war film made in 1944, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in their first movie together. They actually fell in love during the making of the movie and married soon after filming was finished. They worked together again in Hawks's follow up film in 1946, 'The Big Sleep' and their memorable partnership would continue in 'Dark Passage', and 'Key Largo'.

Hawks packs every scene in 'To Have and Have Not' with memorable dialogue: hilarious but sexy love talk between the stars ("You do know how to whistle?"), comedy relief sidekick Walter Brennan asking "Was you ever stung by a dead bee?", Hoagy Carmichael singing "Hong Kong Blues" and accompanying a husky Bacall on "How Little We Know?", and Bogie snarling at various petty officials and nasty fascists with the genuine voice of a democratic wise guy who won't put up with any totalitarian nonsense.

'To Have and Have Not' received an award from the National Board of Review and was one of the top 10 grossing films of 1944

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The film was only loosely based on the 1937 novel by Ernest Hemingway and is a decided improvement on it. It was an attempt by Warner Bros. to duplicate their massive, and unexpected success with 'Casablanca' in 1942. So the movie contains the same basic ingredients: Bogart again as the outwardly tough ex-patriate American with a soft and tender side, an exotic foreign locale during WWII (Martinique), a dramatic plot with French resistance fighters and a beautiful love interest to bring out Bogart's softer side. The love affair is given great play and almost edges WWII from centre stage.

The action takes place in 1940. Humphrey Bogart plays Harry Morgan who owns a fishing boat on the island of Martinique. He charters the boat out to tourists but because of the war business is bad. He reluctantly agrees to transport two Resistance members who are on the run from the Nazis from a nearby island to Martinique.

The real-life spark between Bogart and Bacall, in her first movie at age 19, as the girl who drifts into his life and takes over, leads to a more upbeat ending than the resigned romanticism of 'Casablanca'.


The book rights were sold by Hemingway in 1939 to the Hughes Tool Company. Howard Hawks bought the rights four years later and sold them to Warner Bros., making far more from them than Hemingway had done.

Shooting began on February 29, 1944, but only 36 pages of the screenplay had been completed, due to changes required by the Production Code office. The screenplay was rewritten several times, boosting Slim's role to take advantage of the public interest in the real-life romance between Bacall and Bogart. After 62 days, filming was completed on May 10, 1944.

Dolores Moran was originally scripted to be the lead actress and Humphrey Bogart's romantic interest, but her role as Bursac's wife was shrunk to make room for Lauren Bacall. In 1944 Bacall was an 18-year-old model. When she appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, she was noticed by Hawks' wife, who alerted her husband about the beautiful young star.

Main Cast

Humphrey Bogart ... Harry 'Steve' Morgan
Walter Brennan ... Eddie
Lauren Bacall ... Marie 'Slim' Browning
Dolores Moran ... Mme. Hellene de Bursac
Hoagy Carmichael ... Cricket
Sheldon Leonard ... Lt. Coyo
Walter Szurovy ... Paul de Bursac (as Walter Molnar)
Marcel Dalio ... Gerard (Frenchy)
Walter Sande ... Johnson, fishing customer
Dan Seymour ... Capt. M. Renard
Aldo Nadi ... Renard's bodyguard


Director ... Howard Hawks
Producer ... Howard Hawks
Distributor ... Warner Bros. Pictures
Executive Producer ... Jack L. Warner
Cinematography ... Sidney Hickox
Screenwriter ... Jules Furthman, William Faulkner
Original Music ... William Lava, Franz Waxman
Release date ... October 11, 1944
Format ... B & W
Running Time ... 100 minutes

Academy Awards

No Nominations