To Have and Have Not

  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Producers: Howard Hawks, Jack L Warner
  • Writers: Novel, Ernest Hemingway, Screenplay, Jules Furthman, William Faulkner, Cleve F Adams, Whitman Chambers
  • Genres: Adventure, Romance, Thriller, War
  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Moran, Hoagy Carmichael

The film is set in the Caribbean city 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). Meanwhile, a romance unfolds between Harry and Marie ‘Slim’ Browning (Lauren Bacall), an American pickpocket who has come to the island.[1]

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.[2]

Later, the police, who recognized Harry’s boat the previous night, reveal that they have Harry’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 friend Cricket (Hoagy Carmichael). After Eddie returns, he, Harry and Marie leave Martinique for a more committed life together.[3]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *