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]

Red River

  • Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Borden Chase, Charles Schnee
  • Genres: Western, Action, Adventure
  • Actors: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Walter Brennan

Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) is a stubborn man who wants nothing more than to start up a successful cattle ranch in Texas. Shortly after he begins his journey to Texas with his trail hand, Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan), Dunson learns that his love interest (Coleen Gray), whom he had told to stay behind with the wagon train with the understanding that he would send for her later, was killed in an Indian attack. Despite this tragedy, Dunson and Groot press on, only to chance on an orphaned boy named Matthew Garth (played as an adult by Montgomery Clift), whom Dunson effectively adopts. With only a couple head of cattle, Dunson and the boy enter Texas by crossing the Red River and Dunson proudly proclaims all the land about them as his own. Two Mexican men appear on horseback and inform Dunson that the land already belongs to their boss. Dunson dismisses this inconvenient fact, kills one of the men, and tells the other man to inform his boss that Dunson now owns the land. Dunson names his new spread the Red River D, after his chosen cattle brand for his herd. Fatefully, he promises to add M (for Matt) to the brand, once Matt has earned it.

When Matt reaches Abilene, he finds men there who have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of such a herd to buy it; Matt happily accepts an excellent offer for the cattle. Unknowingly, he has just completed the first cattle drive along what would become the Chisholm Trail. Shortly thereafter, Dunson arrives in Abilene with a posse to follow through with his vow to kill Matt. The two men begin a furious fight, which Tess interrupts by drawing a gun on both men and demanding that they realize the love that they share for each other. Dunson and Matt see the error of their ways and make peace with each other. The film ends with Dunson telling Matt that he will incorporate an M into the brand as he had promised to do years before.

My Darling Clementine

  • Directors: John Ford
  • Producers: Samuel G Engel
  • Writers: Story, Stuart N Lake, Sam Hellman, Screenplay, Samuel G Engel, Winston Miller
  • Genres: Drama, Western
  • Actors: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Walter Brennan

In 1882 (the wrong year is marked on the tombstone of James, since Oct 26th, 1881 was the date of the Gunfight at the OK Coral) the Earp brothers, Wyatt, James, Morgan and Virgil, are driving cattle to California when they cross the Clanton family led by the “Old Man”. Told of a nearby town, Tombstone, the older brothers ride in, leaving the youngest brother James to watch over the cattle. The Earps quickly find Tombstone a lawless town. When they return to their camp, they find the cattle rustled and James dead.

Seeking vengeance, Wyatt returns to Tombstone and takes the open job of town marshall, meeting with the local powers, Doc Holliday and the Clantons, again and again in order to find out who was responsible. In the meantime, a young woman from Boston named Clementine Carter arrives in town…

Bad Day at Black Rock

  • Directors: John Sturges
  • Producers: Dore Schary
  • Writers: Story, Howard Breslin, Screenplay, Don McGuire, Millard Kaufman
  • Genres: Drama, Thriller, Western
  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan

In 1945 John J. Macreedy (Spencer Tracy), a handicapped war veteran, steps off the Southern Pacific train at the desert hamlet of Black Rock. It is the first time the train has stopped there in four years. The little town has very few inhabitants and appears to be dying.

Macreedy is looking for a man named Komoko but the residents are inexplicably hostile. At the hotel, the young desk clerk, Pete Wirth (John Ericson), says all the rooms are full. The newcomer is none-too-subtly threatened by local tough Hector David (Lee Marvin). Reno Smith (Robert Ryan), the town’s leading citizen, tells Pete to give Macreedy a room. Smith informs Macreedy that Komoko no longer lives in Black Rock; as a Japanese-American he was interned for World War II.

Certain something is wrong, Macreedy sees the town sheriff, Tim Horn (Dean Jagger), but the lawman is an alcoholic and clearly afraid of Smith. The town physician and undertaker, Doc Velie (Walter Brennan), advises Macreedy to leave town immediately. Smith lets slip that Komoko is dead. Liz Wirth (Anne Francis), Pete’s sister, rents Macreedy a Jeep. Macreedy finds Liz to be the only civil person in town.

Macreedy drives to nearby Adobe Flats, where Komoko lived. He finds the homestead burned to the ground. He finds plenty of water in the well and a patch of wildflowers growing in the dust. On the way back, Coley Trimble (Ernest Borgnine) tries unsuccessfully to run him off the road.

As dawn breaks, Macreedy drives up to the town jail with the injured Smith and Liz’s body. Velie and Horn rush out. They had mustered up enough courage to jail Hector David and Coley Trimble. The state police are called in. As Macreedy gets ready to leave, Doc Velie asks him for Komoko’s medal to help Black Rock heal. Macreedy gives it to him and boards the train.

Rio Bravo

  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: B H McCampbell, Jules Furthman, Leigh Brackett
  • Genres: Western, Romance, Drama
  • Actors: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, John Russell, Harry Carey Jr 1

In the town of Rio Bravo, Dude (“Borachón”; played by Dean Martin), the town drunk, enters a saloon wanting a drink. Joe Burdette (Claude Akins), seeing Dude eying his glass, throws a silver dollar into a spittoon to mock him. Just as Dude goes for the spittoon, Presidio County, Texas, Sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne) kicks the spittoon away, looking at Dude with pity and disgust. As Chance turns to face Joe Burdette, Dude grabs a small piece of firewood and clubs Chance on the head, knocking him unconscious. Dude then starts toward Burdette, but two of his hired cow punchers grab Dude. Burdette starts to beat Dude with the two men holding him. A bystander grabs Burdette’s arm so he can’t swing on Dude again. Burdette draws his gun and shoots the bystander in the stomach. The close-up of Joe’s revolver discharging is the first close-up in the film. Burdette then leaves the saloon and heads for another one thinking that he can do no wrong.

In the second saloon, after Burdette has another drink, Sheriff Chance enters with his Winchester aimed at Burdette, to arrest him for the murder of the bystander. One of Burdette’s men then draws his Colt revolver on Chance and creates a stalemate. Dude enters behind two of Burdette’s men and then takes the revolver of the man standing in front of him and shoots the gun out of the hand of the Burdette man. Chance then whips Burdette across the face with the rifle, knocking him unconscious. Chance and Dude drag Burdette out of the saloon, headed for the jail.

Joe Burdette is the brother of a powerful rancher, Nathan Burdette (John Russell). The rancher’s men then quarantine the town in preparation to breaking Burdette out of jail. The only help Chance has are his deputies Dude and Stumpy (Walter Brennan), an old cripple. Pat Wheeler (Ward Bond), a wagoneer, enters town with a wagon load of supplies from Fort Worth. Tensions are further strained by the presence of a young gunslinger hired by Wheeler to guard his wagons, Colorado Ryan (Ricky Nelson), and the arrival of a mysterious woman, Feathers (Angie Dickinson), who becomes romantically involved with Chance.

The Pride of the Yankees

  • Directors: Sam Wood
  • Producers: Samuel Goldwyn
  • Writers: Paul Gallico, Jo Swerling, Herman J Mankiewicz
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Family, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Walter Brennan, Babe Ruth, Dan Duryea

The film emphasizes the personal relationships of Gehrig’s tragically short life, first, with his parents, especially his domineering mother, his friendship with the sportswriter, Sam, and, finally, the “storybook romance” and marriage to Eleanor. Although The Pride of the Yankees is often hailed as the greatest of all sports movies, the details of Gehrig’s baseball career are somewhat slighted, represented by montages of ballparks, pennants and Cooper swinging bats and running bases. His record of 2,130 consecutive games is prominently mentioned, yet the viewer is left to surmise his motive for such dedication. The real Lou Gehrig’s irrepressible exuberance for the game, his boyish delight in making the ball “jump” off his bat and in galloping around the bases as fast as he could, never quite makes it onto the screen.

Sergeant York

  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Producers: Howard Hawks, Jesse L Lasky, Hal B Wallis
  • Writers: Harry Chandlee, Abem Finkel, John Huston, Howard Koch
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, History, War
  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan

Alvin York (Gary Cooper), a poor Tennessee hillbilly, is an exceptional marksman, but a ne’er-do-well prone to drinking and fighting, which doesn’t make things any easier for his patient mother (Margaret Wycherly). He undergoes a religious awakening and turns his life around, assisted by Pastor Rosier Pile (Walter Brennan).

When York is drafted into the army for World War I, he tries to avoid induction as a conscientious objector due to his religious beliefs. His status as a true conscientious objector is rejected since his church has no official standing and he reluctantly reports for army basic training. During basic training, his superiors find out that he is a phenomenal marksman and promote him to corporal.

York still wants nothing to do with the army and killing. A sympathetic commanding officer lectures York about text from a U.S. history book. He gives York temporary leave to go home and think about fighting to save lives. York wants to read the U.S. history book and the officer gives it to him. He tells York that after his leave if he still doesn’t want to fight he will discharge him from the army. York reads the book, decides he will serve his country and reports back for duty. York decides to leave it in God’s hands, but still doubts he can kill someone because of his interpretation of the bible.

York later explains that he did what he did to hasten the end of the war and minimize the killing.