To Have and Have Not Review – You Know How to Whistle, Steve?

You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.
– Lauren Bacall’s character Slim to Steve (Humphrey Bogart) in To Have and Have Not (1944).

Guys, they don’t make gals like Lauren Bacall no more. They broke the mold after her.

Great looks! Great class! Great grace! Great carriage!

Great sex appeal. 😉 Oh boy, what a dusky voice!

And all we desis are left with is crass dregs like Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Trisha Krishnan et al.

Ain’t that a mighty shame.

Lauren Bacall alone makes To Have and Have Not worth watching.

But with Bogie present as well, our cup of joy overfloweth.

Tis’ no secret to the schmucks and wastrels who gather here that we’re great fans of the late Hollywood legend Humphrey Bogart a.k.a. Bogie.

So after watching Bogie’s gritty, outdoor film Treasure of the Sierra Madre, we turned to To Have and Have Not for a whiff of romance.

In the company of a friend visiting from Maastricht, we plonked down to watch the black and white film To Have and Have Not with a glass of Appleton Jamaican Rum (21-years) to keep our spirits high. 😉

Fine Entertainer
To Have and Have Not, which by the way is based on Ernest Hemingway’s eponymous novel, turned out to be more than a decent entertainer.

Besides Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (who went on to become Bogie’s real-life wife soon after this film debuted), the movie also features three-time Oscar winner Walter Brennan.

Like Bogie’s earlier film Casablanca (1942), To Have and Have Not too is set in the war years and in French territory. As in Casablanca, a lot of To Have and Have Not is filmed in a bar/restaurant.

While Casablanca was set in its namesake city, events in To Have and Have Not happen in Martinique in the Caribbean.

Bogie is Steve, a charter boat captain ferrying rich tourists around in Vichy-controlled Martinique. Brennan plays Eddie, Steve’s drunken sidekick.

Into their world come a bunch of newcomers who threaten to upend their daily routine.

The first is Slim, an American girl of limited means who drifts in from some place we can’t remember now and then a bunch of French Resistance fighters who seek Steve’s help to transport two members of the resistance.

At first, Steve steadfastly refuses the importunate pleadings of the Resistance members but then all hell breaks loose in the bar giving an adrenalin shot to the the hitherto languid pace of the movie.

Impressive Performances
Like with a lot of movies from that era, the acting in To Have and Have Not is solid.

Bogie, Bacall and Brennan distinguish themselves with fine performances.

Brennan as the drunken sidekick is picture-perfect (whatever that expression means). His sui generis walk alone is worthy of an Oscar.

Bacall is impressive too.

Make that very impressive considering this was Bacall’s first movie. Cast opposite two stalwarts, Bacall still held her own.

Bogie is, as usual, charming. Never more so than when he responds to Slim’s seductive whistling question.

The chemistry between Bogie and Bacall is great, perhaps a reflection of the growing love between the two actors.

All in all, 100 minutes of our life well spent. recommends To Have and Have Not. You can rent the DVD from Netflix if you live in the U.S.

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