Thursday, July 21, 2011

#358: To Have and Have Not

Directed by: HOWARD HAWKS
1944, TSPDT Rank #258

Essentially a remake of Casablanca, Hawk's version (with the screenplay written by William Faulkner from a Hemingway novel) is just as good or even better. It follows the basic criteria set forth by Jean-Luc Godard ("All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun") duly, and in great style. The girl is Lauren Bacall at the tender age of 19 - but her character is anything but what her ages suggests. She's commanding, fiery, and her chemistry with Bogart is smoldering - in fact so hot that it at times that she could bend and melt him to her will, all with a mere whistle. Of all the female co-stars Bogart has had, Bacall goes with him the best of any of them. If To Have and Have Not succeeds more, it's probably mainly for the fact that Bogart's relationship with Bacall fills a void that is present in his romance with Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. This film also provides a perfect role for Walter Brennan that gives it the touch of brevity it needs to sail smoothly. And sail smoothly it does. A near masterpiece.

(Rating: 9/10)

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