A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Harry Morgan and his alcoholic sidekick, Eddie, are based on the island of Martinique and crew a boat available for hire. However, since the second world war is happening around them business is not what it could be and after a customer who owes them a large sum fails to pay they are forced against their better judgment to violate their preferred neutrality and to take a job for the resistance transporting a fugitive on the run from the Nazis to Martinique. Through all this runs the stormy relationship between Morgan and Marie "Slim" Browning, a resistance sympathizer and the sassy singer in the club where Morgan spends most of his days.Written by
Mark Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Howard Hawks gave John Huston the climax (a shootout on a boat) that he was unable to fit into the end of this film. Huston used this in Key Largo (1948) as he had been having difficulties coming up with a satisfactory ending. See more »
Just before Harry dumps water on Eddie's head, we see the scene from the side, and Eddie's mouth is open. It then cuts to an overhead shot and Eddie's mouth is closed. See more »
Martinique, in the summer of 1940, shortly after the fall of France.
Forte de France
Officer at port:
Good Morning, Captain Morgan. What can I do for you today?
Same thing as yesterday.
Officer at port:
You and your client wish to make a temporary exit from the port?
*That* is right.
Officer at port:
Ha - Harry Morgan.
[...] See more »
Derivative to the point of just plain weird, and it's more fun than intense or romantic...
To Have and Have Not (1944)
Is this the first post-modern film? Or the first total rip-off? Even the writer William Faulkner is in on recasting (and making almost invisible) Ernest Hemingway's novel.
But this says "Casablanca" all over it, from the opening shot of a map on. Then throw in Humphrey Bogart and a Sidney Greenstreet wannabe, have an engaging piano player at the center of the popular nightclub, and set it in an exotic part of the French Empire where the war is raging but you can hardly tell. Director Howard Hawks seems to be winking all the way to the box office and no one else seems to know it.
Not that people aren't trying hard. Certainly the romance has gone from some archetypal, dreamy impossibility (with Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca") to a very earthy and valid (and real) romance with Lauren Bacall. That's actually a big reason this movie has such fame, because the Bogart/Bacall chemistry is right there for us to watch, and I mean the people, not the characters. Another reason is Walter Brennan, who is so odd and so convincing at the same time you have to wonder. I think Hoagy Carmichael has to be appreciated, too, more than he usually is. He has a major secondary role, and is in the movie more than almost anyone, playing the piano in all kinds of moods...and really playing it, and singing, too (along with Bacall, a little).
But all this stuff never actually gels the way it should. It's almost like it knows it's imitative and so it doesn't try for actual high stakes drama or romance. If you think otherwise, give "Casablanca" another look, and besides much better screen writing, and much better photography, you'll see some basic emotional wires attached that are only superficial here--the War itself, for one thing, and patriotism, and love lost (rather than just love found), and sacrifice of all kinds. And some character actors to beat the band--there is no one here to match Peter Lorre, or Sidney Greenstreet.
These are fair comparisons because Hawks invites them. But since it is all knowing, does that make this a commercial one-off, the director and his buddy Bogart winking, at least, at each other? Maybe. Or maybe it's the first dip into an irony about movies, and about the reality and artificiality that goes with that, that is deliberate and yet can't show its hand too clearly because the audience is frankly not as jaded and cold as the people making the movies. It's a really fun movie, but it'll keep you on the surfaces, and if you want depth, don't be disappointed.
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