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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>
The scene showing the patrol boat firing at Morgan's boat, the machine gun is not recoiling, the bolt is not moving nor is there any gun smoke. This type of MG the bolt would recoil after every fired cartridge and would cause the whole gun to have some recoil effect. The gunner was just standing there, he would have to move his fingers or thumbs to fire the gun. 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 »
I've never read Ernest Hemingway's novel, but I'm aware that Hemingway felt this was his worst novel, and that apparently he and director Howard Hawks made some sort of wager that Hawks could turn this into a good movie. Sorry, but in my view, Hawks lost the wager. No doubt he had access to a great cast. Humphrey Bogart played the lead character of Harry Morgan - a fishing boat captain on the French island of Martinique during World War II who gets caught up in helping the French Resistance. The cast also featured Walter Brennan as his rummy sidekick Eddie, and this was Lauren Bacall's film debut as Morgan's love interest Slim. Even Hoagy Carmichael appears as the piano playing Cricket. So, the cast is great; the story unfortunately less so.
To me, it came across as a weak successor to the previous year's classic "Casablanca." In that classic, Bogie dealt with the challenge of helping the French Resistance and dealing with the Vichy authorities in North Africa. The idea is the same here, with the action transferred to the French West Indies. But the story takes a very long time in developing - it takes about an hour before we really know what's happening. That opening hour deals largely with Morgan's business relationship with Mr. Johnson, who rented his boat for fishing - which really had little to do with the story as it finally developed, and - admittedly just my opinion - Lauren Bacall is not the world's greatest singer! Where "Casablanca" provided an interesting study of the dilemma of French officials who had to choose between Vichy or de Gaulle, there was none of that here. The Vichy officials portrayed seem to have no hesitations or second thoughts about serving Vichy. In the end, everything seemed to fall together far too easily. There was no great build-up of suspense; neither was there any release of tension as it ended. It's certainly worth watching for fans of Bogie and Bacall, but in all honesty it's not a great movie.
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