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>
Ernest Hemingway's novel was set in Cuba and the Florida Keys in the 1930s and his Harry Morgan was a booze runner. Jules Furthman's early drafts retained this setting. The Office of Inter-American Affairs raised an objection to the filming of the novel because of its depiction of deep corruption and violence in Cuba. Part of the Roosevelt administration's "Good Neighbor Policy" was to encourage positive cooperation among the American nations to discourage the infiltration of Axis influence. The Inter-American Affairs office carefully monitored popular culture, especially motion pictures, and encouraged upbeat depictions of cooperation. Warners and Howard Hawks were not about to cancel the film outright. By most accounts, it was William Faulkner who saved the picture by suggesting a shift to the Vichy-controlled island of Martinique, which was not only out of the influence of the Inter-American office, it also afforded the opportunity to add Gestapo-influenced villainy. See more »
When Harry Morgan is sitting in the bar, the bottle on his table moves around and disappears between shots. 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 »
This film has nothing to do with the Ernest Hemingway's book, which is not one of his best novels. Howard Hawks took a big gamble in trying to have the great Hemingway write the screen treatment, but Papa didn't comply with the request. Instead, Mr. Hawks hired two other writers to work on the scenario for this movie, William Faulkner and Jules Furthman, not too shabby a combination! Mr. Hawks had an enormous talent for giving the American public films that were entertaining, as well as well crafted. Mr. Hawks is responsible for discovering Lauren Bacall, a young model from New York with no experience in the cinema. Well, Mr. Hawk's instinct paid handsomely as Lauren Bacall went to have a fabulous career of her own.
This film is interesting as well, for it marked the beginning of the romance between Mr. Bogart and Ms. Bacall. Their love is there in front of the viewers to see. This movie shows us a Bogey with a heart. He was an actor that excelled in this type of picture and under Mr. Hawks's direction, his Capt. Morgan makes a remarkable impression.
The story has all the right ingredients to keep us interested in what is going on with all these characters in Martinique. World War II makes a detour and comes to the island.
The cast for this movie is first rate. Humphrey Bogart is a tough Capt. Morgan who falls head over heels for young and lovely "Slim" Browning, a mysterious young woman who loves adventure. Ms. Bacall has a way to sing a song that makes it unique because of her sense of style. Both these stars smolder the screen in their love scenes.
Walter Brennan plays Eddie, the drunken sailor that helps Morgan take tourists on fishing junkets. Marcel Dalio, is Frenchy, the owner of the local hotel; he is the one responsible for putting Morgan in touch with the partisans operating in the island. Dolores Moran and Walter Szurovy are the De Bursac, who are smuggled into the island by Morgan, at his own risk; they are sought by the local branch of the Gestapo.
Hoagy Carmichael, the great musician puts an appearance as Cricket, a pianist that entertains at the hotel lounge. The three musical numbers are done flawlessly. Mr. Carmichael's rendition of "Hong Kong blues" stays in one's mind forever. Also we hear two other of his songs, "Am I blue?", and a sultry rendition by Lauren Bacall of his hit, "How little we know". Hearing sung by Bacall makes any other interpretation superfluous.
This is a film to see to enjoy great acting under the magnificent direction of Howard Hawks.
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