TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944) was the first film to throw together the now legendary on and off screen couple, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Their chemistry is immediately apparent on screen, full of clever jabs, inside jokes, Bacall’s sultry, taunting eyes, and Bogart’s amused half smile. From moment to moment it is a cat and mouse game between them, though you never know for sure who is the cat and who is the mouse. While the plot of the film falls a bit short and feels like a noir version of a CASABLANCA (1943) remake, Bogart and Bacall’s on screen spark ultimately makes this a great film. It’s like watching two kids with a chemistry set: each adding elements that may cause an explosion, and each watching the other to see who will flinch first. Bogart and Bacall are so great in this film just being the Bogart and Bacall we love, that the jumbled plot about the French resistance feels secondary, and separate from their romance.
Tag: To Have and Have Not
Attending a double feature screening of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT and THE BIG SLEEP is like going to the factory where they make Reese’s. You have the peanut butter (Humphrey Bogart) and the chocolate (Lauren Bacall). Both are independently delicious items, but items nonetheless. Paired together in just the right way, they make an indelible combination that is problematically delicious. It hits the spot. And you will want more. Lucky for you, in a double feature, that is exactly what you get.