I see from Our Girl’s last posting that she’s on a Howard Hawks kick, of which I heartily approve. Oddly enough, I happened to watch To Have and Have Not day before yesterday, during my self-imposed two-day sabbatical from blogging, and it pleased me greatly, as it always does. I seem to recall that I described it as “Casablanca for grownups” when I posted the newly released DVD in the Top Five module of the right-hand column a couple of months ago. That’s true enough, but it doesn’t mean To Have and Have Not isn’t entertaining, just that it doesn’t take itself seriously, as Casablanca does. On the other hand, it isn’t a nudge-and-wink self-parody, either, like John Huston’s over-clever Beat the Devil, a Humphrey Bogart film for people who don’t like Humphrey Bogart films. The very idea of Truman Capote writing dialogue for Bogart makes me giggle, and not in the right way, either.
I wouldn’t call To Have and Have Not Bogart’s best film (that prize goes to Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place), nor is it Hawks’ best (Rio Bravo is a bit better). But it nails the number-two spot on both lists, which is hard to beat. If you haven’t seen it, do.
Let us know what you thought of To Have and Have Not, OGIC. I think you’ll find it a perfect hoot. In the right way.