Directed by Howard Hawks, To Have and Have Not (1944) is a romance-war-adventure film. It starred Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, in her first film. Although it is nominally based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway, the story was extensively altered for the film. Howard Hughes sold the book rights to independent director Howard Hawks, who sold them to Warner Bros. William Faulkner, “out of print and broke”, was on the payroll, helping with the script.
This was Lauren Bacall’s first film, at the age of 19. Hawks’ wife “Slim” noticed Bacall on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and showed the photo to her husband, who soon sought out Bacall and signed her for the role. After filming began, a romance developed between Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, despite the disapproval of Hawks. This romance eventually led to the end of Bogart’s marriage to Mayo Methot, his third wife, and to Bacall and Bogart getting married. The memorable onscreen chemistry between Bogart and Bacall, would continue in The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo.
The film is set in the Caribbean city of Fort de France, Martinique, under the Vichy regime in the summer of 1940, shortly after the fall of France to the Germans. In this exotic location, the world-weary fishing-boat captain Harry ‘Steve’ Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) is urged to help the French Resistance smuggle some people onto the island. He refuses, until the client, Johnson (Walter Sande), who has been hiring out his fishing boat (and owes him $825) is accidentally shot before paying him.
Watch the famous “whistle” scene with Spanish subtitles.