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To Have and Have Not(1944)

How many movies can boast of a Nobel prize-winning screenwriter adapting another Nobel laureate’s novel? Even though William Faulkner (in collaboration with Jules Furthman) took credit for this adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel, the project was the brainchild of director Howard Hawks. He had bet Hemingway he could make a good film out of the author’s worst novel. When Hemingway proposed To Have and Have Not, Hawks jettisoned most of the plot to create a story of a fishing boat captain (Humphrey Bogart) and an American expatriate (Lauren Bacall) hooking up in Martinique to smuggle Free France individuals past the Nazis. Hawks even wrote the famous “you know how to whistle?” scene, initially for Bacall’s screen test. He liked the test so much he not only cast the former model to make her screen debut but also added the scene to the script. Hawks also created one of the screen’s most enduring romantic teams when he directed Bacall to be more insolent than the famously insolent Bogart. He couldn’t expect that they’d fall in love, however. Their burgeoning romance gives the film a special electricity. When Bogie died years later, Bacall—his “Baby”—even put a whistle in his coffin to commemorate the film that had brought them together. (d. Howard Hawks, 100m, 35mm)

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