The All-Thing

All carrot and no stick, since ought-three.

奉濟驛重送嚴公四韻 (杜甫)


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Mon, 28 Jul 2003
To Have and Have Not

Just saw To Have and Have Not this evening. What a great movie.

In a lot of ways it's similar to Casablanca —American girl meets guy in a bar situated in a foreign country in the midst of scary military action. But To Have and Have Not has Lauren Bacall, and holy shit is she ever sexy. I mean, Ingrid Bergman and Katharine Hepburn had their moments, but Lauren Bacall was a fucking goddess. Her first scene where, leaning against the hotel door, she asks Harry for a light, is probably the sultriest moment ever captured on film.

The plot overall is not really amazing (though at least it's simple enough to follow, for once) and none of the characters particularly stands out, in my mind, in comparison with, say, Joel Cairo from The Maltese Falcon. But the interaction between Bogart and Bacall is excellent and drives the entire movie. They get some fantastic dialogue. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? Just put your together... and blow."

The cherry on the icing was the whole smokey French/tropical hotel bar environment, which was really appealing to me, and the live music, which was excellent. Definitely my kind of atmosphere.

And it wasn't all just acting, apparently. It was on the set of To Have and Have Not that Bogart and Bacall met, and fell in love. When they married, soon after, Bogart was 44 and Bacall was 19, and Bogart had just divorced his third wife to marry her. Fourteen years later, he died of cancer.

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