Tuesday, December 2, 2008

To Have and To Have Not

Howard Hawks, 1944, bw (7.6*)
This was the sultry Lauren Bacall’s dazzling screen debut, as she steals this version of an Ernest Hemingway story from star Humphrey Bogart, as well as his heart, soon becoming Mrs. Bogart (anyone can see why!). William Faulkner actually co-scripted this story (with Jules Furthman), very reminiscent of Casablanca (from 2 years earlier), of a selfish American in French Vichy territory, in this case Martinique. Bogart runs a deep-sea fishing charter service with alcoholic buddy Walter Brennan, apparently here for humor, and tries to remain apolitical. Victor Buono steals scenes as a polite but slimy Vichy official hunting down anti-Nazis on the island. Obviously not as good as Casablanca, and bogged down by some unnecessary songs (Bacall sings! but 3-4 times? down a star for this...), but still worth seeing as an example that era’s romances, where the war was present but took a back seat to onscreen seduction.
Quote: Waz ya ever bit by a dead honey bee? (Brennan)
Quote2: You do know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow. (Bacall)


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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