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Howard Hawks
Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Hoagy Carmichael
Writing Credits:
William Faulkner, Jules Furthman

During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Polish Monaural
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 7/19/2016

• “A Love Story” Featurette
• Vintage Merrie Melodies Short
• Lux Radio Broadcast
• Trailer


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


To Have And Have Not [Blu-Ray] (1944)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 14, 2016)

For fans of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, 2016 turned into a banner year. Warner Archives released all four of their films on Blu-ray this year, a quartet that finishes with their first pairing: 1944’s To Have And Have Not.

Based loosely on the 1937 Ernest Hemingway novel, Have takes us to the Caribbean island of Martinique circa 1940. Harry Morgan (Bogart) operates a boat for hire and maintains his political neutrality in the face of the burgeoning world war.

This changes as times passes, though, as Harry meets sexy young American Marie “Slim” Browning (Bacall). She captures Harry’s fancy and he decides that she needs to get away from the conflict. To facilitate this, Harry takes a partisan job to smuggle a leader of the French resistance.

On the surface, it would be easy to view Have as a semi-remake of 1942’s Casablanca. After all, both films share a mix of similarities, and not just due to Bogart’s presence in the lead.

Both Casablanca and Have focus on leaders of anti-Nazi resistance efforts and come with cynical main characters who abandon their political neutrality who act out of duty toward a woman. Throw in a bar where much of the action goes down and the similarities become unmistakable.

Despite all those commonalities, Have manages its own identity, mainly via the connection between Bogart and Bacall. In particular, Bacall delivers a stunning performance, one packed with confidence that belies her age at the time.

Only 19 during the shoot, Bacall shows remarkable presence on screen. Though Have marked her cinematic debit, Bacall demonstrates the magnetism of a veteran, one who more than holds her own when paired with Bogart.

And boy, does he love it! Bogart positively glows during his scenes with Bacall, as he can’t hide his wonder and admiration in the face of the precocious marvel in front of him. Even in their first pairing, Bogart and Bacall offer great chemistry, and that connection carries much of the film.

Otherwise, I admit Have seems more ordinary – perhaps partly due to those inevitable comparisons with Casablanca. Have gives us the lighter, sassier affair, one that comes with a less melancholy ending.

Whether or not this makes Have more satisfying depends on the viewer’s perspective. While I do enjoy the film’s comedy and action, Have lacks a great amount of depth, and I suspect that without the fire from Bogart and Bacall, it’d seem much more ordinary.

Which comes as a surprise given the pedigree behind Have. Even if we ignore the talent in front of the camera, Have boasts major notables. With Howard Hawks as director and William Faulkner as co-writer, how could Have come across as ordinary?

It doesn’t, but again, I think the actors do the heavy lifting in that regard. Have manages to give us an enjoyable tale that entertains, but I think it lacks the heft one would assume given the Hawks/Faulkner/Hemingway connection.

Still, I do like Have and find it to offer a likable film. While it may not live up to the billing implied by its talent, the movie manages to deliver a solid drama.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

To Have And Have Not appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Like most other Warner Archives presentations, this became a nice transfer.

Sharpness looked largely solid. Some process shots resulted in mild softness, and a couple of interiors lacked great delineation. Nonetheless, the image usually seemed well-defined. No jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes.

With a nice layer of grain, I suspected no intrusive digital noise reduction, and print flaws failed to mar the presentation. Blacks seemed dark and rich, while contrast appeared appealing. Shadows came across as smooth and concise. Warner Bros. usually does right by these older movies, and Have offered another fine image.

While not in the same league as the picture, the DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack of Have also worked well. Speech seemed reasonably accurate and distinct, with no issues related to intelligibility or edginess. Music came across as fairly bright and lively, though dynamic range seemed limited given the restrictions of the source.

Effects were similarly modest but they showed good clarity and accuracy within the confines of 72-year-old stems. This was a more than adequate auditory presentation for an older movie.

The Blu-ray features a handful of extras, and these launch with Bacall to Arms, a six-minute, 13-second Merrie Melodies short from 1946. We find it here because it includes a spoof that stars “Bogey Gocart” and “Laurie Bee Cool”. This never becomes a great cartoon but it’s a good addition to the set – though one that belies its era, so expect content we now view as racist.

A Love Story: The Story of To Have And Have Not runs 11 minutes, 17 seconds. It presents notes from film historians Robert Osborne and Leonard Maltin and Bogart biographer Eric Lax. “Story” discusses the source and its adaptation, cast/performances, and the personal implications of the Bogart/Bacall relationship. Despite the program’s brevity, “Story” covers matters pretty well.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a Lux Radio Broadcast. From October 1946, this adaptation of To Have And Have Not goes for 58 minutes, 58 seconds and brings both Bogart and Bacall back from the movie cast. Their presence adds value to the program and makes it fun.

When To Have And Have Not succeeds, it does so mainly via the chemistry between its two leads. The rest of the movie feels more ordinary, but it still manages to deliver an entertaining experience. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture as well as positive audio and supplements. Though not the best of the Bogart/Bacall efforts, Have nonetheless succeeds.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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