Review by Trylon volunteer Maria Gomez
In few films has there been the kind of intense chemistry between two actors as that of Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. They had that sizzling heat that turned them into one of the most exciting couples to watch onscreen. It is the same heat that would later turn into a life-long love affair both with their audience and each other.
In Howard Hawks’ 1944 film, To Have and Have Not, Bogart plays Captain Harry Morgan in what would seem to be a supportive role to Bacall’s “Slim”. Bacall would incessantly steal the spotlight, which Bogart encouraged her to do during the film. Harry is a lone fisherman in Martinique only interested in good times and making money with the help of his frequently inebriated side-kick, Eddie (Walter Brennan). When Harry is propositioned by the hotel owner Frenchy (Marcel Dalio) come to his aid in transporting some friends by boat, Harry quickly turns down the offer in fear of getting involved in matters that don’t concern him. As money becomes tight due to an abrupt financial loss, Harry finds himself reluctantly accepting Frenchy’s offer just so he can stay afloat and get his money back. Of course nothing can be a simple as all that.
Bacall’s debut would be legendary as she politely inquires, “Anybody got a match?” In this scene, Bacall would make history as she would help to create the legendary “Look” in which she would always keep her head slightly tilted down, to help stop her quivering from nervousness. Bacall gives “Slim” a kind of conniving tenderness that reveals a soft center with a hard shell. She’s a woman who has a foggy past and has been through some rough waters but she’s a survivor at heart. Matched with Harry’s cautious nature, killer instincts, and some mysteries of his own, we start to see the beginning of a beautiful friendship. — Maria Gomez
Maria Gomez has been a volunteer with Trylon since 2010. She works in animal poison control and is a proud co-parent of four cats.
To Have and Have Not screens Friday and Saturday, February 27 and 28 at 7:00 and 9:00, and Sunday, March 1 at 5:00 and 7:00 at the Trylon. Advance tickets are $8.00, and you can purchase them here.