Analysis Of Casablanca

Many feel that Casablanca is Bogart’s best film. I disagree – but for
those who don’t To Have and Have Not is a must-see film. It’s
Casablanca with a different setting, this time we find Bogart playing
Harry Morgan, crewing a ship out for hire. His lovely lady is Lauren
Bacall in her motion picture debut playing the dark and mysterious Slim.
Teamed up with Harry’s alcoholic side-kick Eddie, Cricket the night-club
manager by night, resistance sympathizer by day, and a cast of
supporters, Bogart and Bacall’s adventures are as great on screen as
they were off screen.
The film is based off Ernest Hemmingway’s novel of the same name.
Interestingly enough the film was made as part of a challenge between
Hemmingway and the film’s director, Howard Hawks. Hawks claimed that he
could take Hemmingway’s worst novel and turn it into a good film. The
result was a success – though the film is a far cry from the novel – so
far the film’s title doesn’t even make sense. To Have and Have Not has
every necessary ingredient for success: sex, violence, suspense, and the
occasional musical interlude. Hawks gives us a little of everything in
his hacked-up version of Hemmingway, and when the sparks start to settle
he has Bacall do a little number at the piano bar which may be
irrelevant, but Bacall’s lovely and libidinous manor far makes up for
it. The film may lack class but it’s all the more entertaining because
of it.

Bacall and Bogart strike a match at the start of the film and the flame
outlives Bogart. The chemistry is so strong between the two that you
can’t help but believe there is more to their romance then what’s
scripted. You’re right too – Bogart and Bacall fell in love during
production and were married. This off-screen chemistry is a definite
contributor to their on-screen performances. Bogart offers no surprises
with his performance in this film, he is the same as he always is,
different costume, different name, same Humphry Bogart. This time he
has found a leading lady to compliment his style. Bacall shines in To
Have or Have Not. Her style is borderline raunchy, but it is her show
that ultimately adds class to the film. It is Bacall’s performance that
makes you feel that you are watching something artistic, rather than
something that was produced off an assembly line as most films were in
the 1940’s
. The film is set in Martinique during World War II. Wartime makes
finding work hard for Bogart, forcing him to break his neutrality and
take a job smuggling in a fugitive. Of course this leads to trouble:
there are gun rights both by land and by sea, intense questionings by a
fat French police officer and his abnormally skinny sidekicks, and
gripping scenes that are undoubtedly inspirational the writers and
producers of ER where Harry Morgan shows us he can not only pilot a ship
but remove bullets and dress wounds too. Morgan takes such charge in
this film that he is running the nigh club/hotel by the end, with an
infirmary in the basement and a love shack upstairs.

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The entire cast of this film pulls off strong performances. Bogart
makes an impression – but Bacall makes a bigger one and together the
pair really packs a wallop. Bacall and Bogart steam up the screen
without so much as unbuttoning a button. Bacall isn’t without
competition, however. It wouldn’t be a Bogart film if there weren’t
multiple women throwing themselves at Bogart, and To Have or Have Not
holds tradition. Bacall offers us classic comedy as the jealous yet
proud Slim. Only she could say “You know how to whistle Steve, you just
put your lips together and blow” and still preserve class and dignity.
Walter Eddie plays a great drunk, adorably and loveably.
It would be too easy to attribute this film’s success to Bacall or
Bogart. Sure, they are both forces to be reckoned with, but not even
these two can carry an entire film. Only top-notch film making can make
a good film – and that doesn’t mean knowing how to make a film artistic


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