Friday, October 15, 2021

Ernest Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not" on the Motion Picture Screen and on Radio

If you want me, just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.

Ernest Hemingway never wrote the classic line most associated with the 1944 motion picture version of his, "To Have and Have Not". So, what did Hemingway write?

Above, Ernest Hemingway in Spain during the "Spanish Civil War", around 1937. When to "Have and Have Not" was published, below, the cover of the "First Edition".

The novel was written in pieces, the first piece was entitled, "One Trip Across", and was published in "Cosmopolitan Magazine", three years before the novel, in 1934. Another portion of what became the novel, entitled, "The Tradesman's Return", was published in "Esquire Magazine", one year before the novel, in 1936. Both stories introduce Hemingway's "Harry Morgan", and the novel would have been written in 1936, but the "Spanish Civil War" broke out and reporter Ernest Hemingway left for Spain.

The Main Characters of the Actual Novel:

"Harry Morgan", Hemingway's main character, owns a charter fishing boat out of Key West, Florida. He's a pragmatist, who goes through life looking at everything in terms of his own survival, others be damned. "Morgan's" mate and long time friend, "Albert Tracy", describes him saying that:
Since he was a boy, he never had no pity for nobody. But he never had no pity for himself either.  

"Marie Morgan", "Harry's wife", was in her past a prostitute, but Hemingway presents her as a sympathetic character with three children that has gone to fat, but compared to the other women of the novel. "Marie" is a decent human being and a woman full of love, in contrast to her husband. 

"Albert's" wife, with her ever present loose dentures, and the "Old Rummy Eddie", who works for "Harry" on occasion, make-up the other, "Have Nots", of the novel's title. 

"The Have's", are represented by the character of "Richard Gordon". "Gordon" is based upon Hemingway's one-time friend, author, John Dos Passos, and is described as a second-rate writer. Whose success is based upon his changing political views, that reflect whatever the current popular social convictions are, obviously Ernest Hemingway changed his mind about his one-time friend.

"Gordon's" wife, "Helen", presents herself as a highly civilized and well respected wealthy woman. However, in reality, "Helen" is described as a rich neurotic slut with the morals of the lowest prostitute in the Keys, and delights in treating "Richard" viscously. 

Another, "Have", is the wealthy man, "Johnson", that bilks "Harry Morgan", by not paying for a three-week fishing charter.

The Novel's Basic Plot Concerning Harry and Marie Morgan:

Set in "Depression Era" Florida, "Harry Morgan", runs a fishing charter between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba, but as a result of being bilked by "Johnson". "Harry Morgan" finds himself stranded, without gasoline for his boat, in Havana. He is approached by a Chinese man with a means for to purchase gasoline and make a quick profit in the deal. "Harry" agrees to smuggle a group of Chinese immigrants to Florida, but instead, double-crosses them, murders the go-between, and strands the immigrants on the Cuban shore. 

Enter, Sleazy lawyer, "Bee-lips Simmons", who needs someone to run guns to Cuba revolutionaries, and "Harry" agrees. However, at one point, "Harry's" boat is seized by the U.S. Coast Guard and impounded in the local Naval Yard. Next, "Bee-Lips" arranges a meeting with four alleged Cuban revolutionaries for "Harry" to smuggle into Cuba from the United States. "Morgan" plans another of his double-crosses, but after he gets his boat out of the Navy yard, it's spotted and taken once more. To complete his end of the deal, "Harry Morgan"  acquires another man's boat to use, and at the dock, before  he meets with the revolutionaries, "Marie Morgan", loads his Thompson submachine gun for him, and watches her husband leave to get his passengers and is experiencing a feeling of dread that she may not see him again.

Actually, "Bee-lips" has gotten "Harry" mixed up with Cuban bank robbers and murderers. At the pick-up point, they shoot and kill "Albert", and have to force "Harry Morgan" to take them to sea. In a gunfight on-board the boat, "Harry" shoots and kills "Bee-lips" and the Cubans, but gets himself  "Gut-Shot" and will die in a hospital on shore.

At the end, "Marie" decides it useless to attend "Harry's" funeral and will reconsider what her life with him has been like. 

The way the novel is constructed, it skips back and forth, between "Harry's" story and what happens to "Helen" and "Richard Gordon". It also speaks to other "Have and Have Not's", while the Coast Guard tows the boat containing "Harry Morgan" past them.

The First Motion Picture and a Warner Brothers Cartoon

Three events took place prior to the start of filming for the 1944 feature version of "To Have and Have Not"

The first was back in May of 1939, when Ernest Hemingway sold the book rights to "Hughes Tool Company", owned by independent director Howard Hawks' friend, Howard Hughes.

The second, is according to an October 21 to 23, 1977 interview, by Howard Hawks to Joseph McBride, for the "Directors Guild of America". Howard Hawks stated that he and Ernest Hemingway took a ten-day fishing trip and during it. Hawks told Hemingway, that he could turn his worst novel into a motion picture. Howard Hawks considered "To Have and Have Not", that worse novel, and apparently the two men, while on the fishing trip, wrote a screenplay. The two agreed their screenplay wouldn't resemble the novel and would center upon how "Marie" met "Harry", with changes to both characters.

The third event took place in October 1943, when Howard Hawks purchased the rights to the novel from the "Hughes Tool Company". Upon learning that Hawks made ten-times more money on selling the rights than he did, according to writer Gene D. Phillips, in his 1980, "Hemingway and Film", Ernest Hemingway supposedly didn't speak to Howard Hawks for three-months, 

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT released on October 11, 1944.

The obvious choice for director of the feature, was the co-producer with Jack L. Warner, Howard Hawks. His latest release was 1943's, "Air Force", starring John Garfield. Hawks had also, without credit, help direct, or maybe completely direct, his friend Howard Hughes, 1943, "The Outlaw", introducing Jane Russell, but that's another story. After this picture, Howard Hawks directed the motion picture version of author Raymond Chandler's, "The Big Sleep", in 1946, with the two leads from this feature.

Hawks had made a classic John Wayne Western in 1959, liked it so much, he remade it twice. My article, "Howard Hawks' 'Rio Bravo' Remade (?) as 'El Dorado' and 'Rio Lobo' Starring John Wayne", can be found at:

This screenplay appears to be, at least, partly based upon the one Hemingway wrote with Hawks. The film's official listing only shows Hemmingway's novel and never mentions that other screenplay, or credits Hemingway for it. There are two credited screenplay writers for this motion picture.

Jules Furthman, is credited as the main writer and would work with Howard Hawks on several others, the next being, 1946's, "The Big Sleep".  Furthman had written the screenplay for Howard Hughes version of the Billy the Kid legend, 1943's, "The Outlaw".

However, Furthman's co-writer is of more interest, because this was novelist William Faulkner. Prior to this motion picture, among his other screenplays, Faulkner was the uncredited "contributor" to director George Stevens', 1939, "Gunga Din", director John Ford's, 1939, "Drums Along the Mohawk", and, Howard Hawks' own, 1943, "Air Force". William Faulkner would join Furthman on Hawks', 1946, "The Big Sleep", with a third writer, Leigh Brackett, known as "The Queen of Space Opera".

How Howard Hawks met Leigh Brackett and her writing the original screenplay for "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back", is part of my article, "Leigh Brackett: Howard Hawks and John Wayne Meet the 'Queen of Space Opera", for your enjoyment at:

The two uncredited screenplay writers were, Cleve F. Adams, and Whitman Chambers. 

Humphrey Bogart portrayed the renamed, "Harry 'Steve' Morgan". " Bogie" had just been seen in director Michael Curtiz's, 1944, "Passage to Marseille", co-starring Claude Rains and Michele Morgan. He would follow this picture with 1945's, "Conflict", co-starring with Alexis Smith and Sydney Greenstreet.

I'm sure my reader associates Bogart with roles like the one and in the two other films I just mentioned, but I would like to introduce you to another Humphrey Bogart role. My article, "Humphrey Bogart: Horror Movie Actor", can be read at:

Walter Brennan portrayed "Eddie". Brennan, who was second billed in this motion picture, had just starred in director Henry Hathaway's, 1944, "Home in Indiana". Walter Brennan followed this picture with third billing behind, Bob Hope and Virginia Mayo, in 1944's, "The Princess and the Pirate".


Lauren Bacall portrayed the renamed, "Marie 'Slim' Browning". At the time, Bacall was an 18-years-old model who had appeared on the cover of "Harper's Bazaar" magazine. Howard Hawks' wife Nancy saw the cover and suggested Bacall for the role. This would be Lauren Bacall's first motion picture and lead to her marriage to Humphrey Bogart.

In the above picture of Lauren Bacall is composer, singer, and pianist, Hoagy Carmichael portraying "Cricket", a minor "Have Not" from the Hemmingway novel. Among Carmichael's compositions would be, "Stardust", "Georgia on My Mind", and, "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening".

Bacall's character is no longer married to "Harry Morgan" and has a different last name. "Harry" and "Marie", throughout the screenplay, call each other by the names, "Steve" and "Slim". Which just happens to be the nicknames Howard Hawks and his wife, Nancy, called each other. 

There is no "Albert" in the screenplay and Walter Brennan's "Eddie", who calls Bogart "Harry", has become a combination of both Hemmingway characters.

The "Gordon's" are now "Mme. Hellene de Bursac", played by Dolores Moran, and, "Paul de Bursac", played by Walter Szurovy. The reason for the name changes, is that the story was moved from "Key West, Florida", during the "Great Depression", to, "Fort-de-France", on the island of "Martinique", during "Vichy France's" occupation in the Second World War.  "Paul de Bursac" is now a major leader of the Resistance. 

In the following still, the United States Coast Guard has been replaced by the French Vichy police. Below, on Bogart's left, Dan Seymour as "Capt. M. Renard", and, Aldo Nadi as "Renard's bodyguard". To Bogart's right, are Sheldon Leonard as "Lieutenant Coyo", and Marcel Dailio as "Gerard aka: Frenchy", the Hotel owner and contact to the French resistance, with Bacall in the foreground.

Walter Sande is the only untouched character from Hemingway's novel, portraying "Johnson, the rich bilker".

The Basic Plot:

"Harry Morgan" was running a fishing charter out of "Fort-de-France" on the island of "Martinique", before Hitler invaded Poland. It is now mid-1940, France has just fallen to Hitler's Germany, and the Nazi allies, the Vichy French, have come to power on the island, While, "Harry," keeps an uneasy relationship with the Vichy Police under "Capt. Renard".

"Eddie" was a very good first mate and close friend before the War, but he started to drink and is not dependable all the time. "Harry's" current client, an American named "Johnson", owes him $825, but claims he doesn't have it with him and will get it the next day after the banks open.

Back at their hotel, the owner, "Frenchy Gerard", approaches "Harry" to smuggle some French Resistance people onto the island  from Key West, but "Morgan" does not want to get involved in the current political situation. 


Next, "Harry" meets a young American woman recently arrived from Rio by plane, named "Marie Browning". He will start calling her "Slim", because of how slim she is. Apparently, "Marie" arrived on Martinique, because that was as far as her money would take her from Brazil. A now drunken "Johnson" makes a pass at "Slim" and she goes over to the piano and "Cricket" to avoid him. He starts playing a song and she sings a duet with the piano player of "How Little We Know".

Below, as of this writing, is a link that will take my reader to hear Lauren Bacall sing the song:

"Marie's" duet will lead to a job and income as a singer, but immediately upon finishing her song. "Harry" watches the young woman lift "Johnson's" wallet and go upstairs to her room. He follows her, takes the wallet from "Marie", opens it, finds $1,400 in traveler's cheques and a plane ticket on a flight leaving before the banks open.

"Harry" returns the wallet to "Johnson" and makes him sign some of the travelers cheques to cover his expenses. Suddenly, shots ring out on the street as a gunfight between the Resistance and the Vichy Police starts, but it moves into the hotel's bar and "Johnson" is killed by a stray bullet.


After the shooting stops, the police seize "Johnston's" wallet, "Harry's" money and the traveler's cheques, and takes him and some others to the police station.

Later, back at the hotel, "Gerard" approaches, the now almost penniless, "Harry Morgan", and offers to pay him a large amount of money to take Resistance leader "Paul de Bursac" and his wife, "Helene" to a nearby islet on Martinique. Without any choices left to him for income, "Harry" accepts. 

While this is all taking place, a sexually charged relationship is developing between "Slim" and "Steve". Playing games with the censors of the "Hayes Office", Howard Hawks uses that developing chemistry, on and off the set, between Bacall and Bogart in scenes like the classic, "You Know How to Whistle", with the following lead in.

What follows, leads to my articles opening classic line delivered by Lauren Bacall, at the link below:

"Steve" uses the bulk of the money given to him by "Gerard" to purchase a plane ticket back to the United States for "Slim". "Harry" now picks up the "de Bursacs, but his boat is spotted by a French police patrol boat and fired upon, wounding 'Paul de Bursac". 

"Harry" manages to escape the patrol boat and get "Paul" and 'Helene de Bursac" to the arranged pick-up with a rowboat in the islet. When he finally returns to the hotel, "Steve" discovers two things, the first is "Slim" has made the decision to stay with him. The second, "Frenchy Gerard" has hidden "Paul de Bursac" in his hotel's basement. "Harry" now removes the bullet from "Paul's" shoulder and learns that the two have come to Martinique to help a man escape from the "Devil's Island" penal colony.

"Paul" now asks "Harry" to assist the Resistance in the "Devil' Island" escape and rescue, but he turns him down. Later, it will be learned the "de Bursac's" were killed in the escape attempt.

What happens next, is that the Vichy authorities come to the hotel and go directly to "Harry's" room with a sense of purpose. There, "Captain. Renard", reveals that for the second time they have "Eddie" in jail and there is nothing "Morgan" can do to help him. Further, "Renard" withheld liquor from "Eddie" until he had the shakes and then offered a bottle and a glass. "Eddie" has revealed everything about "Harry's" smuggling operations and "Capt. M. Renard" and the other Vichy police are there to arrest him. Cornered in his hotel room, "Harry 'Steve' Morgan" turns the tables on the French police, he shoots and kills one of the Vichy police, grabs "Capt. Renard" as a hostage, and forces him to release "Eddie" and write and sign "Harbor Passes" for himself, "Slim", and his friend and mate. The story ends with the three going to "Steve's" boat to head for the United States.

From a Hollywood critics point of view, the movie was mainly panned. The two areas that the film critics concentrated on were:

First, that the screenplay only used Ernest Hemingway's novel for, perhaps, the first 15-minutes of the one-hour-and-forty-minute motion picture. This was the opening section about "Johnson's" fishing charter and his claim he had to wait for the bank to open up. Sone of the critics called this Warner Brother's film a "Remake" of 1942's,"Casablanca".

Maybe not that motion picture, but there were other scenes reminiscent to previous Hawks made features. 

For  example, the critics should have looked to Howard Hawks, 1939, "Only Angels Have Wings", and the scene were Jean Arthur's "Bonnie Lee", tells Cary Grant's "Geoff Carter": 

I'm hard to get, Geoff. All you have to do is ask me.
And Lauren Bacall telling Humphrey Bogart:
I'm hard to get, Steve. All you have to do is ask me. 
When the motion picture came out, the Hollywood critics and the motion picture audiences did not know about the fishing trip made by Ernest Hemingway and Howard Hawks.

The Second main complaint, was the acting of model turned actress, Lauren Bacall. The Hollywood critics were mixed on her performance and some called Bacall just "a sexy gimmick" used by Howard Hawks to get protentional audience attention to the movie. 

"The Sexy Gimmick" married Humphrey Bogart on May 21, 1945, and remained married to him until his death on January 14, 1957.

The budget for "To Have and Have Not", was $1,684,000, 1944 dollars. The total Worldwide box office for the motion picture, on its initial release was, $5,257,000, 1944 dollars. Again disproving the majority of Hollywood Film Critics views on the Howard Hawks feature.

BACALL TO ARMS released on August 3, 1946.

The title of this Warner Brothers "Merrie Melodie" cartoon is a parody of another Ernest Hemmingway title, "A Farewell to Arms". In the animated story, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart are doing the "Whistle Scene" from 1944's, "To Have and Have Note", with typical "Looney Tune" style additions.

At the time of this writing, the following link will take my reader to the complete, "Bacall to Arms".

Most of my readers probably believe the 1944, Bogart and Bacall, "To Have and Have Not", is the only motion picture version of Ernest Hemingway's novel and they wouldn't be alone with those thoughts. 

The Other Versions of Hemingway's Novel

THE LUX RADIO THEATRE radio production October 14, 1946.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall starred in a shorten radio version of their motion picture "To Have and Have Not". 

At the time of this writing, the following link will take my reader to the 59-minute and 42-second radio program on the "Old Time Radio Downloads" website:

THE BREAKING POINT released September 30, 1950.

This forgotten motion picture is the closest to the actual Ernest Hemingway novel made to date.  I'll begin by quoting from the "New York Times" film critic Bosley Crowther's, October 7, 1950, review:

Warner Brothers, which already has taken one feeble swing and a cut at Ernest Hemingway's memorable story of a tough guy, To Have and Have Not, finally has got hold of that fable and socked it for a four-base hit in a film called The Breaking Point, which came to the Strand yesterday. All of the character, color and cynicism of Mr. Hemingway's lean and hungry tale are wrapped up in this realistic picture, and John Garfield is tops in the principal role ... 

The motion picture was directed by Michael Curtiz, which is an interesting choice, as he directed 1942's, "Casablanca", starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Among Curtiz's other films are the Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, 1938, "The Adventures of Robin Hood", Humphrey Bogart's, 1944, "Passage to Marseille", and 1950's, "Young Man with a Horn", starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Doris Day.

The screenplay came from one writer, Ranald MacDougall. MacDougall started his screenplay writing with both 1945's, Errol Flynn's, "Objective Burma", and, Joan Crawford's, "Mildred Pierce". In 1949, he wrote the screenplay for "The Hasty Heart", starring Ronald Reagan, Patricia Neal, and Richard Todd. 1950 also saw Ranald MacDoughall write the screenplay for the Gary Cooper, Lauren Bacall and Patricia Neal, "Bright Leaf".

John Garfield portrayed "Harry Morgan". "Breaking Point" was one picture away from John Garfield's last, 1951's, "He Ran All the Way". Garfield passed away from a sudden heart attack, on May 21, 1952, the actor was only Thirty-nine-years-old. Among John Garfield's films are, 1939's, "They Made Me a Criminal", co-starring with Claude Rains, the same years, "Juarez", starring Bette Davis and Paul Muni, the 1941 classic version of author Jack London's, "The Sea Wolf", co-starring with Edgar G. Robinson and Ida Lupino, director Howard Hawks, 1943, "Air Force", the original classic, 1946, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", co-starring with Lana Turner, and, 1946's, "Humoresque", co-starring with Joan Crawford.

Patricia Neal portrayed "Leona Charles". Neal had just co-starred with Eleanor Parker and Ruth Roman, in director Robert Wise's, 1950, "Three Secrets". The actress followed this picture by co-starring with John Wayne, in 1951's, World War 2 submarine picture, "Operation Pacific". Also in 1951, Neal would appear in director Robert Wise's classic science fiction movie, the original "The Day the Earth Stood Still".

Phyllis Thaxter portrayed "Lucy Morgan". Thaxter had fourth billing in the Barbara Stanwyck and John Lund, 1950, "No Man of Her Own", and would follow this picture, with the Randolph Scott Western, 1951's, "Fort Worth".

Juano Hernandez portrayed "Wesley Park". Hernandez had been seen in the Joel McCrea Western, "Stars in My Crown", and followed this motion picture portraying "Mongtezuma", on an episode of the anthology television series, "You Are There", entitled, "The Conquest of Mexico". 

Wallace Ford portrayed "F.R. Duncan". Ford was a character actor going back to the 1930's. He starred in director Tod Browning's, 1932, "Freaks", co-starred with Bela Lugosi in 1934's, "The Mysterious Mr. Wong", co-starred in 1940's, "The Mummy's Hand", and 1942's, "The Mummy's Tomb". Ford was seventh billed in director Alfred Hitchcock's, 1943, "Shadow of a Doubt", and just before this motion picture, Wallace Ford was in the cast of the Barbara Stanwyck and Wendell Corey, Western, 1950's, "The Furies". He followed this feature with the James Stewart comedy fantasy, 1950's, "Harvey".

The Basic Plot:

This "Harry Morgan" is a sport-fishing boat captain, whose charters are on the skids and he feels the financial pinch to keep food on his family's table.

"Harry" is approached by sleazy lawyer, ""F.R. Duncan", with a proposition to smuggle eight Chinese men from Mexico into California on his boat the "Sea Queen". At the same time, "Duncan" introduces "Harry" to "Leona Charles", who is described as a "Tramp", the "Hayes Censors" again, in the motion picture.

The stated plan to smuggle the Chinese into California goes wrong and, afterwards, "Harry", finds himself being blackmailed by "Duncan". "Duncan" now wants "Harry" to take the crooks that robbed a Los Angeles horse racing track to safety in Mexico. "Harry" has talked himself into believing that his illegal activities will ultimately help his family, but his wife, "Lucy", suspects he's breaking the law and attempts to convince her husband to stop what he's doing.

The two women in "Harry Morgan's" life will meet and are concerned over what "Duncan's" influence has done to him.

While, "Harry Morgan" is waiting, at his boat, for the men who robbed the horse racing track, his partner "Wesley" arrives unannounced. "Harry" attempts to get "Wesley" to leave, but the robbers arrive and kill him. This unexpected action has a deep affect on "Harry Morgan", but now at gunpoint, he is forced to take the murderers out to sea.

Once away from shore, "Harry's" "passengers" dump "Wesley's" body into the ocean to remove all evidence of the murder.

"Harry" now learns that "Duncan" was killed during the robbery and uses a ploy to get to his two hidden guns. 

This is followed by a shoot-out with the others, "Harry" is able to kill them all, but is critically wounded himself. The Coast Guard locates "Harry's" boat the next day and tows it to shore. "Lucy Morgan" has been notified and meets it at the dock and pleads with "Harry" to have his arm amputated to save his life. Paramedics arrive and take "Harry Morgan's" motionless body into their ambulance and "Lucy" begs the Coast Guard Officer to guarantee her husband will live, but the officer does not respond to her and the ambulance drives away. 

Cut to, the final scene of the picture with "Wesley's" son standing alone on the dock looking for his father.

BOLD ADVENTURE a radio program with 78 episodes from 1951 into 1952.

Critics called this a spin-off from the 1944 motion picture version of "To Have and Have Not". The radio program was produced by Humphrey Bogart's "Santana Productions". On it, Bogart portrayed "Slate Shannon", who owns a Hotel in Cuba, called "Shannon's Place". Can you say "Rick's Place" from 1942's "Casablanca"?

Bogie's wife, Lauren Bacall, played "Slate's" sidekick and ward, the sultry, Sailor Duval".

Then there's the Calypso singer, "King Moses", played by American singer, composer, songwriter and arranger, actor, Jester Hairston. Can you say "Sam" from "Casablanca"?

The plots were partly taken from Humphrey Bogart motion pictures and also included new material.

THE GUN RUNNERS released on September 14, 1958.

This overlooked motion picture was directed by Don Siegel. Two years earlier, Siegel directed the classic anti-Joe McCarthy, depending on who you spoke too, 1956 science fiction, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". Just prior to this feature was the hard-hitting crime drama, 1958's, "The Lineup", starring Eli Wallach and Richard Jaeckel. Prior to that picture was 1957's, "Baby Face Nelson", starring Mickey Rooney and Carolyn Jones, that started a 1930's crime biography craze and led to the television series "The Untouchables". Immediately following this movie, Don Siegel directed another forgotten crime drama, 1959's, "Edge of Eternity", starring Cornel Wilde.

The screenplay was by two credited writers and a major uncredited one.

The two credited were Daniel Mainwaring, who used the pen name of Geoffrey Homes on screenplays between 1941 and 1956. Those included the 1947 film-noir, "Out of the Past", starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer, the 1951 story about the plot to assassinate President Lincoln, "The Tall Target", starring Dick Powell, and 1955, "A Bullet for Joey", starring Edward G. Robinson, George Raft, and Audrey Totter. Just prior to this motion picture, Mainwaring started using his real name for 1956's, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".

Paul Monash was a television writer specializing in crime dramas beginning in 1951. However, he was uncredited with writing additional scenes for the Orson Welles classic crime film, 1958's, "Touch of Evil", and just prior to this motion picture. He also wrote the pilot for the television series, "The Untouchables".

The uncredited writer was Ben Hecht. Among Hecht's work is the screenplay for director Howard Hawks', original 1932, "Scarface". Hecht's other work included, 1934's, "Viva Villa", starring Wallace Beery and Fay Wray, 1935's, "Barbary Coast", starring Miriam Hopkins, Edward G. Robinson, and Joel McCrea, 1939's, "It's a Wonderful Life". starring Claudette Colbert, and James Stewart, 1940's, "Comrade X", starring Hedy Lamarr and Clark Gable, and, Alfred Hitchcock's, 1946, "Notorious", starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.

In 1991, Pauline Kael's book, "5001 Nights at the Movies", was published, and she claimed that this screenplay was based solely upon Hemmingway's short story, "One Trip Across", and not the whole novel, "To Have and Have Not".

There were the expected name changes and some lifting from 1950's, "The Breaking Point".

Audie Murphy portrayed "Sam Martin". World War Two Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Murphy, had just starred in 1958's, "The Quiet American", based upon the best-selling novel by British author, Graham Greene, and co-starring Michael Redgrave. He would follow this feature with another Western, 1958's, "Ride A Crooked Trail", featuring a still relatively unknown Walter Matthau. 

Don Siegel wasn't pleased with having Audie Murphy in the leading role and believed he couldn't carry the role that was based upon Hemmingway's "Harry Morgan".


Eddie Albert portrayed "Hannagan". Eddie Albert had just starred in the British motion picture, 1958's, "Orders to Kill", that co-starred Canadian actor Paul Massie and featured Lillian Gish. Albert followed this feature with fourth billing in Errol Flynn's, 1958, "The Roots of Heaven", directed by John Huston and with Trevor Howard, Orson Welles, Paul Lukas and Herbert Lom.

Above left to right, Audie Murphy, Eddie Albert, and Gita Hall as "Eva". The winner of the 1953, "Miss Stockholm Beauty Pageant", had appeared in three previous Swedish films. Her only other American film was in 1958, co-starring with her then husband, actor Barry Sullivan, and Peter Graves, in a low budgeted version of Jack London's "The Sea Wolf", entitled, "Wolf Larson".

Patricia Owens portrayed "Lucy Martin". Canadian actress Owens had just portrayed the wife of  Al "David" Hedison in the 1958 classic science fiction-horror movie, the original, "The Fly". She would follow this feature with 1959's, "These Thousand Hills", co-starring with Don Murray, Richard Egan, Lee Remick, and Stuart Whitman.

Above, Audie Murphy with Patricia Owens.

Everett Sloane portrayed "Harvey". Sloane, a member of Orson Welles "Mercury Theatre", started on-screen acting in a 1941 television episode, "The Amazing Death of Mrs. Putman", on the horror anthology series, "Inner Sanctum". The same year he portrayed "Mr. Bernstein", in Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane". in 1958, Everett Sloane was appearing mainly on television and had been since portraying, "German General Wilhelm Burgdorf", in 1951's, "The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel", starring James Mason. He would continue to appear on different television programs after this feature.

Above, Everette Sloane is directly to the right of Audie Murphy.

The Basic Plot:

Take a very little from Ernest Hemmingway's novel, a little from 1950's, "The Breaking Point", change the character names again, and my reader has the basic plot elements for director Don Siegel's "The Gun Runners".

"Sam Martin" owns a charter fishing boat in the Florida Keys, but charters have slowed down and he has a serious gambling problem. His wife "Lucy" and his best friend and mate, "Harvey", have kept him out of trouble up until now, but unknown to both, "Sam" faces bankruptcy with what he owes the bookies. He is approached by a charismatic, but crooked gun smuggler named "Hannigan". Who offers to pay-off "Sam's" gambling debts, if he'll run some guns to Cuban Revolutionaries, "Sam" accepts and finds himself mixed-up with "Hannigan's" plans of double crossing the Cubans and murder!

True to Ernest Hemingway, or not, "The Gun Runners", as presented, had a timely story line about  the revolution in Cuba that caught audiences. The following link is from, "The Department of State, Office of the Historian", about a conversation that actually took place ten-days prior to the release of this motion picture. It's entitled:

Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, September 4, 1958

There was still one other filmed version of Ernest Hemingway's, "To Have and Have Not", but it came from Iran.

ناخدا خورشید NAKHODA KHORSHID (CAPTAIN KHORSHID) released February 2, 1987 in Iran.

The motion picture was written and directed by Naser Taghvai. 

Dariush Arjmond portrayed "Captain Khorshid", the "Harry Morgan" character.

Parvaneh Massoumi portrayed "Khorshid's wife", the "Marie Morgan" character.

Ali Nassirian portrays "Farhan", the "Bee-lips Simmons" character.

Above, Ali Nassirian and Dariush Arjmand

Fathali Oveisi portrays "Colonel", the leaders of the politically exiled men.

Dariush Arjmand, Fathali Oveisi, and Ali Nassirian.

The Basic Plot:

A man named, "Khaje Majed", played by Jafar Mohaddes, informs the authorities that "Captain Khorshid" has been smuggling and they seize his goods and burn them. A new man in town, "Farhan" approaches "Khorshid" with an offer to smuggle some political exiles to another Arab country and the financially strapped Captain agrees. However, these exiles have plans to rob the wealthy merchant "Majed"  of his pearls and other jewels, but during the robbery the merchant is killed. "Captain Khorshid" refuses to use his ship to let the murders escape, but at gunpoint he has no choice. At sea, a brutal fight between "Captain Khorshid" and the robbers takes place and he manages to kill all of them.

Besides the obvious shift in Hemmingway's story from Cuba to Iran. The main difference in this film is the downplaying of the character of "Captain Khorshid's" wife, because this is Iran after all. 

Another change is that the four Cuban's have been turned into uncontrollable exiles and much eviler. Actually, "Harry Morgan" has been turned into a cold-blooded murder at the beginning of the film, but develops into a good man by the film's conclusion. 

As of this writing these are the only versions of Ernest Hemingway's 1937 novel.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hedy Lamarr: Inventor and Samson's Delilah

She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, on November 9, 1914, in Vienna, in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Five-months earlier, on June 28, 19...