Wednesday, February 22, 2012

#37: To Have and Have Not

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan
Dir: Howard Hawks (1944)

Almost every scene of this movie made me feel like I was a little kid back at my grandma's house, watching Baby & Bogey movies taped off the television with my sisters. It was some potent nostalgia, folks - I almost put a pillow over my face when they started kissing, but then I remembered I'm not five.

The scenes with Eddy in particular had the exact same effect on me. He still made me want to cry like the pharmacist in It's a Wonderful Life - "Why is the nice old man sad, Mommy? Why did his son have to die? Why does he shake his leg like that?"
Well. It's worth asking: What's changed since then?
Looks like it's just The Maltese Falcon all over again, guys. This movie is full of sex and I had no idea. (See also: Much Ado About Nothing -- and that was a damn near critical plot point, too.)

Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) makes a living on the island of Martinique renting out a fishing boat he runs with his super-alcoholic buddy Eddy (Walter Brennan), and when they're hard up for cash Harry reluctantly takes a super-dangerous job for the French resistance and things get all kinds of problematic. Slim (Lauren Bacall) moves into the same hotel and she isn't exactly a prostitute but she sort of dabbles, and she comes on to Harry like hella hard, and basically this movie is stressful and the fat French policeman is HORRIBLE and I can't tell if it's because he is a horrible actor or if overall he is just HORRIBLE anyway (I just re-watched some scenes and that accent is like a parody of itself. It must be a combination of both), but anyway what I care about more is Bogey and Bacall, and let me just say LOTS of cigarettes (remember?) and LOTS of awesomeness. And Bogey totally pistol-whips a bitch.

Blah blah people get interrogated and slapped around and it's all very unfair and totally oppressive and stuff, and it makes you never want to travel just in case somebody takes all your money and then hits you because you were simply in the wrong cafe when some dude got shot. Also, dark and panicky late-night boat travel. Really, I hate this story. It stresses me out beyond belief and I'd rather not think about it. It involves all my black-and-white kryptonite: old-timey politics, sad substance abusers, corrupt authorities, and sympathetic characters that are all very morally misguided which makes my brain VERY confused and sad. For what it's worth, the ending is mostly safe and happy but before we get there it is like Casablanca-level OOOOOH NOOOOOOOO!

But, distracting screencaps!
One fun part of this stress party is when Slim starts working as a lounge singer at the hotel she and Harry live in. In her debut performance, she makes this face at him:

And he responds with this:
Recovered yet? Check out more badassery:
"See that? It broke as easy as you will."

Slim: "Give her my love."
Harry: "I'd give her my own if she had that on."
(Oh yeah Hoagy Carmichael is totally in this movie too! Being every character he ever played in a movie ever, a.k.a. nice trustworthy piano-playing brotherly figure.)
"Save it."
OUCH. Wouldn't you just cry if sexy Harry Bogey Morgan was sitting there looking all nautical and badass and he WOULDN'T LET YOU KISS HIM IN PUBLIC?!?

I'll let you explore that hypothetical situation on your own. Don't be surprised if you dissolve in a pool of disappointment and nausea.

Stars: 4 of 5 at least for quality but 5 out of 5 for how much it stresses me out.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and you cannot help giving. If you are very lucky, you may be loved back. That is delicious but it does not necessarily happen.
It really implies total devotion.  And total is all-encompassing - the good of you, the bad of you. I am aware that I must include the bad.
...I have no idea how Spencer felt about me. I can only say I think that if he hadn't liked me he wouldn't have hung around. As simple as that."
- Katharine Hepburn, Me: Stories of My Life

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"I never got very close to anyone in the theatre or movies. I suppose it was because I was a member of a big family and I always tried to get enough sleep."
-Katharine Hepburn, Me: Stories of My Life