Directed by Howard Hawks. US. 1944. NR. 100 min. Warner Bros. DVD.
- Sun, Jan 6, 2:00 pm
“You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve?” And so began one of Hollywood’s greatest real-life romances, and one of the most fascinating adaptations of Hemingway ever brought to the screen. After the wife of director Howard Hawks spied 18-year-old model Lauren Bacall on the cover of Vogue magazine and called her husband’s attention to the young beauty, Hawks hired her and Humphrey Bogart to star in this classic film. Filmed near the end of World War II, Hawks changed Hemingway’s setting from Cuba to Martinique and cast Bogart, smitten with Bacall, as a boat captain begrudgingly working with the French resistance. With a supporting cast that included Walter Brennan, Hoagy Carmichael and many other familiar faces, this is a humor-filled adventure story (with many echoes of Casablanca) that is made all the more fascinating as we watch the two leads meet and develop a life-long love. (Bill Roth)