As the world mourns the passing of Hollywood screen icon Lauren Bacall, we recall the 1944 movie that launched her career and began her legendary on and off-screen partnership with Humphrey Bogart – Howard Hawks’ hugely entertaining Caribbean thriller To Have and Have Not.
Bacall was only 18 when Hawks signed her up after his wife spotted the teenage model on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. A year later Hawks cast her as footloose American Slim in his loose adaptation of an Ernest Hemingway tale in which a cynical boat captain – played, of course, by Bogey – gets drawn into the French Resistance. “You know how to whistle, don’t you?” Bacall’s Slim famously taunts Bogart’s skipper Steve. “You just put your lips together and blow.” Bacall later admitted that her smouldering upward glances at her co-star were a happy accident, as she was so nervous on the set that she had to tuck her chin into her chest to stop it from shaking. The duo’s chemistry in the film is so smouldering that it’s hardly surprising that they married in 1945.