Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dark Passage: The Softer Side of Bogart and Bacall

Husband-and-wife stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall teamed up again for the 1947 film noir Dark Passage (DP, not to be confused with our favorite noir magazine, The Dark Pages).  I could have sworn that Philadelphia-born author David Goodis had originally titled this novel The Dark Road after Warner Bros. snapped up the movie rights for Bogie and Baby, giving it the more suspenseful title Dark Passage; does anyone here know for sure?  On a recent TCM Friday Night Spotlight on noir authors, film historian Eddie Muller explained that many of these suspense writers had to suffer the slings and arrows of seeing their books “chopped up and channeled as B-movies before they ever got A-list recognition, but Goodis did it backwards with DP, his first crime novelIt was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, and then Warner Bros. snapped it up for Bogart and Bacall for the silver screen."  Nice work if you can get it!  Goodis was touted as the new Dashiell Hammett, writing pulps and radio serials in the 1940s.
Author David Goodis hard at work

Travel tip: If you're going to San Francisco,
be sure to hide inside a huge prison drum!
Goodis was apparently one of those maverick types who had his own ideas about what he wanted to write and how to go about it—imagine that, writers with minds of their own!  Back in the day, filmmakers didn’t always know what to make of quirky types like Goodis, but he was nevertheless prolific with novels such as The Blonde on the Street Corner and Street of No Return (both from 1954); The Moon in the Gutter and The Burglar (both from 1953), and Cassidy’s Girl (1951).  Goodis eventually returned to Philly to take care of his ailing brother, spending the 1950s writing paperback originals with moody, broody plots focusing on troubled protagonists who couldn’t win for losing.  Somehow, I get the feeling Goodis wasn’t exactly the kind of guy who faced each day with a smile on his face and a jaunty tune on his lips—but whether or not that was true, Goodis sure could write.  In fact, nowadays, a first edition of the 1946 hardcover of Dark Passage is now valued at more than $800! 

4th floor, framed fugitives from justice, everybody off!
The DVD’s absorbing documentary featurette suggests that Bogart and Bacall’s participation in the star-studded Committee for the First Amendment, which was intended to defend colleagues called before HUAC, might have been among the reasons that DP wasn’t as big a hit as the real/reel-life couple’s earlier screen collaborations.  However, I suspect that audiences past and present may have found DP harder to cozy up to because instead of the cool, wisecracking, insolent-yet-playful Bogart and Bacall of To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep, this film version of Goodis’ novel presents a more melancholy, vulnerable Bogart and Bacall—which, in my opinion, is not at all a bad thing, just unexpected from this star team at that time!  That Bogart & Bacall chemistry is still there, but it’s sweeter, as if they’d decided to let their collective guard down and allow tenderness to take over.  Instead of the cocksure Bogart character we all know and love, DP protagonist Vincent Parry is wary, fearful, fumbling in his attempts to clear himself of his wife’s murder, escaping the cops like he escapes from prison in the film’s opening scenes.  Vincent has few allies, but the ones he has are at least willing to help.   There’s Irene Jansen (Bacall), whose father had died in prison after being framed for murder.  Irene has been following Vincent’s case during his trial, and she ends up in a position to help hide him while he does his best to prove his innocence.

You realize this means an angry letter to the Times!
Then there’s Sam, the cab driver (Tom D’Andrea from Pride of the Marines; Night and Day; Humoresque).  Sam is cynical, yet he’s basically a kind, lonely soul, as are many characters in DP.   Sam suggests that Vincent should go to back-alley plastic surgeon Dr. Walter Coley (Houseley Stevenson from Sorrowful Jones; Crime Doctor; Native Land).  Dr. Coley may have been kicked out of his practice for being ahead of his time, but like others in DP, he too got a bum rap and is also a decent guy.  The proof is in the pudding: Vincent’s operation went so well that he now looks like Humphrey Bogart!  Isn’t 1940s medicine wonderful?  Wasn’t Vincent lucky to get comrades like Irene and Sam and Dr. Coley?  If only they didn’t have to keep their secrets so close to the vest, they could put together a support group; how about Wrongly Accused Protagonists Anonymous?

Meet Dr. Coley, brilliant hush-hush plastic surgeon to the wrongfully accused!  Highly recommended by Sam the Lonesome Cab Driver!  Free cigarettes for new customers!
Trippiest face-lift ever! Lauren Bacall can blow our minds anytime!
1947 seemed to be The Year of the Subjective Camera, between DP’s first hour shot from Bogart’s viewpoint, and Robert Montgomery doing the same in Lady in the Lake, using the technique throughout the film.  Unlike Lady…, DP’s  plastic surgery gimmick provides a good plot reason for the audience not to initially see Bogart’s face, though we frequently hear that unmistakable Bogart voice to make up for it.  It may take a while before they actually get Bogart out of his bandages as Vincent Parry, but on the positive side, we also get to see more of the lovely Lauren Bacall as Irene, as well as all those great spellbinding Warner Bros. character actors in lieu of Bogie.  The tenderness between Irene and Vincent is palpable.  There isn’t an uninteresting face or a bad performance in the bunch, with standout performances from Bogart and Bacall and a superb array of character actors.  In addition to D’Andrea and Stevenson, there’s Rory Mallinson (Cry Wolf; Nora Prentiss; Possessed) as Parry’s musician friend; and the ever-dependable Bruce Bennett (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; Mildred Pierce; Mystery Street).

A kiss isn't just any old kiss with
Bogart and Bacall as Irene and Vincent!
The man I love to hate most in DP is cheap hood Clifton Young, a former Our Gang star (oh, the irony!).  As the villainous Baker, the adult Young grew up to have an oily grin and a cleft chin that looks like it got lost on the way to Cary Grant’s face by mistake; you might also see Young on TCM, where he was a hoot in the hilarious “So You Want To…” shorts.

Vincent gets the drop on would-be blackmailer Clifton Young!
To think he was such a cute little tyke in Our Gang!

Director Delmer Daves has a cameo as
Irene's late wrongly-accused dad!

The Hates of Rapf—Madge Rapf, Dangerous Dame!
And the woman I love to hate in DP?  None other than the wonderful Agnes Moorehead, with a resume ranging from The Mercury Theatre with Orson Welles, to stage and screen, including four Oscar nominations (Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte; Johnny Belinda; Mrs. Parkington; The Magnificent Ambersons); and scene-stealer Endora on TV’s Bewitched!  Moorehead steals the film as Madge Rapf, the kind of woman who won’t join any club that would have her as a member.  Madge is some piece of work: she’s a stylish dame who goes out of her way to spread stress and misery wherever she goes.  Sticking her nose into everyone’s business, Madge manages to lure people to her and push them away at the same time, and if she can’t have you, she’ll make damn sure nobody else can have you, even if that means murder!  With her delivery dripping honey one minute and venom the next (especially in her climactic scene with Bogart), the commanding presence of the quicksilver Moorehead and her unconventional yet undeniably striking good looks ensure that you can’t take your eyes off her whenever she’s onscreen.

If you’re looking for a tight mystery plot, this ain’t the place!  While DP has many suspenseful moments, it’s primarily a character study and a mood piece about loneliness, redemption, and starting over, with a strong undercurrent of postwar paranoia, all underscored beautifully by Franz Waxman’s stirring music (with contributions by an uncredited Max Steiner.  I love the use of “Too Marvelous for Words” as Vincent and Irene’s song).  The bus station scene is a touching example of this.  Incidentally, that lady at the bus depot, Aunt Mary, is Mary Field from Ball of Fire (as Miss Totten); The Dark Corner (as the eavesdropping movie ticket-taker); Wonder Man (as the stenographer); and Ministry of Fear (as avant-garde artist Martha Penteel)!  Mary’s so versatile, bless her!

Vincent's pal George Fellsinger, young man with a horn!
But the reactions of people who meet protagonist Vincent with with his post-op face and new name, “Allan Linnell,” are so suspicious I wondered if writer/director Delmer Daves (who cameos as the photo of Irene’s doomed dad.  His real-life kids have bit parts, too) was indicating that Parry was really projecting his own paranoia onto the people around him.  His new name in particular makes people look at him like he just dropped in from the planet Neptune:  “Linnell?  That’s a very unusual name.”  What’s so freakin’ unusual about it?!  What, it’s not blandly Anglo-Saxon enough?  I wonder if singer/songwriter John Linnell from They Might Be Giants (one of Team B’s favorite bands) ever had to field such absurd questions?   But I digress… 

Madge shows her true colors!
Even when DP drops the subjective camera style so we can see Bogart in all his glory, the visuals are striking thanks to Sid Hickox’s moody black-and-white photography.  That said, I recently saw a colorized still of Moorehead as Madge, and I must admit it looked pretty darn impressive!  With the emphasis on Madge’s love of all things orange, I can imagine a partly-colorized version a la Sin City, with everything black-and-white except Madge’s orange clothes and belongings! The Lodger, perhaps?  Speaking of Hitchcock, DP and Hitch’s 1958 classic Vertigo might make an interesting double feature since they share themes of loss, loneliness, new identities and fresh starts as well as a San Francisco setting.  (That could also work for another San Francisco film I like, Impact, but that’s a blog post for another time!) If you want to see a softer side of Bogart and Bacall, DP is well worth watching.  You may also enjoy the DVD’s fun and interesting extras, like the original theatrical trailer (for me, the hyperbole of movie trailers of that era is part of their charm) and “Slick Hare,” one of the Bugs Bunny cartoons that affectionately lampoon Bogart; it’s been claimed that Bogart liked to pal around with the animators at Warner Bros.’ “Termite Terrace” and he actually did his own voice work for Slick Hare and 8-Ball Bunny! 
Nevertheless, Director of Photography Sid Hickox had plenty of  innovative visual techniques in glorious black-and-white.  I particularly liked the use of the glass floor when Vincent discovers a dead body (I won’t say who); a tip of the hat to Alfred Hitchcock’s

Baby, you're smokin'!

Oh, no!  George, Vincent's only friend, has clearly played his last song!
After all the agita Irene and Vincent have been through, they deserve a happy ending!
Good luck, you crazy kids!

According to Wikipedia, the TV series The Fugitive became a hit in 1963—and Goodis took the producers to court, considering the show had many elements in common with Dark Passage.  In 1963, ABC television began airing the television show The Fugitive, the story of Richard Kimble, a doctor wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife. Kimble subsequently escapes and begins a long search for the "one-armed man", the person he believes to be the real killer.  For that matter, the whole case was originally inspired by real-life Dr. Sam Sheppard, who’d been accused of murdering his pregnant wife.  It just goes to show that there’s nothing new under the sun, in fiction or real life!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Flash Fiction Challenge: "Life's A Beach," by Team Bartilucci (Dorian Tenore-Bartilucci & Vincent Bartilucci)

Our dear friend and fellow blogger Yvette Banek of " so many words..." has enticed my husband Vinnie Bartilucci of The 40-Year-Old Fanboy and I into a Flash Fiction writing challenge.  With summer upon us and the suspenseful yet charming illustrations of Mario Cooper, Vin and I were happy to join the fun!  Thanks for letting us play in your garden, Yvette!

LIFE'S A BEACH, by Team Bartilucci 
(Dorian Tenore-Bartilucci & Vincent Bartilucci)

Milo grunted against the door, wet with sweat instead of the resort’s cool, refreshing pool.  “I needed this today?”

After all the work and red tape it had taken Milo and Rosalie -- the latter being Milo’s charming, hot (in every sense, given the heat) assistant and beloved -- to get the MacGuffin Pool open at last, they couldn't get in the pool fast enough.  They could see the crowds getting longer and thicker than a Mister Softee Double Sundae, from the window.  Just one little problem:  some idiot had trapped them in the old bank vault that they’d been assured would be gone and headed to the scrap heap by now.

Milo kept himself from yelling at Rosalie by focusing his increasing rage at the frozen deadbolt that kept them locked inside the tiny poolside cabana at the resort, the most exclusive in Brooklyn.  He had to remind himself that in all fairness, he was the one who shut the door behind him to prove that she COULDN’T have locked herself in all by herself moments before.  By pressing against the swollen door and not making eye contact, he hoped she wouldn’t choose to bring that…

“Oh no, honey, these things don’t stick, look…”

Oh, well.

Rosalie rose from the dusty wicker chair and stormed about as well as she could across the modest floor. 
After a time, Milo heard voices from the other side of the door.  He couldn’t make out the words, but the voices were high-pitched and numerous.  He pounded on the door with an open hand, calling for help, and the voices went silent.  The chattering began again, a bit closer.  Another pound at the door was met with what sounded like girlish giggling.  Then there was a quiet tap at the door, met by more tittering.  The voices were closer to the door now, and he could make out they were not speaking English; it sounded more like Japanese.

“Great,” thought Milo, “If I’d stayed married to my first wife, SHE could have talked to them.”  Rosalie either didn’t hear him, or heard it PERFECTLY, and chose to file the comment for later use, seeing as she had plenty to use at the moment.  He tried to call through the door to the (based on the pitch of their voices) girls to get them to help, but the tinkling tones from outside the building brought a shadow to his face.

“Softee-san!  Softee-san!” chattered the younglings, and a chorus of feet stampeded out of the room.  Milo slapped the door, this time in frustration.

“Will you please get that thing open so we can get in the pool?  The sun’s going down already!”
Milo didn’t even turn as he asked, “How do you know” You’re not even wearing a watch!”

“I can SEE it through the curtains!”

Milo turned, but from the look on Rosalie’s face, she had already come to the same conclusion he did.

He walked across the small room, opened the floor length curtains…

He turned the lock on the glass patio doors, and with a flourish, bowed and waved at the door.

“Ladies first.”

Rosalie collected her picture hat, wrap, and dignity, and walked through the door.

“Let’s not come back here.”

“Let’s find those little kids, then kick them in the pool.”

“I’ve always loved you.”

Sunday, June 16, 2013

To Have and Have Not: When Bogie Met Baby

It’s funny to think the movie version of To Have and Have Not (TH&HN) came about as a wager between producer/director Howard Hawks and author Ernest Hemingway!   According to TCM’s John Miller, Hawks was trying to persuade his Nobel Prize-winning author pal Hemingway to try screenwriting.  Hemingway balked, saying most of his writing was unfilmable.  Hawks wouldn’t give up that easily, boasting that he could make a good film out of what he considered Hemingway’s worst novel: “That bunch of junk To Have and Have Not.”  From what I’ve heard about “Papa” Hemingway, I would’ve expected those fellas to duke it out at that point, but Hemingway was up to the challenge.  Jules Furthman banged out a screenplay, turning “that bunch of junk” into an exciting, sexy, totally irresistible adventure with what turned out to be one of the best romantic teams in movie history, onscreen and off-screen! 

We’ve said this here at TotED before, but we’ll gladly say it again: For our money, there seemed to be no genre that Hawks couldn’t tackle with the greatest of ease, and there’s never been a more perfect romantic team than Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, the latter becoming Mrs. Bogart in 1945, and staying happy together until Bogart’s death in 1957.  (Damn cancer!)   Admittedly, the kind of perfection I’m talking about has nothing to do with such trifles as linear, crystal-clear plotting.  (Clarity? We don’t need no stinkin’ clarity!)  The elements that made Hawks’ best films so entertaining and unforgettable included charismatic actors in memorable roles, whether they were big stars or character actors; zesty direction; rapid-fire delivery, which inspired the late Robert Altman’s directorial style; and those sleek, smart, bewitching Hawks women, almost all of whom try to seduce the hero to one degree or another.  I know I’ve said this elsewhere, too, and I still mean it: I want to be a Howard Hawks kind of woman when I grow up!

Screenwriter Jules Furthman (from the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty; Nightmare Alley; Rio Bravo) and novelist/screenwriter William Faulkner (The Big Sleep; The Long Hot Summer; Intruder in the Dust) were no slouches in the excitement department when it came to crafting entertaining movies!  Our story starts in: “Martinique in the summer of 1940, shortly after the fall of France.”  Meet Harry Morgan (not to be confused with the co-star of the TV version of M*A*S*H), a rugged fisherman for hire (the ever-awesome Humphrey Bogart of The Big Sleep; Across the Pacific; All Through the Night).  World War 2 is on, and Martinique is Vichy-controlled, so it’s not exactly the most carefree place in the world.  War is Hell indeed!  Harry and his first mate, Horatio (Sir Lancelot), charter fishing boats for tourists.  Harry’s current client, Mr. Johnson (Walter Sande of Don Winslow of the Navy; The Blue Dahlia; Detective Mathews in the Boston Blackie movies), is a handful. 

Johnson is an inept fisherman who blames others for his careless and expensive mistakes, as well as being a cheapskate and a whiner.  Right now, he’s complaining about Harry’s longtime friend Eddie (three-time Oscar-winner Walter Brennan from Come and Get It; Kentucky; The Westerner; and the hit 1957 TV series The Real McCoys).  Apparently Eddie’s cheerful blathering is getting on Johnson’s nerves—aw, poor baby, our hearts bleed for you!  Hey, if Harry and Horatio can shrug off Johnson’s whiny personality—not to mention losing the rod and reel due to his ineptitude—he should be able to put up with Eddie’s gabbiness and occasional mistakes (which our hero matter-of-factly sets right).  Eddie can’t help it, though, with his alcoholism:

Johnson:  “I don't see why you want that rummy around.”
Harry:  “Eddie was a good man on a boat before he got to be a rummy.”
Johnson:  “Well, he's no good now... What do you look after him for?"
Harry:  “He thinks he’s lookin’ after me.”

So since then, Harry has taken Eddie under his wing, looking after Eddie as if he was an addled but endearing old dad.  Harry’s kindness to Eddie endeared me to him right away.  Note that even with Eddie’s issues, he’s still more capable on the boat than bumbling "Blame Game" Johnson, who comes mighty close to getting tossed overboard when Johnson tries to get tough with Eddie (“Are you a good swimmer, Mr. Johnson?”)! TH&HN has terrific atmosphere, thanks to Charles Novi’s Art Direction, Casey Roberts’ Set Decoration, and Sid Hickcox’ cinematography.

I like the AMC Website’s response to Eddie's recurring Dada-esque question: 
“Was you ever bit by a dead bee...a honey bee?”  It’s a perfect Rorschach-style personality character test for every character that crosses Eddie’s path.  Harry, of course, understands Eddie, so they’ve long since passed the “Dead Bee” test with flying colors.  If Eddie’s question triggers confusion, impatience, and/or anger from others, we know these people are, if not full-tilt villains, then at the very least, they’re not Harry’s kind of people (or ours)!
“Frenchy” Gerard (Marcel Dalio from Grand Illusion; Sabrina; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), a member of the French Resistance, offers Harry big bucks to smuggle a good-guy member of the French Resistance out of the country.  Being no fool, Harry sticks his head out for no one.  But then along comes a woman who’s just checked in at Frenchy’s hotel:  the sulky and sultry Marie Browning, played by native New Yorker and model-turned-actress Lauren Bacall in a film debut that puts the “WOW!” in the “Wow Factor”! 

Although Marie seems cool, calm, and insolent, she’s actually living by her wits, starting with cozying up to the unsuspecting  Johnson in the café and picking the big boob’s pocket.  Granted, Johnson is getting a little too hands-on with Marie, but Harry isn’t letting her get away with it:  “You ought to pick on someone to steal from who doesn’t owe me money.”  Lucky for Harry, our gal Marie gains Harry’s trust when Johnson gets tripped up by his own lies about being penniless until the next day, when in fact Johnson was all set to hop a plane at dawn!   But no sooner does Johnson begin to sheepishly sign his Traveler's Cheques than gunfire rings out in the café, leaving the joint in a mess and Johnson dead in the crossfire.  As Harry says, “He couldn’t write any faster than he could duck.  Another minute and his cheques would have been good.”  Thanks to that vile Vichy gunfire, both Harry and Marie are in the soup, and we don’t just mean vichyssoise!   Now the slimy Vichy Captain Reynard (Dan Seymour from Key Largo; Johnny Belinda; The Way We Were) and Lt. Coyo (Sheldon Leonard, who went from supporting roles like Another Thin  Man in the movies to becoming a wildly successful TV producer) have Harry and Marie over a barrel. 


Actual dialogue from the film: 
“He couldn’t write any faster than he could duck. 
Another minute and his chequewould have been good.”
Harry can tell that Marie’s life hasn’t been a bed of roses, unless you count the thorns; during Reynard’s grilling, Marie takes a slap in the face without batting an eye.  She admits she’s trying to get home to the States: “I’d walk, if it wasn’t for all that water.”  In the great Hawks tradition, Harry and Marie get closer, including cool pet names: “Steve” for Harry, and “Slim” for Marie—which were actually Mrs. and  Mrs. Howard Hawks’ pet names for each other in real life!  The mating dance between “Steve” and “Slim” is tantalizing, yet still yields Harry’s better instincts as he agrees to help Marie get back home in exchange for smuggling Frenchy’s refugee friends.
Well, they say that adversity brings people together in hard times, so our heroes have no choice but to help Frenchy and his Resistance allies, and help Marie in the bargain.

Cricket and Slim make beautiful music together at the café!
French Resistance Fighter Paul deBursac (Walter Szurovy, a.k.a. Walter Molnar) boards Harry’s boat, with a new last-minute passenger:  his wife, Hellene (Dolores Moran from The Ghost Breakers; Old Acquaintance; The Horn Blows at Midnight).  Staying calm and paying attention doesn’t seem to be the deBursacs’ strong suit:  despite Harry’s warnings to just get flat on the deck and stay there, that peacenik Paul shouts out, “Don’t shoot!”  All he gets for his trouble is a bullet in the shoulder, though Harry gets them to land and safety.  When they get back, Harry discovers our gal “Slim” has found a sweet gig as a chanteuse at the café, just goes to show you can’t keep a great gal down!  And not a moment too soon; turns out Frenchy snuck the injured Paul in the cellar so jack-of-all-trades Harry could operate on our little Freedom Fighter in peace—especially when well-meaning but overprotective Mme. deBursac accidentally knocks herself out with the chloroform she was supposed to use to operate on Paul.  Well, at least now we can get Paul healed in peace and quiet!  Boy, Harry can’t seem to get a moment to himself!  He’s tangling with bad guys, beautiful women, French resistance fighters, lovable (albeit needy) alcoholic sidekicks—sheesh, the man can’t seem to get a moment to himself!  He needs a “Do Not Disturb” sign!

Two’s company and a gaggle of Resistance Fighters
is a crowd when "Slim" and "Steve" are interrupted's
 by Frenchy and his Resistance pals!
It’s been said that Hawks got his nose out of joint for a time because Hawks wanted Bacall all to himself, to no avail.  *Tsk tsk!* No point being greedy, Hawks, especially since he already had a charming and lovely wife at home!  But beautiful Dolores Moran could surely have been a fine runner-up as Mme. deBursac, even if her character  was often more of a hindrance than a help in her well-meaning but overbearing way.  In real life, Dolores Moran had a reputation for going around with well-known married Hollywood heavyweights, as well as supporting parts in The Ghost Breakers; Old Acquaintance; and The Horn Blows at Midnight.

Will the lovely and well-meaning but maddeningly
overprotective Hellene deBursac turn out to be Hell on wheels? 

“Harry, you was ‘fraid I’d get hurt.  You was thinkin’ of me!” 
"That’s right, Eddie, this is all about you.  Now let me steer before we crash into a luxury liner or Nazis, will ya?!"

 Mme. de Bursac goofs and ends up knocking herself out with Harry’s chloroform. 
Thank goodness, we thought that dame would never shut up! 

Here’s the complimentary breakfast we give Freedom Fighters in our charming café. 
Now scram, toots, and let “Steve” and me catch up on our nookie! 

Bacall wasn’t the only one making a film debut in TH&HN; so was Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Hoagy Carmichael (for Here Comes the Groom; Starlight; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes),  playing piano man Cricket at the café.  In fact, the catchy background music at the café makes me wonder if anyone considered making this a Broadway musical.  I’d see it if I had the dough!

Whether Bogart and Bacall are being playful or serious onscreen (or offscreen, for that matter), the sparks between them are hotter than July 4th fireworks—and nobody even had to get naked, at least onscreen!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

To Have and Have Not: When Bogie Met Baby

It’s funny to think the movie version of To Have and Have Not (TH&HN) came about as a wager between producer/director Howard Hawks and author Ernest Hemingway!   According to TCM’s John Miller, Hawks was trying to persuade his Nobel Prize-winning author pal Hemingway to try screenwriting.  Hemingway balked, saying most of his writing was unfilmable.  Hawks wouldn’t give up that easily, boasting that he could make a good film out of what he considered Hemingway’s worst novel: “That bunch of junk To Have and Have Not.”  From what I’ve heard about “Papa” Hemingway, I would’ve expected those fellas to duke it out at that point, but Hemingway was up to the challenge.  Jules Furthman banged out a screenplay, turning “that bunch of junk” into an exciting, sexy, totally irresistible adventure with what turned out to be one of the best romantic teams in movie history, onscreen and off-screen!