To Have and Have Not (1944)

“You know how to whistle don’t you Steve?
You just put your lips together and… blow”

To Have and Have Not is a comedy about… it’s a parody of the film noir genre… it’s the oft-parodied film noir that must have been a parody of itself even back in 1944. It’s got everything. Far too much of everything. The dialogue is often so hard boiled and over-written that the film may as well be set in fairy land… or Grim Fandango. Conversations, particularly those between Bogey and Bacall, can often seem a disjointed semi-mess of over-cooked stand-alone lines. I don’t feel there’s any real chemistry between the two leads, whose encounters seem to happen the way they do merely because that’s what the script says. None of the characters are very believable anyway, so it’s hard to really see the motivation for attraction in these cardboard cut-outs. Continue reading

One Way Passage (1932)

William Powell and Kay Francis are so refined and effortlessly classy that they put even their contemporaries to shame. 1932 must have been quite a year for Francis, appearing in both this and the superb Trouble in Paradise. She’s impossibly beautiful, and when you first see her face in close-up, you can almost feel a bomb go off. It takes chemistry to make such a bomb and this film has so much of it that it really should be stored safely for watching with someone very special. Continue reading