Cast of To Have and Have Not: Unveiling the Stars of a Classic Film

The 1944 classic film “To Have and Have Not” boasts a cast that prominently features Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in their first film together, marking the beginning of a legendary Hollywood romance both on- and off-screen. Directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Jack L. Warner, this film is an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same name. The story, set during World War II, revolves around Harry Morgan, an American expatriate played by Bogart, who becomes involved with French Resistance activities in Martinique while developing a complex relationship with a singer named Marie Browning, portrayed by Bacall.

Supporting roles include a rich ensemble of actors such as Walter Brennan, who delivers a memorable performance, and Dolores Moran, who plays a pivotal part in the resistance subplot. The film also features Hoagy Carmichael, a popular musician and actor of the era, in the role of a bar pianist named Crickett, adding to the film’s signature blend of tension, adventure, and romance. With a screenplay contributed to by literary giants such as Jules Furthman and William Faulkner, “To Have and Have Not” stands out as a film with a remarkable assembly of creative talent.

Let’s take a look at the full cast of To Have and Have Not.

Production Background

The production of “To Have and Have Not” weaves a story of literary origin, collaborative adaptation, and a mix of locations contextualized by the era’s international affairs.

Origins and Adaptation

“To Have and Have Not,” initially a novel by Ernest Hemingway, was published in 1937. The film adaptation strays significantly from the source material, focusing on a more romantic and adventurous narrative suited to the silver screen.

Director and Screenplay

The film’s direction was helmed by Howard Hawks, a prominent figure in Hollywood’s golden era. The screenplay was a collaborative effort, featuring the talents of Jules Furthman and Pulitzer Prize-winner William Faulkner, with contributions from Whitman Chambers.


Humphrey Bogart took the lead role, portraying Harry Morgan, with Lauren Bacall opposite him in her debut film role. The casting of Bacall and Bogart resulted in unmistakable on-screen chemistry that became one of the film’s hallmarks.

Filming Locations

While the story takes place on the island of Martinique, the filming primarily occurred in Hollywood sound stages. Key West, Florida, the original setting in Hemingway’s novel, was only presented through backdrops and set designs.

Historical Context

The film was released during World War II, a period that saw Hollywood align with the U.S. government’s Good Neighbor Policy. The policy aimed to improve relations with Latin American countries, influencing the film’s setting and political overtones.

The Cast

A group of characters gather on a tropical dock, with a boat and palm trees in the background

The 1944 classic “To Have and Have Not” features a stellar cast headlined by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, with noteworthy performances from both main and supporting actors. Here is a full look at the cast of To Have and Have Not.

Main Actors

  • Humphrey Bogart: Portraying the rugged American expatriate Harry Morgan, Bogart’s charismatic performance solidified his status as a Hollywood icon
  • Lauren Bacall: As the enigmatic lounge singer, Bacall made her film debut alongside Bogart, creating one of the most memorable on-screen pairings in cinema history

Supporting Roles

  • Walter Brennan: Known for his versatile character acting, Brennan plays Eddie, Morgan’s alcoholic sidekick, providing both comic relief and human depth
  • Dolores Moran: Featured as the young and attractive wife of a French Resistance leader, Moran’s character plays a key role in the film’s subplot
  • Hoagy Carmichael: Renowned musician Carmichael adds charm to the cast as Cricket, playing the piano and contributing to the film’s musical aspect
  • Dan Seymour: Seymour’s depiction of the Vichy French official, Captain Renard, adds a clear antagonist to the story’s dynamic
  • Sheldon Leonard: As Lt. Coyo, Leonard brings to life a character that further complicates Morgan’s entanglements
  • Marcel Dalio: His role as Gerard, also known as “Frenchy,” is another piece of the resistance puzzle that showcases Dalio’s range as an actor

The rest of the cast supports the film’s central narrative, bringing to life a story of romance and adventure set against the backdrop of World War II. Each actor and actress contributes to the rich tapestry that makes “To Have and Have Not” a timeless classic.

Plot Synopsis

“To Have and Have Not” is a stirring narrative of peril and passion set amid the tumult of World War II. The story follows Harry Morgan, an expatriate American who owns a fishing boat in Martinique, under French control at the time. Initially indifferent to the war, Morgan’s life takes an adventurous turn when he’s lured into the clandestine operations of the French Resistance.

The central romance unfolds between Morgan and Marie Browning, a compelling young woman who adds layers of complexity to Morgan’s endeavors. Their chemistry ignites as they navigate the treacherous waters of espionage and romance.

Amid the overarching conflict of the era, a subplot emerges involving Gerard, also known as “Frenchy,” a sympathizer of the resistance movement, and Paul De Bursac, a French Resistance leader. De Bursac and his wife plan to escape to Devil’s Island to continue the fight against the Vichy regime.

As an adventure-thriller, the film enchants with scenes of covert smuggling operations under the nose of Vichy authorities, adding a consistent strain of tension. The plot is further charged by Morgan’s evolving commitment to aiding De Bursac and the resistance, layering the narrative with themes of honor and sacrifice.

In short, “To Have and Have Not” harmonizes elements of romance, adventure, and thriller, into a compelling cinematic experience, showcasing the complexities of survival and love in a time of war.

Cinematic Elements

The 1944 film “To Have and Have Not” excels in its cinematic craftsmanship, with the stunning visuals and music deeply enhancing the storytelling.


The film’s visuals are enriched by Sidney Hickox’s cinematography, offering a rich, textured look that complements the film’s atmosphere. Charles Novi’s art direction alongside the set decoration by Casey Roberts further crafts a vivid setting that transports viewers to wartime Martinique. Milo Anderson, responsible for costume design, contributes greatly to the visual authenticity with period-appropriate and distinctive gowns that underline the film’s unique aesthetic.

  • Cinematography: Black-and-white composition by Hickox.
  • Set Design: Artistic contributions from Novi and Roberts creating a tangible sense of place.


Composed by Franz Waxman, the film’s score propels the narrative with a sound that underscores the on-screen drama and the chemistry between characters. Music in this film does not simply serve as a background element but actively enriches the scenes, intertwining with the visuals to enhance the emotional tension and atmosphere.

  • Soundtrack: Waxman’s composition delivers a resonant audio experience
  • Ambiance: The music blends seamlessly with the visuals to accentuate the film’s mood

Reception and Legacy

A group of actors and actresses from the film "To Have and Have Not" gather for a reception, celebrating the legacy of the movie

“To Have and Have Not” was well-received upon its release and has since been regarded as a classic, particularly notable for its romantic elements and action-packed, adventurous storyline set against the backdrop of World War II. The chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall remains iconic, marking the film as a significant entry in Hollywood’s romantic film genre.

Critically acclaimed for its taut direction by Howard Hawks, the movie consolidated the themes of adventure and romance. The setting, transitions between the turmoil in Martinique and the brewing romance, elevated its standing among war films. The film’s atmosphere, coupled with effective storytelling techniques, brought the characters’ struggles vividly to life.

Box Office and Critical Response

  • The movie achieved commercial success
  • Critics praised its blend of action and romance

Influence on Later Films

  • It influenced other films in the romantic and adventure genres
  • The film’s success bolstered the careers of its protagonists and cemented the pairing of Bogart and Bacall as one of cinema’s legendary romantic duos

Cultural Impact

  • Quotes and scenes from the movie are often referenced or homaged in other works
  • The film’s connection to “Casablanca” through having similar leads and being set during World War II often draws comparisons


  • It is preserved as a culturally significant film by various film institutes

“To Have and Have Not” stands as an enduring staple of the classic era of Hollywood, remembered for its enduring legacy in both romance and adventurous storytelling on the silver screen.

Technical Crew

The technical crew behind “To Have and Have Not” consisted of individuals who played pivotal roles in crafting the cinematic elements that complemented the actor’s performances.


Christian Nyby served as the film editor for “To Have and Have Not.” His precise editing choices helped to maintain the film’s pace and tension, contributing to its classic status.

Art Direction

The art direction of the film was led by Charles Novi, whose attention to detail in creating the authentic and atmospheric sets played a significant role in immersing the audience in the wartime narrative of the movie.

Costume Design

Milo Anderson was responsible for the costume design. His work included the iconic gowns that contributed to the movie’s memorable visual style and helped define the characters, particularly the fashion that stood out in Lauren Bacall’s performance.

Special Effects

Although the provided search results do not detail the individuals responsible for special effects in ‘To Have and Have Not’, special effects in films of that era often involved innovative techniques to create illusions that contributed significantly to storytelling and the overall cinematic experience.

Trivia and Lesser-Known Facts

To Have and Have Not is not only famous for its lead stars but also for the participation of several notable crew members and the engaging trivia surrounding the film.

Actor-Shared Background: Humphrey Bogart, who embodied the character Harry Morgan, was not just adept at acting but also at sailing. His proficiency with boats was not just for the silver screen; he owned his own boat called the Santana.

Crew Excellence: Makeup artist Perc Westmore, with a history in Hollywood’s golden era, managed the makeup department. Art director Casey Roberts alongside set decorator Eric Stacey crafted the movie’s distinctive visual flair. Additionally, the film’s special effects were handled by Roy Davidson and Rex Wimpy, showcasing the behind-the-scenes talent that contributed to the film’s success.

Casting Insights: Eugene Borden and Paul Marion stepped into the world of To Have and Have Not as part of the cast. Patricia Shay featured among the actresses and Emmett Smith joined the male actors. Pat West’s involvement rounded out a list of prominent supporting cast members.

Below the Line: The film also benefited from skilled individuals like Gerald W. Alexander who served as an assistant camera, while Edward Ullman and Robert G. Wayne dedicated their expertise to the sound department. Russell Llewellyn‘s role as grip and Oliver S. Garretson as gaffer ensured the film’s technical excellence.

Bit of Business: Not directly depicted on screen, the business aspect of filmmaking was handled proficiently by individuals like Mike Joyce, who managed the transportation for the production.

The collective efforts of these cast and crew members, who worked tirelessly off-camera, contributed immensely to the 1944 classic’s timeless presence in American cinema.

Written by Alexander

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