Transcribe your podcast

Fasten your seat belt. It's going to be a bumpy night. Infinity and beyond just love finding new places where I could have been a contender, I could have been somebody. Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Well, it's that time of the week again, where we go behind the scenes of another movie classic, and you do that for you, wondering whether I like it, what's the decision? I don't know yet.


It's even better when you help. Sure, you won't change your mind about this? Uh huh. This belongs to me instead of my lips. I don't see any difference. I do. OK, you know, you don't have to act with me, Steve. You don't have to say anything. And you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, just you just put your lips together and blow.


Wow, the sexual tension there, the 1944 American Romance War Adventure Film to have to have not starring Bogie and Bacall, television producer with mind the films. Bill Hughes is on the line.


Bill, good morning. Good morning, Pat. I thought it was time for a real old classic. A bit of romance coming up to Valentine's Day and everybody needs it. Well, this is one of the great love stories, one of the great Hollywood love stories. And that was what was going on off screen as well as what was going on on screen. And Bogie and Bacall became the big item out of this film. But this film had a really weird sort of setup because Ernest Hemingway wrote to have and have not as a novel in 1937.


In 1939, Howard Hughes bought the film rights and then sat on them. And then in 1943, Howard Hawks, the great director, and his friend Ernest Hemingway, were away on a ten day fishing trip and on the boat, the talk, you know, man can't be in competition with each other. And at one stage, you know, Howard Hawks, who was always in awe of Ernest Hemingway, said, I could make a great film out of your worst book.


And Ernest Hemingway was like, and what's that? And he said to have and have not it's a bunch of junk, it's hopeless, but I could turn it into something. And would you not write a screenplay? I have no interest in Hollywood, Ernest Hemingway said. So they they started to fiddle with this on the boat and started to do a rough draft. And when they docked, Howard Hawks went off and bought the rights to the book from Howard Hughes.


And then when Howard Hawks got the rights, he then sold them on to Warner Brothers. And the thing was that he made so much money from buying them and selling them on that he made 10 times more money than Hemingway made when he sold the original rights and Hemingway got wind of it and was so furious he didn't talk to him for months. But anyway, they embarked on the screenplay that was already Jason Furman had been hired to start putting order on it and they were thinking about casting.


And of course, it was for Vogue. And but they just thought that the young character, the young female character who was going to be quite an intriguing sort of a sort of a waif, a kind of a thief, a kind of a ne'er do well, but that she'd be very young. Howard Hawks wife was at her dentist. She saw on a magazine on the cover of the magazine. She saw the sultry young woman. She tracked her down.


She thought you'd be perfect. And it was Lauren Bacall. And she said to her husband he had to give her a screen test, got her in to do the screen test. And when Bacall opened her mouth, he went, oh, my God, her voice is so screechy. And so so he gave her exercises, sent her off to read this a few passages aloud over and over again, but to read them in a lower register and then come back and screen test again.


So she did that. She came back and when she screen tested again, she was really sultry and she got the test.


And then that this girl is only 18 years of age at the time. Yeah, yeah. Only 18. And Bogey was forty five and married. So yeah, this was kind of scandalous as well. And everybody was keeping an eye on underproduction, not least Joseph Breen, you know, the production code and making sure that there were no shenanigans and stuff. So he found when he read the first draft of the script that there were three dozen instances that violated the production code.


And he said, there's Morgan, that the character they did, the Humphrey Bogart character, was portrayed as an unpunished murderer and that all the women were suggested as prostitutes. So he said that the characters must be softened. The studio must remove all suggestions of inappropriate sexual relations between the men and women, and that murder must be made clear to appear as self-defense. And this was all had to be written into it. So the way around it was they got an approved script.


But then each morning, Hawks would bring Bacall and Bogart to the set early with whoever was reading in the scenes that day. And then they'd read the scenes aloud and Howard Hawks would say something sexual and added in, had that in there. And then I'd add in a bit of innuendo here and a bit of innuendo there. And I mean, even in that little clip you heard the little line that she says it helps when you try, you know, when you when you when you take part.


And and that that was about the power of a kiss. Well, that was scandalous in those days, but it was just a throwaway line that was put in at the last minute.


So now, as Bill, the basic story, I mean, we have met the two characters in Bogie and Bacall.


Where is it set? What's he doing there? She arrives. She's a young eighteen year old American arriving with some sort of a dodgy past. So what's what's the conceit?


OK, the whole thing is right. It's set in Martinique. The novel was actually set in Cuba, but in Martinique it gave them a chance to take a poke at what was going on in the world, because this is right in the middle of the Second World War. And Vichy, France was kind of represented on Martinique and Humphrey Bogart was just an ordinary fishing boat owner who would make an average wage. But he was constantly being asked to help move people from the French resistance from island to island or around the island, because there were a lot of supporters of pro Vichy France.


On the on the island, so the tension on the island was and to be honest, a lot of people at the time felt that the comparisons with Casablanca were too much for for a lot of people to handle. But anyway, he gets involved against his will, carrying resistance people. He spots Lauren Bacall in a bar and she is picking the pocket of a guy who owes Humphrey Bogart a lot of money, who has denied that he has any money.


So he spots her, he sneaking the wallet, he catches her afterwards. He gets to go through the wallet. He discovers that there's double in traveler's checks. What? He's old. So he goes back to your man furious, confronts him with the wallet, confronted with the traveler's checks, tells him to sign sign off. But at that time, there are so many undercover cops and so many people being chased around as as whether they are resistance or whether they are Vichy supporters or whatever.


And the next thing, a gunfight breaks out and a stray bullet kills the owner of the wallet.


So let's hear let's hear the second scene you've selected. Can you set it for us? Yeah.


At this stage, the sexual tension between Bogart and Bacall is starting to ramp up. And she goes to his room and she's trying to work on his shoes. And he has a funny thing to say. Joe, I don't want you to take my shoes off, I don't want you to give me any breakfast. I don't want you to draw me a nice hot bed. I don't want you to know anything I can do, Steve. Yes, get that.


You know, Mr. Morgan, you don't make me angry when you say that. I don't think I'll ever be angry again at anything you say. How am I doing, Steve? Does it work the second time, even when I do something for me? Haven't you ever? Walk around me. Go ahead, walk around me, clear on. Find anything, no, nasty. There are no strings tied to you. Not yet. Not yet in life, they did tie the knot they did a year later and just just before we get off it to us to remember that Ernest Hemingway was joined writing the screenplay by William Faulkner, which is the only time in a Hollywood movie, the two Nobel Prize literature, people worked on the same screenplay.


Anyway, Bogart and Bacall ended up getting married the following year. They had two children of their own.


They had a phenomenal relationship that is still talked about in terms of the great love story. But sadly, after having a 60 cigarettes a day habit and also a lot of alcohol, he developed severe lung cancer and died only. They only had nine years together. And that was the end of that. But she went on to to have this wonderful career.


Lauren Bacall and people, you know, her real career only started when she moved to Broadway and she ended up winning Tonys, doing musicals and Woman of the Year applause. She she ended up having this phenomenal career, but she was always sultry.


And the deep voice I had a few in Congress look at her over the years and she said she was quite a character.


Well well, Bill, it's a great movie and we recommend it to have and have not. You will find it pretty much everywhere. But Bill Hughes, television producer with my The Guy, thank you very much for reminding us of that classic.