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3rd version of To Have and Have Not !!


FredCDobbs
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This is a really boring story.

 

The only good version was the one with Bogart in 1944, and that was because of the good writers and great cast, and it altered Hemmingway's story in order to make it actually interesting.

 

These other two versions are really dull.

 

I'll keep my eye open for the additional two. :)

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I like the Curtiz version the most. Not that I dislike the Hawks film, but the other one is closer to the source whereas the Hawks film is closer to CASABLANCA.

 

I don't find THE BREAKING POINT dull at all but this one airing right now does drag and Audie Murphy doesn't do it justice. But it was too soon for someone like Lee Marvin to headline or not big enough for Robert Mitchum.

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But clore, fred doesn't mention *The Breaking Point* at all in in this list, don't know why, since it's the most obvious translation of Hemingway's book into a film after *To Have and Have Not*. In fact, as I understand it, *The Breaking Point* is a more faithful rendition of Hemingway's story than the Hawks one.

You are all probably familiar with the film, but here's a link, just in case you want to read more about it:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Breaking_Point_%281950_film%29

 

P.S. Full disclosure: Despite my respect for John Garfield, and many airings of this film on TCM, I must admit, I have never seen *The Breaking Point*. I'll have to do something about that.

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As I said earlier.....

 

"The only good version was the one with Bogart in 1944, and that was because of the good writers and great cast, and it altered Hemmingway's story in order to make it actually interesting."

 

I don't like the original story. It's not interesting, and it's too depressing. In my opinion, the first two re-makes follow the original story too much.

 

The Bogart version IS very good because it DID alter the original story, AND it had better writers, AND a better cast.

 

I watched this version only so I could say I did see it.

 

Anyway, that's why the Bogart version is a great classic, and these other two are not, mainly because the original story ****.

 

------------------------------

 

PS: As a matter of fact, I don't think I like any movies that try to follow Hemmingway's original stories.

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As I said earlier.....

 

"The only good version was the one with Bogart in 1944, and that was because of the good writers and great cast, *and it altered Hemmingway's story in order to make it actually interesting.*"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well Fred, since you say so, I guess that makes it so. Forgive me for having my own opinion, I thought that I was entitled to it. ;)

 

 

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>Well Fred, since you say so, I guess that makes it so. Forgive me for having my own opinion, I thought that I was entitled to it :)

 

I'm just posting my opinion. :)

 

In my opinion, the stars of the first two re-makes are nice guys who do bad things, and I don't want to see that. Bogart was a nice guy who did a good thing, by smuggling in the Free French fighters to fight Nazis.

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The Breaking Point, in my opinion, is a great, far truer, version of the Hemingway novel than Hawks' To Have and Have Not. Hemingway himself called this film the best screen adaption of any of his works.

 

The Hawks-Bogart version works well on the level of screen charisma and the chemistry between Bogie and Baby. There isn't much suspense in the film - all real concentration is upon the film's two stars and they're famous "If you want anything - just whistle" dialogue exchange. It's a slickly mounted production that works on old-fashioned star power.

 

The Breaking Point works on a deeper, more complex level, I feel. It benefits from superior characterizations by all the cast, none more so than John Garfield in the lead. Garfield's character is a vulnerable flawed anti-hero uncertain of his ability to succeed, as opposed to Bogart in Super Hero mold who, the audience knows all along, will emerge a Super Hero Winner. Therefore, the Garfield version is both more suspenseful and emotionally involving.

 

 

Viewers want to be a straight forward take-no-bull hero like Bogart but are far more likely to connect with the human failings and doubts shown by Garfield.

 

 

The Hawks version really doesn't care all that much about the story while the Mike Curtiz-Garfield version immerses its strong characterizations into a gripping story line of a man desperate to support his family who resorts to illegal means to do so, with the dire results that are produced, some of which the protagonist clearly doesn't envision.

 

 

I like the Bogart version well enough but I think the Garfield version is an outstanding film, too long neglected. While everyone was oohing and awing over Bogie and Baby in the more famous version that wouldn't have all that much going for it if its stars didn't sparkle together the way they do, the Curtiz-Garfield version disappeared from sight for many years. We are fortunate that Breaking Point is now available, to compare to the Bogart version, if you like, but even more so to appreciate what a maturing, more nuanced performer Garfield was becoming just before his film career crashed because of the political climate of the time.

 

 

For those who like Michael Curtiz films, Breaking Point was the last time that the director was in truly great form.

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You're not being fair, Fred. It's no mean trick to alter a Hemmingway story to make it better. If HE thinks *The Breaking Point* is the best adaptation of HIS story, it only means it appealed to his WAY over-bloated EGO! (which STILL wasn't as bloated as his LIVER!)

 

Sepiatone

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>It's no mean trick to alter a Hemmingway story to make it better.

 

I just never understood why he was considered to be a great writer.

 

When I was a young man I read a couple of his short stories, and I've seen most movies based on his work. And all of them were dull, except for the aptly and well modified To Have and Have Not.

 

The two re-makes have several major plot flaws. For example, no gang of bank robbers or gang of murderous gun runners would hire a down and out of luck boat owner who is about to lose his boat to the loan company, for an important multi-thousand dollar robbery/job, which involved several murders. Real crooks would not just go down to the docks and say to the first boat owner that comes along, "Hey, you.... do yah wanna a job? I don't want to fish, I can't tell you what I will be doing, but we must do it in secret and at night. So, do yah wanna job?"

 

And no boat owner would take such a job from a total stranger.

 

The actors in the re-makes might have been fine, but it's the stories I don't care for.

 

My favorite classic writer whose work made great movie stories was Somerset Maugham.

 

Edited by: FredCDobbs on Apr 23, 2013 11:47 AM

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I've read only three of Hemmingway's books; *Faerwell To Arms, For Whom The Bell Tolls* and *The Old Man and The Sea .* "Bell" was the only one I didn't have to fight through. The movie adaptation wasn't TOO bad, I thought, but "Farewell" did better when wrapped up in that "Adventures of A Young Man" amalgam turned into a Richard Beymer flock.

 

As American Writers went, I preferred Twain, Steinbeck and Goldman.

 

Sepiatone

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*{font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif}It's no mean trick to alter a Hemmingway story to make it better. If HE thinks {font}{font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif}The Breaking Point{font}*{font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif} *is the best adaptation of HIS story, it only means it appealed to his WAY over-bloated EGO! (which STILL wasn't as bloated as his LIVER!)*

 

And it could also mean that Hemingway actually saw a GOOD film based on a work on his. I haven't seen any other film adaptions of his works as impressive as THE BREAKING POINT, though The Macomber Affair deserves an honourable mention.{font}

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As I haven't read the book either film was supposedly based on, it wouldn't be suitable to comment on that level. I enjoy both *To Have or Have Not* AND *The Breaking Point* . But I see them as two different stories, not one being a rehash of the other.

 

Sepiatone

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Do you really think a big professional gang of bank robbers would go to some marina and hire the first down-on-his-luck boat owner to use in their escape with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loot?

 

Even if they planned to kill him later, they could have never trusted such a big caper to such an unknown and unstable fishing boat guy.

 

It would have made more sense if one of his own friends had talked him into pulling a first-time smuggling caper, but it would have been someone he knew for a long time and that he trusted. Plenty of fishing boat owners do that. Such as plenty of dope smugging and some alien smuggling in the Gulf of Mexico by shrimp fishermen working out of South Louisiana and Mississippi. I covered some of those stories in the news business.

 

But as Hemmingway wrote his original tale, it was filled with plot flaws.

 

The Bogart version was much more believable, since he already knew the French hotel and caberet owner very well, the guy was honest and open with him about the caper, the caper was a decent honorable and even an honest one, although dangerous. And the two dames falling for Bogart spiced up the story. And Walter Brennan was the best alcoholic side-kick of them all.

 

John Garfield might have been the greatest actor in the history of the world, but even he couldn't plug the plot holes that were written into the script.

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*FRedCDobbs wrote:Do you really think a big professional gang of bank robbers would go to some marina and hire the first down-on-his-luck boat owner to use in their escape with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loot?*

Except that the bank robbers didn't do that. Being crooks, they sought the advice of another crook, or semi-crook, the sleazy little operator who had a finger in every pie, played by Wallace Ford. And it was Ford that recommended Garfield to them because he knew that Garfield might go for it because he was desperate for money.


The crooks then interviewed Garfield to see what he was like before commiting themselves to him, probably intending to kill him once they were done with his services anyway. They weren't going to take any chances on Garfield doing something to lead to their capture.


Besides, The Breaking Point is not about the crooks. It is about Garfield, and it deals with the fact that, unlike Bogart who helps out the Free French because, beneath his cynical fascade, he's a true patriot after all (hello, didn't we already see that in Casablanca?), Garfield's Harry Morgan is ready to endanger his life by dealing with gun totting criminals because he is DESPERATE to put food on his family's table.


That kind of desperation to survive shown in THE BREAKING POINT is one of the reasons, I think, that so many people can probably identify with Garfield's character. And that would still apply today in this time of high unemployment.


Bogart is a hero in his version doing what heroes do and that's fine, if that's what you're looking for. Everyone can enjoy the escapism of a film like To Have and Have Not. And the film works well on that superficial level, augmented by the chemistry between Bogie and Bacall.


The Breaking Point, however, is rooted more in everyday reality. That doesn't make it dull, in my opinion, as you said earlier. That makes it more gripping, especially with the excitement that a director like Mike Curtiz could bring to the action scenes and the strong character development which pulls an audience into the story, making it care what will happen to those people. That's why, to me, The Breaking Point is far more emotionally compelling than watching Bogart just do another variation on Casablanca, this one with a Martinique setting.


You made reference to Walter Brennan as Bogie's barfly sidekick. Brennan gives an enjoyable performance in the film (as does the great Hoagy Carmichael, I might add). However, the relationship between Garfield and his shipmate Juano Hernandez has far more depth of feeling, I think. And Garfield's actions will, ironically, lead to the death of that shipmate, leading, in turn, to one of the most poignant final images in a film that I've ever seen - the little boy alone on a dock looking for his father, not knowing that he is dead.


I'm not knocking To Have and Have Not which is a slickly produced entertainment, a wartime combination of romance and propaganda. The Breaking Point, for me, however, has far more emotional resonance for the reasons stated.


Harry Morgan also remains for me the role by which I most identify John Garfield because the desperation of his character, the "a man alone ain't got no chance" theme of the film which he keeps repeating toward the end, would soon echo the actor's own situation in his personal life. Unlike his Harry Morgan character, however, John Garfield would not survive. I'm glad, at least, that in his second last film role Garfield had the opportunity to deliver one of the great performances of his career.




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Tom has provided a very sound 'take' on both movies and their differences and one I agree with.

 

Both movies have their strengths and each took a short story and went in very different directions.

 

I love both versions but again for different reasons which Tom articulated well.

 

To summarize; one is dark, brooding with a flawed hero (if one can even call him a here) while the other is more romantic, lighthearted (even the initial death scene contains humor), with a clearly defined hero.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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