Classic Hawks that has a space in film history if only for the incendiary debut performance by Lauren Bacall that burns the screen alongside an obviously smitten Bogart. Based on a Hemingway this is basically another stab at 'Casablanca' that is successful due to sharp direction and game performances. Walter Brennan and an undervalued Dolores Moran add to the fun. '....Anybody got a match?....'
All the Bacall-nostalgia on social media over the past week finally wore me down, and I just had to see this perfect movie one more again. for all its raggedness, still maybe the hottest jam session in Hawks' cinema.
Bogie is badass as always, but the way Lauren Bacall slinks through the tables at the end doing her little dance is enough to make any red blooded, heterosexual man weak at the knees. Hawks direction is pitch perfect as always; striking just the right balance between adventure and comedy. It just has such an air of careless cool about it that I can't help but love. So loose and charming and non-PC. Love it.
The scene in this film where Carmichael starts playing the piano, then the guy comes in on the drums, then another joins in on the double bass, then another with a guitar, then the singers, etc., is to me the perfect metaphor for Hawks' films. Everyone joining in toward the goal of the film's harmony, discrete parts but forming the whole, orchestrated by a master; it's what film is all about!
When Bogey met Bacall, this is the film that brought them together and it was a fitting start for one of the greatest romances of all time. You can see their chemistry practically explode off the screen and Hawks knew how to capture that magic.