This 35mm screening is part of the 'Martin Scorsese Curates' season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown at the cinema on February17th. Full details here.
Never released in Britain, this forgotten classic of the studio era, based on Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not, remains startlingly relevant. John Garfield is anguish personified as the cash-strapped fisherman who sells his principles to facilitate an illegal people-trafficking operation. Equally affecting is the performance of Juano Hernandez, whose key supporting role marks a significant moment in Hollywood’s representation of African-Americans.
Time Out review:
Hawks messed around with Hemingway and made To Have and Have Not (1944); six years later Curtiz played it straighter and wound up with this thoroughly competent smuggling drama, which, without Bogey and Bacall on board, has faded into the celluloid woodwork. Garfield works hard though as the Southern California boat-owner who puts himself in danger when he agrees to take on illegal cargo to pay his debts, and even if you know and love the Hawks' movie there's still much to intrigue here. (Don Siegel directed a third version, The Gun Runners, with Audie Murphy in 1958.
Here (and above) is the trailer.