To Have and Have Not 1957 - LUX VIDEO THEATER
LUX VIDEO THEATER was an anthology series that ran between 1950 and 1959. Several hundred episodes were produced during the run. Guest stars included, Jan Sterling, Thomas Mitchell, James Mason, John Hoyt, Ray Burr, Steve Brodie, Lynn Bari etc. It was a tv version of the popular LUX RADIO THEATER.
No need to retell the story as we all know it. I will just describe the changes from the 1944 film. The two leads are played by Edmond O'Brien in the Bogart role and Beverly Garland filling in for Bacall. O'Brien plays the role with a far more violent and menacing edge than the laid back "leave me out it" style Bogart used in the film.
Beverly Garland likewise turns it up and does her part as if she in just a step away from being a tramp. This really causes the sparks to fly when the two are in the clinches. One would swear they were going to drop their linen any second. There is some real chemistry here.
John Qualen does a straight up copy of the Walter Brennan role and does not stand out at all. Dan Seymour reprises his role from the film as the slimy head of the Vichy Secret Police. Frances Bergen does the role played by Polly Moran while Lyle Talbot plays the American fisherman.
Though there is no Hoagy Carmichael, we do have Sir Lancelot belting out a calypso tune. Lancelot had a small role in the 44 film but most will recall him from BRUTE FORCE. He was the soulful singer of the cell block in that film.
Making up in the rest of the cast is Ken Terrell, Richard Flato, Edward Barrier and Jean De Val. There seems to be some dispute as to who the director was. IMDb says it was Jean Yarbrough but the episode I watched credits a James Yarbrough. A James Yarbrough worked on several series in the 50's. Given the confines of television at the time this production works very well. There is the odd short cut. For example, we only get to see the cast going to, or from the boat. None of these short cuts hurt the story and in fact speed up the action.
This is one of the best bits I've ever seen Garland in. A top flight TV noir. Too bad this was one of the many dvds I lost in the flood of several years ago. I would love to catch it again.