A Martinique charter boat skipper gets mixed up with the underground French resistance operatives during WWII.
In the 40's Howard Hawks boasts that he can make a movie out of the worst thing Hemingway ever has written. When Hemingway asks, which novel he means, Hawks says To Have and Have Not. Jules Furthman writes a script, which follows the book closely. The location of the story is Cuba, but the US Government is against depicting corruption and violence on Cuba, and threatens to withdraw the film's export license. William Faulkner rewrites the script, and relocates the story to Martinique. Hawks's wife, Nancy Slim Gross, happens to see a young model at the cover of the magazine Harper's Bazaar, and shows it to her husband. Hawks is a star-maker, who likes to discover and nurture new talents. After a screen test, he chooses the 19 year old model as the lead actress opposite Humphrey Bogart. She changes her name from Betty Perske to Lauren Bacall. At the first takes she is so nervous that she shakes.