Howard Hawks's 1944 answer to Casablanca (which he was originally set to direct but lost to Michael Curtiz) is a far superior film and every bit as entertaining. Humphrey Bogart, the captain of a charter boat in a Nazi-held French colonial port, gradually grows into the Hawksian ethos of action and responsibility as he reluctantly enters World War II in order to protect a rummy (Walter Brennan) and win a woman (Lauren Bacall). In many ways the ultimate Hawks film: clear, direct, and thoroughly brilliant.
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