The Gun Runners (1958)

The Gun Runners (1958)
6.4
  • 523
  • Approved
  • Genre: Crime
  • Release year: 1958 ()
  • Running time: 83 min
  • Original Title: The Gun Runners
  • Voted: 523

Remake of "To Have and Have Not" based on Hemingway short story. Plot reset to early days of Cuban revolution. A charter boat skipper gets entangled in gunrunning scheme to get money to pay off debts. Sort of a sea-going film noir with bad girl, smarmy villain, and the "innocent" drawn into wrong side of law by circumstances.

#PersonCharacters
1Audie MurphySam Martin
2Eddie AlbertHanagan
3Patricia OwensLucy Martin
4Everett SloaneHarvey
  • No Political Stand by 6

    Ernest Hemingway's classic short story To Have And Have Not gets yet another remake, an independent production for Seven Arts that stars Audie Murphy taking the place Humphrey Bogart and John Garfield as Hemingway's iconoclastic fisherman/charter boat skipper.

    No Lauren Bacall like slinky low voiced siren to take our hero's mind off business. In fact Murphy is happily married to Patricia Owens. But while he has a happy home life he owes some big money around Key West. His boat isn't even completely paid for and the bank is breathing down his neck.

    Eddie Albert maybe the answer to his financial prayers. He wants to charter Murphy's boat for mysterious reasons for a trip to Cuba and remember this is 1958 and the Cuban government is rightly suspicious of strangers without proper clearance going to their island. In fact Albert is a gunrunner looking to sell to revolutionaries at a nice profit.

    The film takes no political sides as to whether it favors the Batista government or the Castro revolutionaries. All you gradually learn along with Murphy is that Albert is one ruthless individual and quite the user.

    Director Don Siegel shot this film on location in Newport Beach, California, curiously enough exactly where Michael Curtiz shot The Breaking Point, John Garfield's film of this story. Bogart's was done on the Warner Brothers back lot, none of them got anywhere near Papa Hemingway's beloved Caribbean waters. Siegel did keep the action going at a good clip.

    Audie Murphy showed a bit of versatility here as an actor, taking a break from the B westerns he was doing at Universal. But Eddie Albert who when he does play a villain does remarkably well as he did in The Longest Yard and Attack. One never thinks of him that way, his image is forever fixed with Green Acres, but he was a favorite of mine and his range never ceased to amaze me.

    The Gun Runners is your average B picture film about a controversial political issue in which it takes absolutely no sides.

  • Third time still lucky! by 8

    It puzzles me why producer Clarence Greene and Seven Arts thought the public would go for yet another re-telling of Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not" when both the Bogart-Bacall and Garfield-Neal versions are so widely regarded as definitive. But here it is, and I must admit that Mainwaring and Monash have added a few more suspenseful wrinkles to the screenplay and that Audie Murphy does surprisingly well by the Bogart-Garfield role. The other players are equally adept, particularly Eddie Albert as the chillingly convincing heavy and the lovely Gita Hall (in the first of only two movies, alas). And it's always good to see players like Richard Jaeckel, Herb Vigran and Jack Elam in roles that allow them to display their talents.

    Beautifully photographed by Hal Mohr on actual Key West locations, the movie also gives director Don Siegel some splendid action opportunities which he handles in his usual dramatic style, although the climax itself seems somewhat truncated by comparison with the preceding versions.

  • A top of the line B production by 9

    I picked this movie out because Don Siegel never produces garbage in fact it is almost guaranteed quality what ever the budget...and this movie has a B grade budget.

    Audie Murphy and Eddie Albert star in this 1958 rendition of Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. It is an intelligent well filmed maritime adventure. Eddie Murphy is superb as the charming villain--I have never seen a better one. Audie Murphy is boyishly handsome and earnest as the hard up boat captain.

    Well worth the watch. No politically correct baggage or tiresome social messages just action and gun running to Cuba.

    RECOMMEND

  • Barnacle Bill he ain't by 6

    WWII hero and busy actor stepped into Bogart and Garfield's shoes for a third version of a Hemingway story, "To Have and Have not." The film is bare-bones, budget-wise, but makes good use of its Florida locations to tell the story of gun runners and romance among the the coastal folk. Murphy isn't half-bad in the lead role of a charter boat captain caught up in a smuggling scheme, although I could not quite get used to Murphy in a boat captain's hat (I was so used to seeing him in Army helmets and cowboy hats). Eddie Albert plays a very convincing bad guy, and the film is loaded with familiar faces of the period, including Paul Birch, John Qualen, Jack Elam, Herb Vigran and Everett Sloane. Worth a look, mainly for Murphy/

  • Deserves More Recognition by 7

    A remake of "To Have and Have Not" based on the Hemingway short story. The plot is reset to the early days of the Cuban revolution. A charter boat skipper (Audie Murphy) gets entangled in gunrunning scheme to get money to pay off debts.

    Director Don Siegel may be the third person to tackle this tale, but he is not working fro ma dry well. By updating the story to involve the Cuban Revolution (before its success), the film takes on new life and now works as not only a great story but something of a historical document. Assisting Cuban rebels in 1958 may have had a very different sense at the time than it does today after fifty-plus years of Castro.

    This was the first feature from the fledgling Seven Arts Productions, before they went on to make "The Misfits" (1961), "Lolita" (1962), and several others, including a large number of co-productions with Hammer films.

#PersonCrew
1Don Siegeldirector
2Clarence Greeneproducer
3Ernest Hemingwaywriter
4Daniel Mainwaringwriter
5Paul Monashwriter
6Ben Hechtwriter