Bacall to Arms
Bacall to arms title.png
Directed By: Bob Clampett (planned, uncredited)
Arthur Davis (finished, uncredited)
Friz Freleng (animation from She Was an Acrobat's Daughter, uncredited)
Produced By: Eddie Selzer (uncredited)
Released: August 3, 1946
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Warren Foster (uncredited)
Animation: Rod Scribner
Don Williams
Manny Gould
I. Ellis
Layouts: Thomas McKimson
Backgrounds: Philip DeGuard
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc (uncredited)
Sara Berner (uncredited)
Dave Barry (uncredited)
Robert C. Bruce (uncredited)
Music: Carl Stalling
Starring: Bogey Gocart
Laurie Be-Cool
Mother in Law
Fat Theater Patron
Henpecked Husband
Rochester Soundalike
Newsreel Narrator
Preceded By: The Great Piggy Bank Robbery
Succeeded By: Of Thee I Sting

Bacall to Arms is a 1946 Merrie Melodies short planned by Bob Clampett and finished by Arthur Davis.


The title refers both to the phrase, "call to arms," and the late actress Lauren Bacall.


In a movie theater, various random gags occur before the film, such as one patron moving to another seat another patron taking the vacated seat, and so on, accelerating into a free-for-all. While the theater is in color, the films-within-the-film are black-and-white. A short "newsreel" is narrated by Robert C. Bruce.

The main feature is a film called To Have- To Have- To Have- ..., a parody on To Have and Have Not. It includes reasonably realistic, possibly rotoscoped images of Bogie and Bacall, who are credited as "Bogey Gocart and Laurie Becool". In addition to recreating a few well-known scenes from that film (the kissing scene; the "put your lips together and blow" scene), the players sometimes lapse into slapstick (Bacall lighting her cigarette with a blowtorch, à la Harpo Marx; or letting loose with a loud, shrill whistle after her famous sultry comment) and interact with the theater audience.

Although the theater was initially full, it is eventually seen to be empty except for one patron: a lone wolf in a zoot suit who goes ga-ga over Bacall. The wolf grabs a cigarette that was dropped in the film and jumps off the screen, and Bogie shoots him. He hands it to Bogie, which explodes, covering him with "blackface". Bogie suddenly adopts a "Rochester" voice, and says, "My, oh my! I can work for Mr. Benny now!"



  • The entire ending where the Tex Avery-esque wolf happily puffs on Laurie Be-Cool's cigarette, only to get shot by Bogey Go-Cart, who retrieves the cigarette and smokes it (only to get blown up and turn blackfaced, replying, "My, oh, my! I can work for Mr. Benny now!" à la Rochester) was cut when shown on TNT.[1] Cartoon Network and its sister channel Boomerang, despite editing out a similar Rochester blackface scene from Goofy Groceries, surprisingly left this ending scene uncut.
  • According to Jerry Beck's DVD commentary on Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5, this cartoon's choppy, incomplete feel was a result of Bob Clampett never completing the cartoon due to his departure from Warner Bros. Cartoons studio and most of the missing scenes are said to be lost to time.


  • This is the first film to be directed by Arthur Davis (even though there is no director credit present).
  • Neither Clampett (he was left uncredited because he had left the studio before the cartoon was released) nor voice characterizations are credited. Mel Blanc's voice is recognizable as a fat theater patron (the hippo from She Was An Acrobat's Daughter) and the Elmer Fudd-looking, Sylvester the Cat-sounding man in the newsreel story about how war radios can be used to detect when a mother-in-law is coming to stay at a married man's house. Impressionist Dave Barry did the voice of Humphrey Bogart.
  • The credits for the fictitious film "To Have...etc" are:
    • Thief.............Oph Bagdad
    • Doctor...........Jekyll
    • Lawyer...........Ima Shyster
    • Beggar Man....Kismet
    • Poor Man........John Dough
  • There have been theories speculating that the short was originally planned to be directed by Tex Avery before his departure in 1941, although that hasn't been officially confirmed yet.



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