Frank McCloud travels to a run-down hotel on Key Largo to honor the memory of a friend who died bravely in his unit during WW II. His friend's widow, Nora Temple, and wheelchair bound father, James Temple manage the hotel and receive him warmly, but the three of them soon find themselves virtual prisoners when the hotel is taken over by a mob of gangsters led by Johnny Rocco who hole up there to await the passing of a hurricane. Mr. Temple strongly reviles Rocco but due to his infirmities can only confront him verbally. Having become disillusioned by the violence of war, Frank is reluctant to act, but Rocco's demeaning treatment of his alcoholic moll, Gaye Dawn, and his complicity in the deaths of some innocent Seminole Indians and a deputy sheriff start to motivate McCloud to overcome his Hamlet-like inaction. Written by
WHERE MEN IN HIDING WAITED...WITH READY GUN! (original print ad - all caps)
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Did You Know?
This movie was based on Maxwell Anderson
's popular Broadway play which featured Paul Muni
in the lead role as a fatalistic ex-member of the Loyalist Army who has returned from the Spanish Civil War. For the film version, the time period and the setting were changed. Director John Huston
and screenwriter Richard Brooks
rewrote the main character, Frank McCloud, making him a World War II veteran who had served in the Italian campaign. The two writers emphasized the idealism of the early Franklin D. Roosevelt
years and how those ideals began to erode as organized crime spread through urban areas. See more
When Frank is on top of the boat looking down waiting for the gangsters to come out, a view of him from above shows a shiny plated gun in his left hand. The rest of the scene shows him with a black plated gun in his right hand. However, he had picked up "Toots'" gun after shooting him. That gun was shiny. See more
When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses.
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung by Claire Trevor See more