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
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Did You Know?
Apart from the opening shots, the movie was filmed entirely at Warner Bros. Studio head Jack L. Warner
- still reeling from the cost of shooting John Huston
's previous film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(1948), on location - refused to approve any more location filming for the director. The pier scenes were filmed using the studio tank with miniature boats in the background to give an illusion of depth. The shipboard shots at the end were also filmed using the studio tank, with fog used to mask the artifice. See more
When Gaye sits down with Nora after being released from her room, the boom microphone is reflected in the picture behind them. See more
One Rocco more or less isn't worth dying for!
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung by Claire Trevor See more