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
A storm of fear and fury in the sizzling Florida Keys !
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Did You Know?
The character of Johnny Rocco was modeled on Al Capone
, who retired to Florida and died there of complications due to advanced syphilis a year before this film was produced. Screenwriter Richard Brooks
later revealed he had also incorporated biographical details about another famous gangster, Lucky Luciano
, into Rocco's character as well. See more
On the dock as the hurricane is beginning, palm tree far in the distance is not moving whereas Nora's hair and tree branches in the foreground are blowing around. Obviously a painted flat. See more
One Rocco more or less isn't worth dying for!
Referenced in Smash His Camera
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung by Claire Trevor See more