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Key Largo (1948)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  31 July 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 26,779 users  
Reviews: 144 user | 58 critic

A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Key Largo (1948)

Key Largo (1948) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Harry Lewis ...
John Rodney ...
Dan Seymour ...
Angel Garcia
Monte Blue ...
Sheriff Ben Wade
William Haade ...
Ralph Feeney


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 Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TROPICAL FURY! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

31 July 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Huracán de pasiones  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Claire Trevor sings "Moanin' Low" acapella. This song was popularized in the early 1930s by Libby Holman. See more »


Mr. Temple describes fairly accurately the hurricane that struck the Florida Keys on September 2, 1935. However, his description of the death toll ("800 people washed out to sea") is about double that of the official toll of 408. See more »


Frank McCloud: When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses.
See more »


Referenced in The Black Mirror (2004) See more »


Moanin' Low
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung by Claire Trevor
See more »

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User Reviews

The genius of John Huston on display!
2 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

John Huston was a remarkable man who was an excellent director, as well as a superb adapter of other people's materials, as he clearly shows in "Key Largo". This movie, based on Maxwell Anderson's play, is a triumph for Mr. Huston, who co-wrote the adaptation with Richard Brooks, another man who would go on to direct his own movies.

Mr. Huston had an uncanny way to get the best people in the business in his projects. Karl Freund's black and white cinematography is wonderful, as is the haunting music provided by Max Steiner, a man who was a genius in his own right for always giving that special touch to the scores he was hired to do.

"Key Largo" has been compared with "The Desperate Hours", in which Humphrey Bogart also appeared. In fact, both were theatrical plays, and perhaps that's the basis of the comparison. As much as Mr. Huston tried to open "Key Largo", it still has a certain feeling of the drama one would get in a stage production.

This is a film that has Humphrey Bogart playing a good guy, Frank McCloud, not his usual bad guy from other movies. Also, we see a rather quiet Lauren Bacall as Nora Temple; in her other films with Mr. Bogart she played more sultrier roles. Edgar G. Robinson is perfect as the crooked Johnny Rocco, the gangster that has decided to take over the Largo Hotel to do his business. In a great performance, Mr. Robinson shows an ugly side. Claire Trevor plays a gangster moll Gaye Dawn and has a great opportunity. Also Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Gomez and Harry Lewis are seen in supporting roles.

"Key Largo" will not disappoint because it shows a tense situation in which at the beginning seems a hopeless cause, but the hurricane will change things around and justice and sanity will prevail.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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