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 the Osceola Brothers and a deputy sheriff start to motivate McCloud to overcome his Hamlet-like inaction.Written by
As Frank and Nora are returning from tying up the boat, you can see the water lapping against the backdrop behind them (audience right). See more »
Sheriff Ben Wade:
[to the driver after pulling over a bus]
Hi, Ben. What gives?
Sheriff Ben Wade:
We're lookin' for a couple Indians broke out of jail. Young bucks in fancy shirts. If you see anything of 'em, telephone my office at Palm Grove.
[after the sheriff and deputy leave, he turns to Frank McCloud in the first passenger seat]
Those Indians they're lookin' for must be from around here. They always head for home.
Home being Key Largo.
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At the southernmost point of the United States are the Florida Keys, a string of small islands held together by a concrete causeway. Largest of these remote coral islands is Key Largo. See more »
Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
Key Largo is a remote island off the coast of Florida. It's connected to the mainland by a concrete causeway. Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) goes there to visit the father of a dead army buddy. He meets him (Lionel Barrymore) and his buddies widow (Lauren Bacall). He also discovers criminal Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) is holed up there with his gang and alcoholic girlfriend (Claire Trevor). A hurricane hits and they're all stranded on the island together...and Johnny and his gang have guns and nasty tempers...
Bogart and Bacall's last movie together and a good one too. This was based on a play and it sometimes shows. Characters tend to give long speeches explaining who they are and their motivations. Still it's well-written and acted and beautifully directed by John Huston. When the hurricane hits the special effects are actually pretty good with cool sound effects too.
The acting is (with one exception) good. Bogart seemed incapable of giving a bad performance and he's just great here. Robinson doesn't show up until nearly 30 minutes in--but you always know he's there. He's OK but I think he played the gangster role once too often. Barrymore is given little to do but he is good. Trevor is superb in her small role--she understandably won a Best Supporting Actress award for this. Surprisingly Bacall is terrible! She's stone faced throughout and gives a bad performance. Maybe she didn't click with the director (Huston was not known for his tact and tended to be a screamer).
Still it's a good solid drama--worth catching. I give it an 8.
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