A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
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
The original Broadway production of "Key Largo" by Maxwell Anderson opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on November 27, 1939 and ran for 105 performances. The original stage cast includes Paul Muni, Uta Hagen and the Broadway debut of character actor James Gregory. See more »
When Johnny Rocco racks the slide of his semi-automatic pistol and then holds it to Frank McCloud's belly and repeatedly pulls the trigger, a loud click is heard every time he pulls the trigger. However, a single-action semi-auto pistol such as the one shown can only release the cocked firing pin when the slide is racked, a shot is fired and a new round chambered, or the hammer is pulled back manually. None of those occurred after the first trigger pull. See more »
"But we aren't making all this sacrifice of human effort and lives to return to the kind of a world we had after the last world war. We're fighting to cleanse the world of ancient evils, ancient ills." - Quoted from FDR's 1942 State of the Union
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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" was the second collaboration between Humphrey Bogart and John Houston during 1948 (the other being "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre). Both films represent both artists at the peak of their respective careers.
"Key Largo" is about a group of gangsters who have taken over a hotel located on Key Largo. Along comes Bogey, who has come to visit the father of a war time pal who was killed, and of course, gets drawn into the drama.
Huston's cast is flawless. Bogart as Frank McCloud is suitably laid back and brave as he confronts the gangsters headed by Edward G. Robinson as Johnny Rocco. Lauren Bacall plays the widow of Bogey's war time friend and the venerable Lionel Barrymore is outstanding as Temple, the hotel proprietor. Claire Trevor plays Rocco's moll Gaye Dawn, an alcoholic former singer for which she deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Appearing as as Rocco's henchmen are veterans Thomas Gomez and Dan Seymour and Harry Lewis as Toots a "Wilmer" type character (from "The Maltese Falcon"). Monte Blue and John Rodney represent the law.
Bogart and Robinson appeared together many times during the 30s with Robinson usually playing the hero and Bogey the heavy. This time their roles are reversed. This film was unfortunately, the last time Bogart and Robinson appeared together. It's a pity because they always played against each other so well. I always liked Robinson better on the wrong side of the law. His Rocco is a slimy brutal villain. He even gets to slap Bogey around in this one.
It is interesting to note the name of the boat that the gang make their getaway on is called "Santana". Santana was the name of Bogey's own personal boat and the name of his production company.
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