Humphrey Bogart ■ Edward G. Robinson ■ Lauren Bacall
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.
Key Largo.... Where to start? Well, it's one of my absolute favorite Bogie movies and the first one of his with Bacall that I ever saw. I grew up watching The African Queen, and liked it, but I think it was when I watched Key Largo in my teens that I decided I really liked Humphrey Bogart movies. It also introduced me to one of Hollywood's most famous heavies, Edward G. Robinson, and even to this day I immediately hate his character after having first seen him here. This is also the movie that proved to me that Lionel Barrymore wasn't always a mean guy, previous to Key Largo I'd only seen him in It's A Wonderful Life.
Key Largo also got me started on one of my favorite hobbies, watching Hurricanes. I live in a landlocked state far from Hurricane Alley so I started watching them via the National Hurricane Center. Hurricanes of the past and the present are such fascinating things!
The magic between Bogie and Bacall is so evident in this movie and it's a delight to watch. And as evidenced by her winning an Oscar for it, Claire Trevor's performance in this movie is both very good and very convincing.
Key Largo is a film noir movie, a genre that I truly enjoy and one that both Bogie and Bacall excelled in. For any classic movie buff or film noir fan Key Largo is a definite must watch!
Humphrey Bogart ... Frank McCloud
Edward G. Robinson ... Johnny Rocco
Lauren Bacall ... Nora Temple
Lionel Barrymore ... James Temple
Claire Trevor ... Gaye Dawn
Thomas Gomez ... Richard 'Curly' Hoff
Harry Lewis ... Edward 'Toots' Bass
John Rodney ... Deputy Clyde Sawyer
Marc Lawrence ... Ziggy
Dan Seymour ... Angel Garcia
Monte Blue ... Sheriff Ben Wade
Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida, USA
Key West, Florida Keys, Florida, USA
Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys, Florida, USA
Warner Brothers Studios, Burbank, California, USA
1949 Academy Awards
Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Claire Trevor
Nora Temple: Charlie! Charlie Winook and his family, Crawfish Island. Charlie's a prince of the Seminole Nation. His ancestors go back to the gods. He sells sea shells by the sea shore.
James Temple: Are you thieves or what? You want money, is this a robbery?
Toots: Yeah, Pop, we're gonna steal all your towels.
Johnny Rocco: After living in the USA for more than thirty-five years they called me an undesirable alien. Me. Johnny Rocco. Like I was a dirty Red or something!
Ralphie: Hey Curly, what all happens in a hurricane?
Curly: The wind blows so hard the ocean gets up on its hind legs and walks right across the land.
[Rocco is showing strain at the height of the hurricane's force]
Frank McCloud: You don't like it, do you Rocco, the storm? Show it your gun, why don't you? If it doesn't stop, shoot it.
Frank McCloud: When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses.