entertainmentMovie Reviews

Key Largo (1948): Film Reviews

Directed by: John Huston.
With: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore.

Written by John Huston (“El Tesoro De Sierra Madre”) and Richard Brooks (“La Calle Del Misterio”).


Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) arrives at a hotel in Key Largo, Florida to meet James Temple (Lionel Barrymore), the father of an ex-army mate who died in World War II.
At the hotel, he also meets his widow, Nora (Lauren Bacall).
A hurricane approaches the place, which has been taken over by gangsters led by Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), who is waiting at the hotel for a buddy to move to Cuba.


John Huston during one of his many encounters with Humphrey Bogart.

The cast is splendid and the Warner production of Jerry Wald is filled with top-notch technicians, including Max Steiner on music and Karl Freund on photography.

Richard Brooks, the future director of “Cat on a Hot Roof”, co-wrote the screenplay with Huston, very freely adapting a play by Maxwell Anderson, since the resemblance to such a play is summed up in the title.

cayo-largo-bogart-bacall-critical-reviewMore than a film noir, “Cayo Largo” is a drama with criminals in a small space, a confined setting that helps to ease the tension between the characters, resulting in notions of cowardice and heroism.

Appreciate how context determines attitudes and how they can be mislabeled/defined.

The best of the film is at its beginning.

The introduction of the characters, the tense situation, the manipulation of space despite its theatrical roots…

Later, with a little explored subplot with Indians, it veers towards simple action with predictable results.

Claire Trevor, in a magnificent performance as an alcoholic, harassed by a cruel Edward G. Robinson, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Tokens in Aloha Picky

Humphrey Bogart
Lauren Bacal
Edward G Robinson
lionel barrymore
Claire Trevor


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