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Key Largo Reviews

Page 1 of 29

Super Reviewer

February 24, 2007
A ruthless mobster and his gang hold a group of hotel guests hostage during a hurricane on the Florida Keys. Another Noir from John (The Maltese Falcon) Huston featuring the classic pairing of Bogart and Bacall, this film does not quite live up to the promise of these ingredients but that's a hell of a pedigree to live up to. Making Bogart a do-gooder war hero and Bacall a doting widow takes the edge off their usual cynical, hard-bitten sparring and this overly wholesome approach means that the crackling chemistry they have shown in their other films is compromised. Robinson and Claire Trevor as his soused moll provide the best moments and his sneering diatribes against Bogie's moral stand are great. The hurricane enclosed setting makes for a nice pressure cooker environment in which the protagonists show their true colours and puts an interesting spin on the usual Noir ingredients. Maybe not the most original or inventive examples of the genre and it misses the firecracker dialogue of the likes of The Maltese Falcon, but it is still effective, atmospheric and constantly entertaining.

Super Reviewer

September 26, 2007
Tight thriller with a top notch cast. Claire Trevor deserved her Oscar for broken down singer Gae Dawn she's heartbreakingly wonderful.
Graham J

Super Reviewer

November 14, 2011
Another masterpiece from John Huston, the tension rarely lets up in this fantastic film. With great performances from the whole cast and an ending that packs a punch on noir goodness.

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2010
I liked this movie, not only for the great cast, but the great story too. Two bad situations, gangsters and a hurricane, make for an interesting movie.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

July 6, 2010
Just a really fun movie, you can't go wrong with John Huston and Humphrey Bogart. The story is simple, one man against the mob on an island with no escape. It works amazingly and you never see a dull moment throughout. The Bacall romance in it is subtle, but so honest and believable. Edward G. Robinson plays a great over the top mob boss, being really funny at the same time. I think it was hinted that Humphrey Bogart was indestructible in this, probably not too far off.
Mr Awesome
Mr Awesome

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2009
Frank McCloud walks into a Key Largo hotel and is greeted by a screaming lush named Gaye Dawn (Claire Trevor) and a group of thugs. But it's not the lush or the thugs that McCloud's come to see, it's Mr. Temple, and his daughter-in-law Nora (Lionel Barrymore and Lauren Becall). McCloud served in the war with Mr. Temple's son, and while passing through the area, has stopped to pay his respects to the family. Meanwhile, the local police are on a manhunt for some indians who have escaped from the local jail (even though they're only serving a 30 day sentence). By the time the thugs reveal themselves to be the gang of exiled mob boss Johnny Rocco, and ready to hold the hotel hostage, it's time for the hurricane to hit and all hell to break loose. Key Largo is packed with intensity, both manmade and that made by mother nature. Lauren Becall plays Nora like a wounded bird, wanting to believe in the good of man but willing to scratch the eyes out of any evil-doer that threatens her. She absolutely worships strength in her men. Bogart's McCloud is a survivor, but it's a constant struggle to follow his mind and not his heart. There's a moment when he's branded a coward by the room, and while his words say he'd rather be a live coward than a dead hero, his eyes tell the story of a man who'd like nothing better than to prove everyone wrong. And that's really where the bulk of this movie's strength lies, in performances and the use of non-verbal communication to tell a story far more subtle than the surface suggests. That sublety doesn't extend to Edward G. Robinson's performance, however, as he chews the scenery in his role as the charmingly ruthless and vicious mob boss. In one scene, he tortures Gaye, an old flame of his, with memories of a singing career she once had before booze took over her life and ruined her voice. He offers her a drink in exchange for a song, gently chiding her into singing although she is clearly tortured by the prospect. As she sings, the camera pans around around the room to the faces of the uncomfortable audience being held captive by Rocco. After the ackward performance, Rocco disgustedly denies her a drink, considering her like some lowly animal. It's quite a scene and quite a good movie. In fact, I'd say it was nearly flawless.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

May 5, 2007
Edward G Robinson at his best! Fantastically shot with a scary claustrophobic vibe.

My second favorite Bogey/Bacall pairing (next to To Have or Have Not)

Super Reviewer

November 1, 2007
rocco is my favorite robinson gangster and this is bogey and bacall's best picture together. a great script, fantastic claustrophobic atmosphere and terrific performances. lionel barrymore is hilarious and claire trevor breaks your heart. i love this movie more than i can ever say!
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

October 14, 2006
James Temple: Are you thieves or what? You want money, is this a robbery?
Toots: Yeah, Pop, we're gonna steal all your towels.

For 1948, this would be considered an all-star lineup back in the day, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Edward G. Robinson star in a thriller directed by John Huston. It is set around a hotel in the Florida Keys during a tropical storm. The problem is, a gangster and his cronies are holding people hostage inside. Not as much a film noir as it is a crime thriller, the movie works due to the presence of certain characters and the wonderful dialog throughout.

Bogart plays Frank McCloud, a war veteran, who goes to the hotel to tell a widow and a father about a man who served under him in the war.

Once arriving at the hotel, McCloud meets the father, Mr. Temple played by Lionel Barrymore and the widow played by a very good looking Lauren Bacall. This first act provides a good setup for the characters to talk out what they already seem to know about each other, as well as introduce us to some other characters.

Then the second act kicks into gear when Edward G. Robinson shows up as the famous gangster Johnny Rocco. It is because of Robinson's character that the somewhat slow and talky middle section of this movie works. His character is mean, ruthless, and a bully. Along with his cronies, Rocco's former alcoholic girlfriend, Claire Trevor, is present as well, and Rocco takes almost every opportunity to knock her down.

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

While this all goes on, Frank goes in and out of putting priority over what is right and how to keep himself alive. Meanwhile, Bacall is also subject to Rocco's torment, as well as Mr. Temple, who is crippled no less.

The plot thickens as a hurricane kicks up, causing a worried Rocco to get more and more concerned, as he waits to conduct some business from the hotel and then leave for Cuba. There is also a subplot surrounding a police chief and some Indians that weaves its way into the story.

By the time the third act kicks into gear, blood has been spilled and Frank must go toe to toe with Rocco.

Along with the wonderful dialog, Huston makes good use of the storm as a great visual motif to essentially work with Rocco's state of mind. I keep mentioning Rocco, and its due to how wonderfully evil and memorable his character is. Sure this is another Bogart and Bacall movie, and they are good, but Robinson really holds the movie together.

That being said, there are some cool scenes for Bogart to just lay out his cards and show the bad guys what's up.

A very good movie, bringing two big stars up against each other.

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.

Super Reviewer

January 26, 2007
this is a good movie. bogart and robinson deliver performances that are a little too typical, bogart playing his normal existentialist and robinson his normal gangster, but it wasnt a movie about performances. it was a solid story and a good escape into something meant to be simple and entertaining. overall worth seeing.

Super Reviewer

March 1, 2008
One of the great movies of all time
William S

Super Reviewer

September 23, 2007
Of the Bogey & Bacall flics I actually prefer this one. Of course the Big Sleep has all the great lines but the narrative is at times a bit messy, To Have and Have Not has Bacall's unforgettable debut but the story and some of the performances are just a bit blah, Dark Passage is very under-rated but still a little too gimmicky. But Key Largo is perfect - even though everyone is upstaged by Claire Trevor's moll - she's vulnerable and deeply moving and it's a crime she's often forgotten!
Michael G

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2006
The best Bogart-Bacall movie.
David S

Super Reviewer

June 30, 2011
Not the great classic I was hoping for this film can't quite escape its stage origins and Bogart seems a bit too subdued during the whole thing. Bacall is incredibly young and is obviously still learning her craft and if it wasn't for Robinson's Rocco this would have been just another 'B' movie. He is great here and brings real menace but also a complete character to the proceedings. Trevor is also great as his lush mole and their scenes together crackle, especially when she is forced to sing for a drink. Probably not Huston's best (I haven't seen enough to judge) this is worth seeing for Robinson and Trevor.
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

June 1, 2007
Bogey, Bacall and Robinson. Great cast. Great story. Great movie.
Deb S

Super Reviewer

September 16, 2009
"The wind blows so hard the ocean gets up on its hind legs and walks right across the land. "

Key Largo is an intelligent thriller directed by John Huston. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart were magnetic in Key Largo. Claire Trevor won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part as Gaye Dawn, Johnny Rocco's alcoholic girlfriend.

"A cast as explosive as it's story!"
Sunil J

Super Reviewer

September 13, 2007
A pretty old school thriller that works.

Super Reviewer

February 3, 2009
Not essential like other contemporary era Bogie such as Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Big Sleep, and To Have And Have Not, but still a solid hand-wringer. Holy mackerel, those 5 films are enough to win Actor of the Decade for ANY decade!
March 14, 2014
Hard to go wrong with all the talent involved here both in front and behind the camera, it's pretty much an acting seminar, with robinson doing the best job i felt, he has prolly the most lines and is the most memorable character, i know it's based off a play and does feel kinda stagey at times, but it's still quite riveting, with the approaching hurricane outside adding to the tension inside between the gangsters and the protagonists, any fan of old hollywood noir films will enjoy this
May 31, 2012
A very good intense drama. Bogart & Bacall make an excellent pair. Edward G Robinson is the ultimate gangster.
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