Key Largo

1948, Drama/Crime, 1h 41m

35 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

What to know

critics consensus

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are at the mercy of Edward G. Robinson's menacing gangster -- and so is the audience in this enthralling chamber piece. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

This classic film noir by John Huston stars Humphrey Bogart as World War II vet Frank McCloud. Visiting Key Largo to pay his respects to the family of his late war buddy, McCloud attempts to comfort his comrade's widow, Nora (Lauren Bacall), and father, James Temple (Lionel Barrymore), who operate a hotel. But McCloud realizes that mobsters, led by the infamous Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), are staying in the hotel. When the criminals take over the establishment, conflict is inevitable.

Cast & Crew

Humphrey Bogart
Frank McCloud
Lauren Bacall
Nora Temple
Thomas Gomez
Richard 'Curly' Hoff (Rocco's goon #1)
Jay Silverheels
Tom Osceola (uncredited)
Max Steiner
Original Music
Karl Freund
Cinematography
Rudi Fehr
Film Editing
Leo K. Kuter
Art Director
Fred M. MacLean
Set Decoration
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Critic Reviews for Key Largo

Audience Reviews for Key Largo

  • Aug 16, 2021
    There are some great performances here, but the movie is filled with potentially interesting ideas about heroism and the nature of evil that are sidelined for some pretty dull gangster villains that even Robinson can't make all that interesting.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2016
    Key Largo is a film noir piece set in the Florida Keys where Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) arrives to visit the family of a fellow soldier that died during the war (Lionel Berrymore and Lauren Bacall). Problems arise when the gangster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) has holed up the hotel run by the family, waiting to sneak back into the country after being deported. Add into this the hurricane that will be making a direct hit on the south Florida island. Whenever you get John Huston and Humphrey Bogart together you're going to get something special and Key Largo isn't any different. The film has a deep noir feel, yet it transplants itself from the typical locale of seedy neighborhoods of the inner cities to what was a more quiet area that becomes isolated even further by the hurricane hitting. Bogart is the reluctant hero, beaten down by the war and the post war world that wanders into this situation by accident. He's not looking for trouble, but is prepared to deal with it if necessary. There is an attraction between McCloud and Nora (Bacall, the groomless fiancé), but nothing really comes to fruition due to the situation they're in, giving us believably that wasn't seen in films of this era. There's too much going on for this people to become romantic. Other circumstances may allow it, but not this set. Of course, Edward G. Robinson playing an egocentric gangster is his calling card. He's great in the role and plays it over the top when needed, but still has the ability to tone it down when the situation requires. Key Largo is a movie that builds onto itself, with a kind of snowball effect that compounds itself as the film goes on. There is a sense of claustrophobia when the film begins, that opens up as the film rolls on right along as Johnny Rocco loses control of the situation. And yes, the hurricane represents a huge character in the film is the boss over all that it surveys. Huston plays this card, but doesn't over play it, a great move by a master. Key largo is one for the ages, a great noir piece that paces great with wonderful acting. A testament to all of those involved in the film.
    Chris G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2016
    What's so great about Film-noir's is that they thrust the audience into uncomfortable and alienating situations. While Key Largo is in most ways a lighter noir, it still creates a great amount dread and ominous situations, all a tribute to John Huston's wonderful direction here. Key Largo re-teamed Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall for the 4th and final time and it is yet another gem in their resumes. Lionel Barrymore, Edward G. Robinson, and Claire Trevor round out a tremendously talented cast. It helps that Key Largo is based on a play which gives the actors plenty of room to thrive in this crime drama film noir. Trevor won the Oscar for supporting actress and she's incredible, but Barrymore never fails to amaze me in a wheelchair. Between this, You Can't Take it With You, and It's a Wonderful Life, he has gave me some of the most enjoyable movie experiences, so thank you Mr. Barrymore. The film delves into a man's (Bogart) post World War II trip to his friends hotel when they are stranded with a bunch of gangsters during a hurricane. The premise itself thrives as a stage production by it also manages to give us an engaging and thrilling cinematic experience as well. I love how there is never any real assurance from the writing or direction that this film will be a happy ending, which makes it such a great noir. A hurricane and a bunch of gangsters? The only actor qualified for such circumstances has to be the one and only Humphrey Bogart. In all seriousness, Key Largo is a really good film. With a setting that sticks to the confinement of the hotel for 90% of the film, I can't speak highly enough of the directing and acting. It's difficult to make an action film with plenty of vivacious settings to be engaging for 90 minutes but Key Largo manages to it with one hotel, that's impressive. The character arcs of both Robinson's Johnny Rocco and Bogart's Frank Mcloud are interestingly paralleled. Both have nowhere to go or fit in and they both plenty of desires and hopes. To me, the scenes between both of them were the most fascinating. So overall, Key Largo is a classic. It gives you everything you want from a noir standpoint, while also creating a solid crime thriller in the process. +Direction +Barrymore always steals the show +Noir elements 8.7/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2012
    Based on a play, the film feels stage-like as it's filmed almost entirely at a hotel the Humphrey Bogart character visits to meet the wdow and father of a slain army buddy. Bogart finds the hotel has been overrun by a small band of gansters lead by Edward G. Robinson. The film becomes a morality tale of good versus bad and heroism versus cowardice. For lovers of films of from era they will not be disappointed. And, if you're a Lauren Bacall fan, like I am, you will enjoy seeing her in an unglamorous role.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer

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