Key Largo (1948) film thoughts… As I am trying to get better handle on Humphrey Bogart as an actor, I choose Key Largo as an entry for this event. The story is set over a period of about 24 hours as Bogart’s character, Frank McCloud, stops in Key Largo via bus to visit the family of a soldier who died under his command during WW2. The soldier’s wife is played by Lauren Bacall who with her father runs a hotel on the beach. At the same time, a group of mobsters lead by Edward G. Robinson, are at the hotel to meet up with Miami mobsters to make a deal. To make matters even more interesting, a hurricane is on the way…

Wow, I have to say this is one of the best films I have seen in a long time overall. Each character in the film, even the minor players, are well defined and important to the plot. Bogart’s McCloud, is a complex character who has seen enough violence and doesn’t want any part of it, but has to come to grips that he is the only one who can defeat Robinson. The film is very well shot and has some really good effects of the hurricane for the time. I don’t know how the actors didn’t get really hurt by some of the exploding windows throughout the film. The script keeps it’s stage production roots though thankfully it doesn’t feel “stagey”, the dialogue and the action flows nicely.

Key Largo is a nice addition to your film collection. I can see why it’s considered a classic film noir too.


2 thoughts on “COUERS NOIRS Day 2: KEY LARGO (1948)

  1. I agree completely! A terrific film with one of Bogart’s best performances. The other top acting honors go to Claire Trevor as the over the hill gun moll. I don’t feel Lauren Bacall is as effective here as she is in her other films with Bogart. She’s not as intriguing when she’s trying to project “goodness” as she is being sexy and mysterious.


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