Saturday, 6 November 2010
Key Largo 
In this movie by noir maestro John Huston, Humphrey Bogart plays a character that he perfected over the years, that of an embittered and cynical man who has little faith in the humankind, but with his heart in the right place. His Frank McCloud is a disillusioned WW-II veteran in this case, who, upon reaching the eponymous Key Largo, a godforsaken town in Florida, in order to pay visit to the crippled father and wife of his diseased war buddy, finds that the hotel they were running has been taken over by Jonny Rocco, a gangster on the lam, and his chums. Frank seems cool and aloof initially, but as it turns out, he was waiting all the while for the right opportunity to take on Rocco. Bogart, despite his over-familiarity with the role, or perhaps because of it, appears to have been going through the motion, and is therefore just about good without being great. The inevitable sparks that develop between him and his friend’s widow Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall) is also not high on chemistry. The film thus was more of a vehicle for Edward G. Robinson, who is enthralling as the scheming former crime czar, and so was it for Claire Trevor who is notable as a washed-out prima donna and Rocco’s alcoholic mistress. Meanwhile, as a huge storm brews in the horizon, the movie smartly moves towards an electric, tension-filled climax.
p.s. Key Largo is part of Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection, a wonderful boxset release by Warner Bros.
Director: John Huston
Genre: Crime Thriller/Gangster Film/Film Noir