Saturday, 6 November 2010

Key Largo [1948]

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.

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
Language: English
Country: US


Sam Juliano said...

This weather driven drama holds up no matter how many times you watch it, and there's no question it's one of Huston's most popular films. As always you frame a film beautifully here, Shubhajit!

Shubhajit said...

Thanks Sam. Yeah, and the weather does play an integral role in the narrative. Loved the way it was used to drive the story forward and create an atmosphere of tension & paranoia.

Squish said...

Hey Shubhajit!

The response back from Club members has been amazing!

On the week of November 29th to December 5th, 2010, I will be hosting an good old fashioned Blog-A-Thon to re-inaugurate the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Blog Club.

After months of waiting for it to start again, I decided to just host the Club myself, and I'd love to have you as a member once again. I am writing you today to invite you to contribute a post (or posters!), on the first film on the epic 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die List, George Méliès' "A Trip To The Moon" (1902) aka "Le voyage dans la lune." Since you're an old club member, it would be great to see your contribution!

One of the many great things about "A Trip To The Moon" is that this short film is available everywhere for viewing. I've put a couple links for you of the complete film at the bottom of the page.

If you're interested, drop me a link or a line through my site (, and feel free to spread the word!

Un voyage dans la lune:
Alternate link:

Shubhajit said...

Hey, great to know that you've received positive response from most of the members, and that you're giving it a grand restart with this landmark silent classic. I'll surely try to watch and give a review of A Trip to Moon. Thanks again for taking this wonderful initiative.