Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Key Largo (1948)

Key Largo (1948) is a gangster/ drama film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Edward G. Robinson. It takes place in Key Largo Florida, with Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart), an ex soldier arriving at a hotel owned by one of his late comrades family. There he finds his friends wife Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall) and his father James Temple (Lionel Barrymore) are unwittingly housing infamous mobster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) and his gang. As a hurricane approaches McCloud and the Temple's are held hostage. (Spoilers ahead!)

Tensions mount as Rocco becomes increasingly agitated with the storm, Nora and Frank. He is hoping to go to Cuba with money earned from forgery. His mistreated girlfriend Gaye (Claire Trevor), begins to realise over the course of the night that Rocco is no good, and after Frank shows kindness towards her, she helps him in return. After a policeman and two innocent victims are killed as a result of the gangsters presence, the hurricane finally passes, Rocco receives his money and is ready to depart. The man he hired to take him to Cuba however has left during the storm. And consequently Rocco forces McCloud to take them instead. 

With the aid of Gaye, McCloud secures a gun, and leaves Key Largo with the gangsters. The final climatic battle on the boat spells the end for Rocco and triumph for McCloud, who rings Nora to tell her he will be returning to Key Largo. 

The film was the last of four films Bogart and Bacall made together, and I must admit I wish Bacall had had a larger role! Claire Trevor won the the academy award for best supporting actress for her role as Rocco's girlfriend, and her performance is one of the highlights of the film. The escalating hurricane adds a different level of tension. 
This was my first time seeing a Bogart and Bacall film and I am looking forward to watching their other collaborations. Any recommendations? If anyone is reading, I would love to hear from you in the comments! 

3.5 / 5
Also here is the trailer for the film! Enjoy! 

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