Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Key Largo |
Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
A hurricane swells outside, but it's nothing compared to the storm within the hotel at Key Largo. There, sadistic mobster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) holes up - and holds at gunpoint hotel owner Nora Temple (Lauren B... more »
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Gangsters. A hurricane. Danger. Fine acting. Wonderful!
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 12/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've heard a lot about this 1948 film and had never seen it. I sure was in for a treat. Filmed in black and white, the tension starts right at the beginning and doesn't let up till it runs its full 101 minutes. It's the story of an ex-GI who visits a Florida Keys hotel run by the father and widow of a former buddy who was killed in action. The hotel, however, has been taken over by gangsters. And there's a hurricane brewing. Add some great directing by John Huston from a play written by Maxwell Anderson. Then throw in the stars of the day. What a mix! What a film!I'm not a big Humphrey Bogart fan. I usually find him stiff and wooden. But he's better in this film, showing real emotion and animation on his face. Maybe it's because his leading lady is Lauren Bacall, cast as the widow. She fresh and young and beautiful and there is real chemistry between them. And then there is Edward G. Robinson. His gangster screen presence sure is real. He's the best of the best in this kind of role. All the performances were great but Lionel Barrymore, cast as the crippled owner of the hotel, is one of the best actors I've ever seen. With all this talent and terrific screenplay, though, the only academy award winner in the lot was Clare Trevor. She's cast as the gangster's girlfriend, aging and alcoholic. There's one scene in which she's forced to sing in order to get a drink. She's lost her voice but she pushes through the song as her small audience exchange knowing looks between them. It was more than an outstanding performance; it was absolutely sensational.And then there's the hurricane. And a scene on a boat. All this was done so well that I didn't miss any high-tech special effects. The mood was set. The danger was there. There's even a great theme about good and evil and willing to put your life on the line. And it was all combined perfectly with the screenplay, the directing and some of the best acting to come out of that era.I give this film one of my highest recommendations. It's a real treat. And a classic that has not only stood the test of time, but has aged like fine wine. Don't miss it."
One of the Great Film Dramas
Mark Devey | Murrieta, CA USA | 02/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Key Largo" is one of the great film dramas. It is truly refreshing, in this day of "in your face" violence and sex, to see a film that builds tension almost entirely through dialog and characterization. This is one of Humphrey Bogart's most underrated performances. Bogart plays a returning WWII veteran who has become somewhat jaded by his war experience. He comes to south Florida to visit the father (Lionel Barrymore-Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life) of a dead war buddy, who owns a hotel and is living with his son's widow, played by Lauren Bacall. Bacall, especially, is noteworthy in that she has very few speaking parts and communicates fear and anger primarily through looks, glances, and body movements. This is in contrast to her previous roles ("To Have and Have Not" and "The Big Sleep") in which was glamorous and sensual. In a way she is barely recognizable here. Edward G. Robinson is perfect as the insecure and easily manipulated gangster, Johnny Rocco. The entire film centers around Rocco and his cronies taking over the hotel and keeping the above characters hostage during a hurricane. The movie becomes a psychological cat and mouse game between Bogart and Robinson. At first, Bogart's "head" tells him to watch out for himself, but later he follows his "heart" in attempting to protect and free the hostages. Bogart is understated in communicating a man who is psychologically wounded by the war and who questions the very values he and others fought and died for. By the end of the film he becomes a heroic figure, but not in the mundane or facile sense. He is heroic in that he sublimates his own feelings of survival for that of the greater good and recognizes the need for one man to fight the evil represented by Rocco. This is directed by John Huston ("The Maltese Falcon") and in spite of the fact that all the action takes place in just a few rooms, his direction is dynamic and action packed."
One Rocco more or less isn't worth dying for!
Steven Hellerstedt | 10/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Somewhat enigmatically, the text only "Behind the Scenes" Special Feature on the KEY LARGO dvd tells us that director John Huston was so angry with producer Jerry Wald for forcing him to deal with the "delicacies" in Maxwell Anderson's stage play of the same name that he barred him from the set. What's more likely is that co-screenwriters Huston and Richard Brooks gutted Anderson's play of most everything but the title, took a few veiled swipes at the House Un-American Committee, and threw an incredible cast at it.
Claire Trevor won the Best Supporting Oscar for her role as a boozy, faded nightclub singer, but Edgar G. Robinson steals the show. He's simply wonderful as Johnny Rocco, an old gang lord (reportedly styled after real-life gangster Lucky Luciano) with happy dreams of returning to the old days - maybe they'll reinstate prohibition! Lionel Barrymore plays a crusty old hotel keeper, Lauren Bacall his daughter-in-law, and Humphrey Bogart is the ex-Army officer blown into town to tell the widowed Bacall, and Barrymore, about her late husband's heroic military career.
This was Bacall's third movie with Bogart, and they seem to fall in love by osmosis this time around. Bogart plays the disillusioned vet with quiet dignity, which works for the movie's sake but robs the audience of the opportunity to see any high sparks ignite between his and Robinson's character.
Ah well. We can't have everything. This is still a great movie, one of Bogart's most underrated gems.
Sweltering film noir classic
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 07/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"KEY LARGO sits right beside THE BIG SLEEP as a very entertaining film noir classic. It features Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in one of their most memorable pairings.Based on the play by Maxwell Anderson, KEY LARGO tells the story of ex-GI Frank McCloud (Bogart) who travels to a hotel in Key Largo owned by his old army buddy's widow Nora Temple (Bacall) and her crippled father-in-law (Lionel Barrymore). Also staying at the hotel is notorious gangster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), his cronies and his good-hearted moll (Claire Trevor).As Johnny holds Frank and Nora hostage in the hotel, a vicious storm rages outside, rivalled only by the storm of passions and tempers inside the hotel at Key Largo.Claire Trevor won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actress here. Her heartbreaking performance includes singing the song "Moanin' Low".The DVD includes the trailer."