Key Largo

1948 | Film Noir | 101 minutes | English


Embittered World War II army veteran, Frank McCloud, arrives at the Hotel Largo in Key Largo, Florida, to pay his respects to the family of George Temple. George was in McCloud’s outfit and was killed in the Italian campaign. At the hotel, McCloud meets George’s widow, Nora, and George’s father, James, who owns the hotel. McCloud tells Nora and James about George’s heroics in the battle of Monte Cassino. The season is over but the hotel still has six guests. One of them is the notorious gangster and murderer Johnny Rocco and his alcoholic moll, Gaye. Rocco learns that McCloud’s a skilled seaman and he forces him to take him and his gang to Cuba on the hotel’s boat. Rocco then demeans Gaye, offering her whisky only if she sings. McCourt has compassion for Gaye and makes sure she gets the promised drink. A grateful Gaye steals Rocco’s gun and slips it to McCloud as they board the boat. While the ship is at sea, McCloud is now determined to kill the sadistic Rocco and his gang. He’s fallen in love with Nora and hopes he can return to the peaceful kind of life he dreamed about during the War years.

Humphrey Bogart (Frank McCloud) / Edward G.Robinson (Johnny Rocco) / Lauren Bacall (Nora Temple) / Lionel Barrymore (James Temple) / Claire Trevor (Gaye Dawn)
Why Stream This Film?
Five outstanding performances elevate this film noir movie to the highest level. It’s the fourth and final film pairing of actors Bogart and Bacall, after To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), and Dark Passage (1947). Film critics observed the great chemistry between the two actors. Well, they did get married, a marriage that lasted until Bogart’s death in 1957.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
  • Academy Awards: Winner, Best Actress (Claire Trevor)
  • Writers Guild of America: Nominated, Best Written American Drama
A tense film thriller. There is tension in the telling and effective use of melodramatic mood has been used to point up the suspense. The excitement generated is quiet, seldom rambunctious or slam bang. The performances are  uniformly excellent and go a long way towards establishing credibility of the events.


John Huston’s taut direction, Richard Brooks’ sharp character-driven scenario, Karl Freund’s deep-focus black-and-white imagery, and a superlative cast headed by Bogart, elevate KEY LARGO way above in the film noir genre.

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