Reworking of a Maxwell Anderson play about a gangster under threat of deportation who holes up with his henchmen in a semi-derelict hotel on an island off Florida, holding the occupants at gunpoint and remaining blind to the menace posed by a coming hurricane. The debt to The Petrified Forest is obvious, but instead of wallowing in world-weary pseudo-philosophy, Key Largo has altogether sharper things to say about post-war disillusionment, corruption in politics, and the fact that the old freebooting ways of the gangster were about to change into something more sinisterly complex. Huston skilfully breaks up the action (basically one set and one continuous scene), working subtle variations on his groupings with the aid of superb deep-focus camera-work by Karl Freund. And although the characters are basically stereotypes, they are lent the gift of life by a superlative cast: Robinson as the truculent Little Caesar, Bogart as an embittered ex-Army officer, Bacall as the innocent who loves him, and above all Trevor as the gangster's disillusioned, drink-sodden moll.
|Release date:||Friday July 16 1948|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Richard Brooks, John Huston|
Edward G Robinson