Key Largo (1948)

Key Largo Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Key Largo Movie Review

Key Largo is a 1948 noir crime film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Lauren Bacall. It is such a disappointing and uninspired movie.

A bunch of gangsters are holding some people hostage in a hotel while the storm is brewing outside. Yes, that’s it. That’s the plot of this movie. And needless to say, it is uninspired, unoriginal and lacking in identity. Not only did I find it typical, but also frankly boring as it was filled with not that great dialogue and clichéd characters.

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When your head says one thing and your whole life says another,

your head always loses

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Key Largo Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Yes, the characters here are so clichéd and so ordinary and none of them sticks out. Rocco is the most typical and annoying of the bunch and Frank is a solid, but forgettable protagonist. Gaye is the standout, but unfortunately Nora Temple got little to do here.

Yeah, Lauren Bacall has such a short role here that it really caught me by surprise as this is their famous movie, but in reality only Bogart is memorable in it. And Bogart is as great as ever as he is always a great actor and delivering a great performance even in his lesser movies. Edward G. Robinson is also expectedly good. However, Claire Trevor as Gaye Dawn absolutely steals the show here which is very interesting as she’s got so little actual scenes. But her character is heartbreaking as this woman who is poorly treated by her husband and that scene in which she sings that is so incredibly powerful and that basically earned her an Oscar, an Oscar that is rightfully deserved as this supporting performance is the most memorable aspect of the whole movie.

Key Largo is admittedly well acted, well directed and mostly well edited. All of its technical aspects are good and some of the imagery here is quite striking owing to a very interesting setting. The hotel and the storm provided some great scenes visually and I really enjoyed that sweet ending. But the dialogue is so annoying that it made me bored. The movie is so dull to watch as it never has anything truly interesting or unique in it.

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Key Largo Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Key Largo also bothered me with its classification. Just because the movie is made in the forties doesn’t mean that it is a noir flick as it isn’t. Yes, it is partly noir, but it is above all a gangster flick and that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t like it as much because I dislike that genre. I admired its emotion and its technical aspects, but everything else is so subpar. And the movie unfortunately comes way behind the classic Bertie Higgins eponymous 1981 song that is inspired by this movie and which is one of my favorites. It was such a shame that the movie didn’t live up to it, at least for me it didn’t.

Key Largo is very well made, visually pleasing, sometimes emotional and it has such a great performance from Claire Trevor who deserved her Oscar here, but the movie is so dull, so uninspired and typical and filled with really forgettable characters that it disappointed me a lot.

My Rating – 3

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Posted in Crime, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Noir and tagged , , , , , , , .

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