Saturday, August 9, 2014

KEY LARGO (1948)

Bogart versus Robinson with an all-star supporting cast!

World War II vet Humphrey Bogart travels to Key Largo to visit the family (father: Lionel Barrymore, widow: Lauren Bacall) of one of the soldiers he served with.  The guy was killed in battle in Italy, so Bogart is hoping to give them some closure.  The family owns a hotel and even though it's off season the entire hotel is rented one mysterious, unseen guest and his hoodlum crew.  There's some tension in the air, but things seem to be going alright, until a hurricane warning is issued and the coppers start snooping around.  Next thing you know some bad shit goes down and it's up to Bogart to do some quick thinking or ain't nobody gettin' out alive.

Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor, Harry Lewis (doing an impersonation of Richard Widmark in KISS OF DEATH), Marc Lawrence, William Haade, Dan Seymour and Thomas Gomez all directed by John cool is that?!  I really enjoyed KEY LARGO, especially the scenes with Robinson holding court and being an asshole.  Yeah, the film has some blemishes (the outdoor shots by the dock were obviously shot on a man made pool and not the ocean, boom microphone reflection, dead body moving, visible wires used to pull the palm trees during the special effects shot, etc.), but the acting out shadows all of that.  Edward G. Robinson is wonderful as the aging gangster who's too proud to realize that his brand of gangsterism is over and he's now a dinosaur.  On the other end is Humphrey Bogart as a ex-military guy with personal demons who has to use his wits save the day.

Good story, great supporting cast (it's always a joy to see Lionel Barrymore), quick pace, hilarious facial expressions by Robinson.  KEY LARGO is a must see.  And "No." I don't consider it to be a film noir even though I often see it listed as one.