What's it About
One of the brink of a huge storm, WWII vet Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) visits a disheveled hotel in the titular island town to pay his respects to Nora (Lauren Bacall), the widow of a deceased war buddy. Run by Nora's father James (Lionel Barrymore), the hotel plays host to some pretty seedy urban types, and Frank soon discovers why: infamous mobster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) and his men have slinked back into the country and temporarily seized control of the establishment.
Why We Love It
Based on Maxwell Anderson's play, Huston's "Key Largo" is a classic 1940s noir featuring taut direction and indelible performances. In a cast that boasts Bogart, Bacall, Oscar-winner Claire Trevor as Rocco's drunken mistress, and Lionel Barrymore as the cantankerous hotelier, it's Robinson's portrayal as Rocco — filled with sadistic, savage power — that occupies center stage. Bogie is comfortable in star mode as the taciturn good guy who comes through in the clinch. Don't miss that ending on board a boat called the "Santana" (the name of Bogart's own yacht and production company).