KEY LARGO (1948)
Everyone's had that moment. When you're watching an old movie and the thought runs through your mind: "they just don't make movies like that anymore." That's what Key Largo is. One of those solid, excellent movies that you will be hard pressed to ever see the likes of again. If there was one thing cinema did well up until about the 70s, it was this: stage play adaptions and murder noir. With that in mind, Key Largo really has everything good going for it. The film revolves around Frank McCloud, a WWII veteran who has come to a hotel in Key Largo to pay his respects to the family of one of his fallen war buddies. However, all hell breaks loose (doesn't it always?) when a storm comes through and traps the friends inside the hotel. Along with a band of gangsters waiting on a "special delivery." It's the perfect recipe for a little violence, a lot of excellent script writing, and some wonderful shadows and ambiance.
And let us not forget the stars. Humphrey Bogart, of course, delivers a solid performance. You can tell when the man's in his element, and this is certainly it. Not to mention the lovely Lauren Bacall, who does a beautiful damsel-mostly-in-distress. The two play off each other wonderfully. But my favorite performance has to fall on the shoulders of Edward G. Robinson, who plays the gravelly gangster Johnny Rocco. If you want to know why people are typecast, this is it. He's short, he's vile, and he's a mean, ruthless gangster machine. If I saw this man on the street, I would probably run very quickly in the other direction. Lastly, I have to give a shout out to the outrageous old folks--Lionel Barrymore and Claire Trevor. Bring it. Key Largo is a straight up classic--if you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? A stormy night and a nefarious crowd?