A stellar cast, which is perfectly orchestrated so that the bayside hotel turns into an intense milieu of past tragedies, past glories, unfolding romances, racist prejudices and existential compensations. Karl Freund's cinematography captures much of the angst in superbly feverish close-ups and while Bogart's introversion is a plus, the film belongs to Robinson's megalomaniac Roco and to Bacall's ethereal features.
Huston and Bogart go together like bread and butter, this is their fourth and best collaboration. Key Largo is perhaps one of Huston's most underrated films. Huston creates an incredibly suspenseful atmosphere. Bogart and Bacall have amazing on screen chemistry. Edward G Robinson delivers one of his most entertaining performances as the fiendish Johnny Rocco. He plays the infamous gangster with such infectious glee!
The storm scene, the boat scene, and the singing scene were all fantastic. Alot of tension in a cramped, hot space and things inevitably will explode. The lighting from the storm was fun to watch throughout the film and the cast were all at the top of their game. A bit sluggish occasionally. No femme fatale and a happy ending make this noir unique but timeless.
There may be a hurricane going on outside, but not inside Hotel Largo, as it drags along with its talky, heavily expositional scenes. Bogart, Bacall, Barrymore and Toots are all good. Robinson honestly feels a bit miscast here. The scene where Gaye Dawn sings is good and so is the buildup to Rocco's death. 2 things though: I like how it's a noir set in the tropics and how Bogart is not really the lead.
I loved this movie's portrayal of the cynicism of the generation that fought WWII, both men and women who have lost their innocence, and now know that the forces running the world are corrupt, and that huge cataclysm that set out to defeat fascism was all in vain. Nothing left but to hide out on the keys and try to weather the storms that come.