Key Largo Movie 1948 Film Starring Humphrey Bogart

Key Largo Movie Poster

The Key Largo movie, is I guess pretty much forgotten or unknown by the majority of the movie going population, who are used to seeing Bruce Willis Tom Cruise, and Cameron Diaz strutting their stuff on the silver screen.

But for many, many people, who consider themselves aficionados of film and movie, the movie Key Largo is considered a true classic.

One that even for the modern day population of movie goers is worth settling down on a rainy or cold Sunday afternoon, and catching up on the going ons down in Key Largo.

So to get you interested in this 1948 classic, we will try to fill you in on the story (without ruining it for you), the casts, and even the behind the scenes stuff that brings the magic of Hollywood to our screens, but are worth watching out for as the story evolves before you.

As one of the most famous lines to be stated in the movie Key Largo

..."Hold your course. You're headed straight for Key Largo..."

Leads us nicely to the information.

So Where Is Key Largo Then?

Key Largo is right at the very top of the chain of islands known as the Florida Keys.

These run about 127 miles give or take, in a slight arch between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

So if you were planning of visiting the island to see where the movie Key Largo was shot it will take you:

Orlando to Key Largo 308 miles = 5 hours

Miami to Key Largo 64 miles – 1 hour

One warning, though if you are planning to visit to see all the historic locations from the movie Key Largo by visiting the Keys, you will be disappointed.

The majority of the film was filmed in Hollywood, California with only the beginning title scenes being actually filmed on location.

Ah the magic of Hollywood.

Bertie Higgins Key Largo

You might also have thought that some of the lines from the 1981 Bertie Higgins song by the same name "Key Largo" were taken directly from the film.

But then again, you will be disappointed. 

As the lines "Play it again" and "Here's To You Kid" were from Casablanca, another Bogart film and probably his biggest classic movie ever.

So once again the Key Largo movie, doesn't really deliver like you expect.

But it certainly does in every other aspect. 

When was it filmed and who was in it?

The film was made all the way back in 1948, by the team of Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and John Huston.

These guys were at the time about the best the Hollywood movie making machine could offer in delivering guaranteed box office receipts. 

They were able supported by other notable figures of the time, such as Edward G Robinson, Lionel Barrymore, Monte Blue, and Claire Trevor (who actually won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the film.)

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall

Edward G Robinson

Edward G Robinson

So with this amount of talent on board it was a good chance that the movie Key Largo would be a hit with the movie going public, and this was certainly the case.

Opening worldwide on August the 1st 1948, to date the film has grossed $8,125,000, and with DVD sales, and art house showings occurring every now and again, this figure will creep up nicely.

Lionel Barrymore

Lionel Barrymore

Claire Trevor

Claire Trevor

John Huston

John Huston

What is the Movie Key Largo About?

Well the Key Largo movie was originally taken from a play first performed in 1939 by Maxwell Anderson, although John Huston the director almost completely rewrote it anyway, and it focused on a grizzled and slightly angry war veteran played by Humphrey Bogart, and the wife of a war buddy that was killed in action played by Lauren Bacall.

The Key Largo movie was actually the last of four films starring Bogart and Bacall whilst they were still real life man and wife….just a little fact for you!

But back to the story…..Frank McCLoud (Bogart) travels down to Key Largo on the bus to meet Nora Temple (Bacall), but when he gets down to the slightly shambolic and rundown hotel managed by (Barrymore) Nora’s father in law James Temple he is in for a surprise.

Mr Temples son George Temple was killed in action fighting in Italy, and Frank McCloud after drifting around for a while after the war ended, feels it is only right that he comes down to Key Largo to pay respects to the father and widow of his dead war colleague.

Key Largo Movie Scene

Women Trouble In Key Largo for Frank McCloud

Expecting a slice of relaxation, and sunshine amongst the fishing boats and beaches in Key Largo (well you would do wouldn't you) he instead finds that the hotel is under the control of an exiled gangster by the name of Johnny Rocco (G Robinson) and few of his men.

Which is a pretty good gangster name, I’m sure you all agree.

Well you have two choices generally when you meet a gangster.

Pay no attention to them, and keep out of their way, or tell the police and make a stand against them.

McCloud decided to do the first, and fed up with fighting and aggravation after returning from war, states the classic line “One Rocco more or less isn’t worth dying for”

But the others aren’t too happy with having Rocco and his men in their midst and the Key Largo movie starts getting tense, when Rocco brings about the deaths of a deputy sheriff and tow local Indian youths.

McCloud is not happy with these deaths, and he finally comes to his senses and realises that the community need him to take a stand against the gangsters.

He is the only one that can bring the Key Largo movie to a satisfying conclusion.

Bogart and Robinson In Key Largo Movie

"You said what?"

The Boys Aren't Happy In The Movie Key Largo

McCloud bravely pilots a boat through the stormy waters of the Florida Keys towards Cuba, taking Rocco away from the authorities to perceived freedom.

And this is where the true climax of the film occurs, as it is whilst on this boat that McCloud realises that he wants to live with Nora, as he has fallen in love with her, so a deadly battle ensues.

But who will win??

Will it be McCloud who has fallen in love and now fancies spending the rest of his days in Key Largo and the arms of his beloved Nora.

Or will it be Rocco, the man who has no real conscience and honestly deserves a taste of his own medicine?  

So as we said at the very beginning, we would tell you the story, with the firm intention of not ruining it for you, but this gives you a flavour of the classic film noir that is the Key Largo movie.

Preview Time To Key Largo Movie

Let's warm you up with a little preview to the great film itself and if you fancy buying a copy for yourself then simply click below. 

Key Largo 1948 (DVD) Buy Here!

Now within a couple of days you will be sitting on your sofa admiring the talents of some of the greatest actors and actresses to ever work in Hollywood


Edward G Robinson, Bogart and Bacall....Oooh You Can Feel The Tension

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