The Film (4.5/5)
They sure don’t make classic Film Noir’s like this one anymore. I’m not sure what led me to first watch Key Largo, but I recall being in the middle of a classic movie binge; movies such as The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The Big Sleep were part of it, and before I know it, I had the Bogart /Bacall Collection DVD set.
Key Largo is a crime drama, Film Noir thriller about a man Frank McCloud (Bogart) who goes to a hotel in the Florida Keys to visit the family of his late World War II friend George Temple including father Mr. James Temple (Lionel Barrymore) and his ex-daughter in law Nora (Lauren Bacall). The hotel and its guests, unfortunately are being held hostage by Johnny Rocco (Robinson) and his gang. They plan to stay at the hotel until they finish a deal with another gang coming in from Miami. The deal gets completed; and Rocco along with his henchmen plan to take a boat to Cuba with hostage McCloud giving them the ride. This leads to an explosive climax.
Key Largo is another classic with not just Robinson, Bogart and Bacall giving their usual great performances. The supporting cast including Lionel Barrymore (Mr. Temple), Claire Trevor (Gaye Dawn), and Thomas Gomez (gang member Richard Curly Hoff) are part of the wonderful cast. This has the usual great Warner production values and moves at a swift pace with some excellent action sequences as well.
This movie I remember watching with my mom, who loved this film. To this day whenever I watch Key Largo, there is some sentimental value. This was the last of the four features that paired Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and also was the last of five films Bogart and Edward G. Robinson did together.
Warner Archive presents Key Largo its original full screen aspect ratio using 4K technology and an AVC encode; the results are just stunning. Excellent grey scale, solid blacks, great contrast. However, it must be pointed out that there are a couple of scenes where the frame turns into greenish hue. These are brief but you will notice them. I saw this happen twice and it was relatively early in the film. The audio is also excellent, with Warner opting to go with a 24 bit DTS-HD master. Dialog and other sound effects are just perfect.
Warner Archive provides a two minute trailer and that’s it!
This is a great film, finally given a blu ray release and it’s a must for any fan of these great classic crime drama Noir films. The excellent audio and video more than make-up for a lack of extras on this release. Nevertheless, kudos to Warner Archive for releasing Key Largo into HD and hopefully more are on the way