Sonntag, 1. Januar 2012

Key Largo (Huston, 1948)

When an ex-lieutenant visits the father of one of his fallen soldiers he finds their home taken hostage by ruthless gangsters.


The diversity of the characters in this story is breathtaking. All the actors manage to render their part with amazing depth and conflict. Robinson is a great villain, and the stubborness of the father is quite amazing to watch. The party being locked in the small space of the hotel lets everybody clash with everybody. The ending felt a bit propped on to me and a complete change of tone. When I read that Huston "borrowed" that ending from Hawks "To Have or Have Not" it came as no big surprise. The social commentary with the Indians treated as low lifes was quite amazing and the old Indian woman looked great on screen.

Maybe in a more modern version more people would snap in that situation and the ending would have definitively more graphic violence. It would make way more sense to flood the hotel and let the people have it out on the roof, maybe with a rescue boat that is way too small.

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