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Key Largo Blu-ray Review

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“Key Largo” is an acting masterclass.

In “Key Largo,” a war veteran (Frank McCloud) ventures to the Largo Hotel in Key Largo to pay his respects to his late friend George’s family (his wife Nora and his disabled father James) that also run the Hotel. Upon arriving before an expected hurricane, it’s clear something is a bit off as there are a number of shady characters lounging about. It is soon revealed that a mob boss (Johnny Rocco) and his men are holding up there until the hurricane passes. After that, they plan on heading to Cuba. In the meantime, everyone there is being held hostage essentially. There are also key subplots involving the police and wanted Native American brothers.

1948’s “Key Largo” has become a classic film noir/crime drama and for good reason. Legendary director John Huston (who also co-wrote the film) and writer Richard Brooks clearly establish characters, the setting, the community and the symbolic oncoming storm for this claustrophobic character piece. Sure, it may be light on story and feel a bit stagey at times (which makes sense given that it’s based on Maxwell Anderson’s stage play), but the intensity of the story and the performances are what make this one memorable.

On the subject of the performances, the acting is phenomenal all around. Humphrey Bogart gives a quiet and richly understated performance as a wise and ultimately heroic war vet. Lauren Bacall also gives a quiet performance, but whenever she speaks you certainly listen. Her chemistry with Bogart is also noteworthy. Lionel Barrymore and Claire Trevor may be supporting characters, but you don’t forget them. Finally, there’s Edward G. Robinson as the villainous Johnny Rocco who really steals the movie. He really gives the layered baddie role his all.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? This B&W transfer is worthy of an A- grade.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A clean track that is better than the average 2.0 track.

The lone extra is a theatrical trailer.

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April 2, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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