Angel and the Badman (1947) – Episode 74

 Angel and the Badman (1947) John Wayne and Gail Russell

Angel and the Badman (1947) John Wayne and Gail Russell

Pony walks as soft as you do

Welcome to today’s show, Angel and the Badman (1947), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review.

Today’s movie is Angel and the Badman (1947) staring John Wayne, Gail Russell, and Harry Carey.

ACTORS

I have “known” about this movie for a long time but I honestly don’t think I had ever watched it before. Perhaps I did on one of those lazy Sunday afternoon watching westerns with Dad. I am glad I took the time to watch Angel and the Badman (1947). The story was not the most original but it had enough turns to make it work. I enjoyed the role that Harry Carry played and the backstory of the beautiful Gail Russell was as fascinating as it was tragic. Even John Wayne’s character had depth. The bad guys, led by Wayne’s drinking buddy Bruce Cabot, were realistic. This movie should be added to your’ must see list.

John Wayne played the role of Quirt Evans, the badman. Quirt is an odd name so I looked it up. Apparently, it is “a forked type of stock whip which usually has two falls at the end.” Now it makes sense.

Bruce Cabot played Laredo Stevens. Everyone in this movie had great names. Laredo was a real bad guy and he was Quirt Evans sworn enemy.

Hank Worden had a tiny part as a townsperson. It was the voice that made me notice him.

Paul Fix was uncredited as Mouse Marr. We discussed Fix in Episode 15 – The Undefeated (1969).

Pat Flaherty played one of the Baker Brother that Quirt Evans picked a fight with. We went over Flaherty in Episode 40 – Key Largo (1948).

Yakima Cannut handled the stunts for this movie and there were some pretty amazing buckboard stunts.

Harry Carey played the role of Marshal Wistful McClintock. Harry Carey was born in New York City in 1878. I’m seeing a trend. But wait, what. One of the greatest cowboy actors of all time grew up in New York City. Wow. I’m shaken to the core. After attending a military academy Carry turned down an appointment to West Point in favor of law school.

Following a boating accident and a bout with pneumonia Carry wrote a play. He spent three years touring and performing and did quite well. He lost everything when his next play bombed. In 1911, he was introduced to legendary director D. W. Griffith. Carry went on to make many films with Griffith. Carry’s second or third wife, it’s not clear, was Olive Fuller Golden, who we know as Olive Carey from Episode 12 – Billy the Kid Meets Dracula (1966). These two were the parents of Harry Carey Jr. who was known as Dobe. Harry Carey Jr. was in the previously mentioned movie as well.

Olive introduced Carey to future director John Ford. Carey pushed Universal Studios head, Carl Laemmle, to let use Ford director. The partnership between Carey and Ford lasted until 1921 when the two had a falling out.

Carey was the most popular western star during the 1930s. In addition to acting, he would write and direct. Over time he slowly moved to character roles. He was nominated for an Oscar for a small role as the President of the Senate in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). I always liked him in that role because he had a look on his face like he knew something that everyone else didn’t.

Carey had 267 mostly movie credits from 1910 to 1948. So many of these are great I won’t even try to list all of them. A few of the highlights include The Three Godfathers (1916), The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936), and director Howard Hawks Red River (1948) where he was able to act with his son. The movie is great as John Wayne’s character is hate-crazy. Watch it immediately if you haven’t. Carey died in 1947 at the relatively young age of 69.

When I saw Gail Russell in this movie, I though “she’s really pretty, I wonder why she didn’t make more movies?” Sorry, I ask.

Gail Russell played, well the angel, Penelope Worth. Russell was born in Chicago in 1924. Her family moved to California when she was 14. As soon as she graduated she was signed with Paramount. They figured she was beautiful and they could teach her to act. She made her first movie, Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour (1943) when she was 19. The next year she was in The Uninvited (1944) with Ray Milland. It was during this time that she started using booze to calm herself during shooting. It is ironic that she was working with Ray Miland, who is famous for making The Lost Weekend (1945) the next year.

Gail’s third film was Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1944). The film did quite well. She was in Salty O’Rourke (1945), a gamblers/horse racing tail. She did pretty well. This was followed by The Unseen (1945) a haunted house story. Gail was cast in Our Hearts Were Growing Up (1946) a poorly made sequel to Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1944) and it was a flop.

She was in Calcutta (1947) with Alan Ladd and got her career going again. This gets us to the point where she was cast in Angel and the Badman (1947) with John Wayne, Harry Carey, and Bruce Cabot. She rocked it. She had a string of fairly successful films such as Variety Girl (1947), Wake of the Red Witch (1948) again with John Wayne, Song of India (1949), El Paso (1949), and Captain China (1950).

In 1949, Gail married up and coming star Guy Madison.  You may remember the ruggedly handsome Guy Madison from Episode 60 – The Command (1954). If they had children they would be beautiful.

Following The Lawless (1950) Paramount dropped Gail’s contract because of her drinking and the associated problems. She on made one movie in 1951, Air Cadet (1951). She did not make any movies for five years and during that time she and Madison divorced

Gail returned for Seven Men from Now (1956), The Tattered Dress (1957), and No Place to Land (1958).

By 1961, Gail was really drinking heavily. The Silent Call (1961) was her last film. Sadly she died on August 26, 1961, at the young age of 36. The cause of death was liver damage from long-term alcohol abuse and malnutrition[1].

STORY

The movie begins with a man in a gunfight and then fleeing on horseback. The scenery he is riding through is wide open and beautiful. It looks like the beginning of any John Ford western but he didn’t direct this one.

Eventually, the man Quirt Evans (John Wayne) falls from his horse near Thomas Worth (John Halloran) and his lovely daughter Penelope Worth (Gail Russell). Thomas catches Quirt’s horse and sees that the man is wounded. Quirt is ready to fight but the man wants to take him to his house to heal. Quirt demands to be taken to the telegraph operator first.

Thomas and Penelope drive the wounded Quirt into town. Quirt and Penelope meet the telegraph operator Bradley (Olin Howland) at the door. He wants to close but Quirt pushes ahead. When Bradley finds out that the man is Quirt Evans he changes his tune to a right accommodating fellow. Quirt passes out into Penelope’s arms as the telegram is sent.

Penelope and her father take Quirt to their home and send word to the doctor to come quickly. When Dr. Mangram (Tom Powers) he pumps Quirt full of laudanum, an alcohol, and morphine mixture. However, Quirt keeps flipping around until Thomas figures that he wants his gun. Thomas empties the gun and places in his hand. Quirt immediately goes quite. The doctor takes the bullet out and patches him up.

Dr. Mangram tells the family they should get Quirt out of their house as quickly as possible. But they refuse because they are Quakers and believe good can be found in anyone and it is their duty to care for others.

Downstairs, Penelope asks her mother (Irene Rich) about love and how her parents met. Mama sees the warning signs. Penelope watches over Quirt for two days while he is basically in a coma. When he wakes he grabs the empty gun from under the pillow and points it right in Penelope’s face. While Quirt was out he talked about Lila, gambling, killing, other women, etc.

As Quirt heals he really starts enjoying the cooking of Mrs. Worth. He and Penelope draw closer and closer. Back in the town, the telegrapher Bradley is telling everyone that he is good friends with Quirt after their one meeting. This gets back to Laredo Stevens (Bruce Cabot) and two toadies. These are apparently the people who shot Quirt. They come to Bradley and he tells them about the Quaker family that is housing Quirt.

Audie, Penelope’s younger brother lets Quirt know the men are looking for him. When Quirt is aware of Laredo’s presence outside the house, he jumps out of bed and dresses and gets his gun but it has no bullets. Penelope throws the moves on Quirt and he kisses her. She is madly in love and doesn’t realize that both people don’t catch it at the same time. The mode changes when he realizes the gun is empty and the cartridges are outside the house at the same time Laredo and the toadies show up.  Quirt sits in the dark and pretends he is armed. Laredo buys the tract from Quirt for $5,000 cash and a note for $15,000. The bluff works.

Quirt gives some of the money to the family and he gets ready to leave. Penelope tries to go with him. She convinces him to stay.

Quirt is respectful of the Quaker family’s ways, he hangs his holstered gun outside, never allowing it inside. Exposure to the ways of the Quakers starts to change not only gunfighter Quirt but also the cynical, atheistic doctor who attends to him, grumbling all the time. Quirt helps the family in their farm work and is very grateful for their loving care. He begins to help around the farm although he comments that he left that kind of work many years ago. The family is pretty anti-gun and they work on Quirt about carrying it.

Quirt finds out that the water to the farm has been cut off by Carson (Paul Hurst), the farmer upriver. They Carson farmhands comment how mean Carson is and how he had a boil on his neck that is giving him great pain. Quirt goes to see Carson and when he finds out it is Quirt he can’t let the water flow fast enough. Quirt takes Carson to the Worth farm. The Quaker family is genuinely joyful to Carson. He is received with great love and Mrs. Worth even fixes his boil. Their kindness truly changes Carson and they become good friends. Quirt is the most shocked that the conversion is real.

Penelope invites Quirt to go to Sunday meeting. As they get the team ready a man slowly rides up on a horse and the music gets dark. However, the man is Marshal Wistful McClintock (Harry Carey). He asks Penelope if Quirt has left the farm and she verifies that he had not left. He tells the pair that when Quirt and Laredo fight he will be happy to hang the loser. The Marshal then ask Quirt why he went from law keeping with Wyatt Earp, became a cattle rancher, and then turn to crime. The Marshall also says that Walt Enis was shot by Laredo after a gambler grabbed his gun hand to slow his draw. Walt Enis was the man that raised and named Quirt.

On the way to a meeting, Quirt runs into one of his crime buddies Randy McCall (Lee Dixon). Randy goes along to the meeting to pitch a caper to Quirt.  At the meeting, a young blacksmith that is sweet on Penelope approaches Penelope and Quirt gets the green eyed monster.  Randy wants to rob Laredo of some cows they are stealing from someone else.

The Quakers give a monogrammed Bible to Quirt in thanks for getting the water back. Quirt is overwhelming and doesn’t think he is worthy. He tells the blacksmith to marry Penelope and he heads out with Randy.

Laredo and his gang of toadies murder some men and steal their cattle. Quirt, Randy, and their gang beat Laredo’s men with long wooden clubs. I guess they didn’t want Quirt to be a cold-blooded murder. Now selling cows that have been stolen by murder could lead to big trouble because it looks like you did the killing.

Randy and Quirt take their ill-gotten gain to a saloon and commences to drinking it up with saloon girl Lila (Joan Barton) and one of her friend. Quirt is not being any fun. He dumps his gambling winnings of Lila and then goes to pick a fight with the Baker brother. It turns into a free-for-all.

Eventually, he goes back to the Worth farm and wants to get back with Penelope. The vow their love and as they kiss the Marshal shows up and ask if Quirt if he has been traveling. He says he is patient and will hang Quirt in the end.

After some more time, Quirt is in the field. Marshall McClintock sneaks up on his stealthful horse. McClintock says he always figured he would use a new rope when he hanged him as a sign of respect. But he continues that Quirt doesn’t deserve a new rope because he is spoiling the goodness of Penelope. Quirt asks Penelope to marry him. She replies that he should go blackberry picking with her and her eyes make him leave his gun behind.

The pair goes out on the buckboard and fills it with blackberries. Suddenly their day is ruined when he sees Laredo and his toadies take a shot at the buckboard. Since he doesn’t have a gun Quirt has to try and outrun the gang on the buckboard. They is a crazy off-road buckboard chase. With jumps, hairpin turns, and steep descents. The team breaks away from the buckboard and it goes over a large cliff into the water. No CGI. Way to go Yakima.

Laredo watches for a minute and then leaves assuming they are dead. Quirt takes the unconscious Penelope to the house where the doctor is summoned. The doctor says there is not he can do except wait. Quirt, believing his true love is going to die, leaves her and goes to kill Laredo. The doctor tries to stop him. As soon as he leaves Penelope gets up and demands to be taken to town to stop Quirt. It’s a miracle.

When Quirt enters the town the people start clearing the streets. Quirt send Bradley down to tell Laredo that he is waiting for him in the street. Bradley who has been victimized by Laredo and Hondo walks up and bravely delivers the message. Laredo sends one of his gang to the door to check. Then Laredo drinks a big swig of whiskey. Bradley mocks Laredo about the drinking. Bradley tells them that the Marshal is out of town.

As Quirt goes down the street the Worth’s arrive in their OTHER wagon??  Penelope is trying to talk him out of the violence and he has his back turned when as Laredo and Hondo enter the street. Quirt has already handed his gun to Penelope. As he turns around the two men draw and are suddenly shot dead. Not it’s not Penelope. The Marshall has returned to stop the murder. He found out that Laredo and crew had robbed the stage so he figured after Quirt killed them he would hang Quirt. But since they tried to kill the unarmed man the Marshal had to intervene.

The Marshals says he is going to hang Quirt one day to which he replies that he is a farmer. When the Marshal finds Quirts gun in the street he tells Bradley that he is going to hang it in his office with a new rope.

Quirt, Penelope, and the other Worth’s ride away to the farm.

World-Famous Short Summary – Country girl lands worldly fellow

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Beware the moors

[1] Brettell, Andrew; King, Noel; Kennedy, Damien; Imwold, Denise (2005). Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies. Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather. Barrons Educational Series. p. 251. ISBN 0-7641-5858-9.

Angel and the Badman (1947)

Key Largo (1948) – Episode 40

Key Largo (1948)

Key Largo (1948)

After living in the USA for more than thirty-five years they called me an undesirable alien. Me. Johnny Rocco. Like I was a dirty Red or something!

Key Largo (1948) is a great Bogie-Becall film. Featuring a cast of villains, a hurricane, and isolated Florida hotel, this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final shot.


Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follows the links to social media in the podcast show notes. Today we are looking at another pairing of Bogie and Becall. Episode 40 is the wonderful film  Key Largo (1948). Not only having a cast of great actors, this movie also had the benefit of John Huston as the director. So I will jump right into  Key Largo (1948)

Humphrey Bogart plays soldier Frank McCloud. Bogart was covered in Episode 50 – Sahara (1943).

Edward G. Robinson was great as gangster Johnny Rocco. Robinson was covered in Episode 35 – The Violent Men (1955).

Lauren Bacall played Nora Temple. Bacall was covered in Episode – 39 – Dark Passage (1947).

Lionel Barrymore played the role of Key Largo Inn owner James Temple. Lionel Barrymore was born in 1878 Philadelphia. By the turn of the century, he was acting with his family on Broadway. Through the first part of the 20th century, he acted in the US and abroad. Barrymore started directing shorts and his first full-length silent film was Life’s Whirlpool (1917) featured his famous sister Ethel. In 1926 he joined MGM. He worked as a director for talkies and as a character and bit lead.

With the advent of talkies, his stage training came into play. He continued to direct such films as His Glorious Night (1929) and Madame X (1929). He acted in many films for MGM including A Free Soul (1931) that got him the best actor Oscar, Rasputin and the Empress (1932) as Rasputin, Grand Hotel (1932), and Dinner at Eight (1933).

Some of Barrymore’s greatest work was when MGM lent him to other studios. He appeared with Gloria Swanson in Sadie Thompson (1928), D.W. Griffith’s Drums of Love (1928), You Can’t Take It With You (1938) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) directed by Frank Capra, for David O. Selznick in Duel in the Sun (1946), and of course with John Huston for Key Largo (1948). Barrymore may be known to modern audiences as mean old Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), I’m a little partial to On Borrowed Time (1939) where Barrymore’s character traps death in the top of an apple tree to protect the interest of his grandson.

In the 30s and 40s, he had recurring roles as Doctor Gillespie in the Doctor Kildare movies. By this point, he had already broken his hip twice and was suffering from arthritis. After Captains Courageous (1938), he played all of his roles in a wheelchair. His last movie was the musical comedy Main Street to Broadway (1953) and he died the following year at the age of 76.

Claire Trevor drunken gun moll Gaye Dawn. Claire Trevor was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1910. I’m seeing a trend. She became interested in acting and attended Columbia University. She also attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. By 1930, she was working professionally on the stage debuting on Broadway in 1932.

Her first film was a western, Life in the Raw (1933). Before she was typecast as the hardened women many of her earlier roles were diverse and showed her considerable talent. One of her earlier standout roles was in Dante’s Inferno (1935) with Spencer Tracy. Another role was as a good girl forced into prostitution in Dead End (1937) with Humphrey Bogart. Claire was cast as downtrodden saloon girl Dallas in the John Ford epic Stagecoach (1939). Her pair with John Wayne was on fire and this movie turned Wayne into a star.

In the 40s she found her place and that in film noir. She started out playing a killer in Street of Chance (1942) with Burgess Meredith, she played Mrs. Grayle in a Philip Marlowe PI film Murder, My Sweet (1944), and then as the besotted ex-nightclub singer and failed gun moll in Key Largo (1948). She won an Oscar for this role. Claire was again paired with John Wayne in The High and the Mighty (1954). After that, it was television and stage work. Her final film was Kiss Me Goodbye (1982) as Sally Field’s mother. She retired to California and promoted the performing arts. Claire passed in 2000 at the age of 90.

Marc Lawrence was cast in the role of gangster Ziggy. Born in the Bronx, I’m seeing a pattern, Lawrence studied in high school and at City College. After working in theater Lawrence was given a contract with Columbia Pictures. His dark and scared face made him a natural for playing gangsters and that is what he did until after WWII. He was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he confirmed that he had been a member of the Communist Party. He named names and was blacklisted. He left for Europe and worked in film until the US regained its sense and he returned to Hollywood and the roles he was born to play. He died in 2005 at the age of 95.

Edward G. Robinson as Johnny Rocco makes a comment about HUAC: After living in the USA for more than thirty-five years they called me an undesirable alien. Me. Johnny Rocco. Like I was a dirty Red or something!
Kind of ironic that a member of the cast would be driven out as a communist following the film.

Monte Blue was cast as Sheriff Ben Wade. Monte Blue was born in 1887 but ended up in an orphanage after his father died. Big and strong he was a railroader, a fireman, a coal miner, a cowpuncher, a ranch hand, a circus rider, a lumberjack and, finally, trekking west, he became a day laborer for D.W. Griffith’s Biograph Studios.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0089524/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

Work as a stuntman Blue got a role as an extra The Birth of a Nation (1915). Working with Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille he got increasing larger roles earning his big break as Danton in Griffith’s Orphans of the Storm (1921) with Lillian and Dorothy Gish. He was a romantic star but he lost most of his money in the 1929 stock market crash. In the 1930s, he was back to bit roles, although his old friends kept him working. Before he died in 1963, he was working for a circus.
Pat Flaherty had a very small uncredited role as The Traveler. His story is so great I had to share it with you. He served in Mexican border wars against Pancho Villa in 1916. In WWI, he served as a flying officer. After the war, he played minor league baseball and in 1923 began playing football for the Chicago Bears.

After he was done with sports he went to New York where he became successful as a music publisher. Next, he married Dorothea X. Fugazy, great name, who was the daughter of a famous boxing promoter. In 1930, h moved to Hollywood to work as a producer for Fox Films. However, the great depression had other plans. With no job producing, he turned to acting. He had over 200 film and television appearances in his career playing mostly small tough guy parts like cops and bosses. One of his earlier roles was as a detective in A Day at the Races (1937), with the Marx brothers.

He was also a technical advisor on baseball movies and taught Gary Cooper to pitch for his role in The Pride of the Yankees (1942). I am partial to him in the role of the junkman in The Best Years of Our Life (1946) where he gave Fred Dairy (Dana Andrews) the break he needed to get his life back on track. If that wasn’t enough in World War II he was commissioned as a Marine Corp officer and served in Korea being discharged with the rank of Major.

Jay Silverheels had an uncredited part as Tom Osceola one of the two escaped Indians. Silverheels was born in Canada. He was a lacrosse player and a boxer before he became a film stuntman in 1938. He worked in several films before Key Largo (1938) but he was noticed in his small part and was cast in the Cowboys and the Indians (1939). Also in this movie was a fellow named Clayton Moore. Later that year Silverheels was cast to play Tonto in The Lone Ranger series (1949-1957). Silverheels was in two movies where he played Tonto, The Lone Ranger (1956) and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958). When the series ended Silverheels was hopelessly typecast as Tonto. He became a spokesman for the portrayal of Native Americans in media.

STORY

The film starts with an aerial shot of the Florida Keys. The text says – At the southernmost point of the United States are the Florida Keys, a string of small islands held together by a concrete causeway. Largest of these remote coral islands is Key Largo.

Sheriff Ben Wade (Monte Blue) pulls over a bus driving across one of the key bridges. Wade tells the drive that they are looking for a couple of Indians that broke out of jail. He describes them as young bucks in fancy shirts. Sounds like an FSU game. Deputy Clyde Sawyer (John Rodney) walks through the bus looking for the pair. After the police leave the bus driver tells Major Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) that the Indians always head for home. McCloud says “Home being Key Largo.” Is this McCloud looking for the home he doesn’t have?

The bus drops Frank at the Largo Hotel. A man we later find out is Toots (Harry Lewis) is reading a paper in the lobby. Frank rings the bell and asks for the owner Mr. Temple. Toots tells Frank that the hotel is closed, and he doesn’t know when Mr. Temple will be back. Frank walks into the hotel bar to find a woman and some men listening to the radio. Franks asks for a drink and the man behind the bar and Toots tell him again that the hotel is closed. The woman insists that he be given a drink and the man behind the bar gives him one.

When Frank sits by the woman he sees she is drunk out of her gourd. She is listening to horse racing on the radio and checking her race form. A buzzer behind the bar goes off and the man behind the bar hands a drink to Toots. The women volunteers to take the drink up but the man says he will send for you when he wants you. The man behind the bar is Angel (Dan Seymour) and the woman requests another drink for Frank. When the women ask Frank his name and he gives her his name and pedigree like a thoroughbred racehorse. She introduces herself as Gaye Dawn (Claire Trevor). Gaye Dawn is such a happy name for such a sad lady. When Toots returns he tells Gaye that he is ready for you now. She staggers across the lobby as she tries to fix her makeup.

The men tell Frank again that the hotel is closed. He asks why they are they and they say by special arrangement. When Frank says he does not want to stay and only needs to see Mr. Temple. The men tell Frank that Temple is at the boathouse.

Out on the dock, Frank meets James Temple (Lionel Barrymore). Temple is in a wheelchair. When Frank introduces him Temple calls for his daughter Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall). Temple introduces Nora as George’s wife and Frank tells them that he served with her husband in WWII Italy. They have a little small talk and Franks says he knows all about the keys from George the dead husband of Nora. Temple coerces Frank into staying the night in George’s old room.

When Nora heads back to the hotel she sees Sheriff Wade and Deputy Sawyer. The police ask Temple if he has seen the Osceola brothers. He says he has not but says he has sent word for them to turn themselves into the police. Temple tells Frank that the two brothers grew up with George and were good people who get drunk and tear stuff up.

Back inside Temple introduces the men to Frank and tells of Frank being his son’s commander in Italy when he was killed. Suddenly a commotion breaks out upstairs. The third man from the bar shoves Gaye into a room. When Nora ask the man why he hit her the man says she’s a drunk and that’s the only thing that stops her.

Nora tells Frank his room is ready and the pair goes up. She tells him the third man was “Curly” Hoff (Thomas Gomez) and that he and Gaye have been there about a week. She and Mr. Temple told them the hotel was closed but they d so much money that they let them stay. Nora tells that about 4 days back Mr. Brown and the other men arrived by boat. Nora tells him that Brown only comes out at night and he must be rich because the others jump at his command. They expect the whole group to leave in a day or two.

After Nora leaves Curly comes in and apologized for the rough treatment of Gaye. He says they have been planning a fishing trip and one guy ruined it by bringing a lush along. Frank is not happy with the way she was treated. Nora takes a phone call that lets them know a hurricane is coming.

Nora, Frank, and Temple meet again and talk about George and the place he is buried. Frank and Nora head outside to secure the boats before the storm hits. Nora questions Frank about his visit and he tells her he is thinking about settling down in the keys. Curly shows up and introduces Ralph Feeney (William Haade) another member of their group.

Frank drops the line that his first sweetheart was a boat. When they are done a Native American family arrives in some small boats. Nora tells Frank that the Indians often stay at the hotel during storms. In the boats are the fugitive Osceola brothers Tom (Jay Silverheels) and John (Rodd Redwing). The brothers say they want to give themselves up and Nora sends them to see Temple.

Nora and Frank head back to the hotel as the wind starts blowing. She starts prepping the insides. Some of the men are already nervous about the coming storm. Curly again tries to make nice with Frank but no chance.

Temple brings the Osceola brothers to the lobby and although there is police car outside they can’t find the sheriff. The phone rings and Curly tells everyone not to answer it and he picks it up. He tells the caller that Nora and Temple are not there and if deputy Sawyer shows up they will call back. When Nora tries to get the phone Curly snatches it away and Frank moves in. Both Curly and Toots pull out guns.

The scene then switches to a man in a tub Mr. Brown (Edward G. Robinson) smoking a cigar and drinking a drink. Curly comes in and we pray they don’t show Edward G. Robinson naked. He tells about the gunplay and the phone call was the sheriff looking for Deputy Sawyer. They then show the bleeding Sawyer laying in the bed having been jumped by the gang while looking for the Indian brothers.

Temple calls the gang down and he is giving them hell. He has no fear of death but puts all the others in danger of being killed as well. He says he’ll be gone in a couple of hours. Then Sawyer staggers out of the bedroom. Frank recognizes Mr. Brown as gangster John Rocco. Rocco is an amalgamation of Al Capone who retired to Florida before dying of syphilis and Lucky Luciano who was deported from the US but moved to Cuba.

As Temple insults Rocco more, Frank plays him up and appeals to his vanity. Frank is really saving their lives. Rocco starts toying with Temple and Temple falls out of the wheelchair. Nora claws Rocco’s face but he twists her arm behind her back and kisses her. Rocco gets a call from Miami and tension is relieved. Curly also tells Rocco that there are some Indians on the porch but Rocco won’t give them shelter from the storm. Rocco tells Ziggy on the phone that it has to be tonight during the storm. Rocco’s Cuban boat captain (Alberto Morin) says he needs to move the boat to deeper waters during the storm. Rocco says he will kill him if he moves the boat.

At the same time, Sawyer is telling the others that he came to look for the Indians and when he went to call Sheriff Wade he was knocked out. Rocco comes in and tells his gang that everything is set for the night. Rocco caterwauls about how the bought Florida politicians turned their back on him. This line was incorrectly cited during the 2000 Florida recount. Rocco then sees Nora in the mirror and start calling her a wildcat like another he knew named Maggie Mooney who now goes by Gaye Dawn. Rocco whispers in Nora’s ear and she is disguised by his words. He does it again and she spits in his face. Rocco gets so mad he is about to kill Nora. Again Frank appeals to his ego and says he will have to kill everyone if he kills the girl.

Gaye comes back looking a little better but is only interested in getting a drink. Rocco has ordered Angel not to give her any more drinks. When Rocco comes in the room she sees the scratches and knows what has happened. Rocco starts verbally sparring with Frank, the only one near his equal in the room. Rocco gives a pistol to Frank and levels another gun at Frank’s midsection. Rocco says you can get rid of Rocco but you have to die for it. After being egged on Frank throws the gun down and says “one Rocco, more or less, isn’t worth dying for.” Temple ask for the gun and Rocco says no “One old man more or less isn’t worth dying for.”

Sawyer leaps for the gun and begins to leave the room holding the gun on the gang. As he gets to the door Rocco fires and Sawyer pulls the trigger on an empty gun. Nora thinks Frank is a coward.

Curly and Angel row out to sea and dump Sawyer’s weighted body. Ziggy calls and he hasn’t left Miami. Rocco gives him a deadline. The storm knocks out the power and Toots forces everyone downstairs. Gaye is still trying to get a drink. Gaye fixes a drink and Rocco pours it out. When Rocco complains about her being a lush she reminds him that he gave her her first drink. Then he starts talking about what she was like in the past and says he will give her a drink if she sings Billie Holiday’s song “Moanin’ Low.” She sings pretty bad and Rocco won’t let her have a drink. Frank pours her a drink and when he gives it to her Rocco slaps him three times. Frank just looks at Gaye and replies you welcome to her thank you.

The storm hits its peak and the house starts shaking and moaning. When Rocco gets nervous Temples starts laying it on about the 1935 hurricane where 800 were killed. In reality, the 1935 Labor Day hurricane is still the strongest to ever hit the US and killed about 423 people. It also blew a train off the tracks. Rocco is really shaken and Frank’s face shows that he now has the advantage.

Frank asks why Rocco doesn’t show the storm his gun. Temple starts praying for a wave to kill them all. Rocco pulls his gun on Temple, but Frank steps in and Rocco puts the gun to Frank’s belly and pulls the trigger. However, it is still unloaded. A tree crashes through the window again breaking off the tension.

As they are waiting for the storm to end Nora ask if she will see Frank again and Temple says they consider him family. Toots comes running in to tell that the boat has left. Rocco doesn’t skip a beat and says Frank will drive them to Cuba in the smaller Santana, which happened to be the name of Bogart’s sailboat.

The Osceola brothers push into the door and scream at Temple for not letting the Indian family inside. Frank agrees to take Rocco and crew rather than be beaten by Toots. There is a knock on the door and Sheriff Wade comes in and says he is looking for Sawyer. They all deny, some willingly and some under duress, of having seen Sawyer or the Osceola’s. Wade knows Sawyer called from the hotel and is suspicious. He goes to his car and sees Sawyer’s body washed up into the road. Rocco comes out and lays the crime at the feet of the Indians. The sheriff sees the pair and shoots them as they flee.

The Sheriff is seeing red. He blames Temple for the three deaths and says he will be charged. Wade starts questions the gang and by now Frank is getting fighting mad. Ziggy’s gang shows up and the first one to enter pretends to be a tourist played by Pat Flaherty. Ziggy (Marc Lawrence) comes in and after reliving old times exchange a large amount of counterfeit money for a smaller amount of real money. Ziggy and his gang leave going north.

Gaye and Nora tell Frank to run away in the dark because Rocco will kill him when they get to Cuba. As the gang and Frank start to head for the boat Gaye wants to know why her bags are not being loaded. Rocco tells her she is not going and says here is enough money to stay drunk for a long time. Gaye jumps on Rocco begging and pleading to be taken along. When he pushes her aside we see that she has taken Rocco’s gun, now loaded, and slipped it to Frank.

Frank heads to boat towards Cuba in a fog as Toots sits in the back sick as a dog. Rocco, Angel, and Curly are below deck. Ralph is by Toots. Frank asks Ralph to look over the back for kelp. He guns the boat throwing Ralph overboard. Toots rise to shoot and Frank shots first but Toots gets off one round hitting Frank in the side. As Frank retrieves Toots’ gun Curly comes up but Frank shoots him as he comes up the steps. Frank climbs up to the top of the boat and looks down through the opening.

Rocco tries to force Angel to go up but he won’t so Rocco shoots him. Rocco goes through the bargaining steps with Frank calling him soldier over and over. You can have half of the money, all of the money, more money, and then I’m throwing my gun out. Rocco throws one of the two guns he has out and then comes up. Franks shots him from above. It takes three shots to end Rocco. Rocco was just like the storm strong for awhile and then burning out.

I have always had a problem with the gunfight on the boat. It’s clearly shot on a sound stage and suffers from this look. John Huston didn’t have a convincing end for the script Howard Hawks gave him the shootout on a boat that occurs near the end of the film. Hawks had wanted to include it in To Have and Have Not (1944) but could not make it fit. However, it tied everything up nicely in Key Largo. Recently I have become less critical of this ending based on a line for The Wrath of Khan (1982). Spock – He is intelligent but lacks experience. His pattern reflects two-dimensional thinking. Kirk – Full stop z- 10000. So in the Key Largo scene, Rocco can’t adapt to Frank’s elevated attack platform.

Gaye has turned states evidence and Ziggy and his gang were captured.

Frank calls the coast guard and Nora. The move ends with Frank heading into his new home and love.

World-Famous Short Summary – Women settles for different soldier after her husband fails to return from war

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Beware the moors


Key Largo (1948)