Thursday, May 7, 2009

Key Largo

"Come on Lady Bountiful, come on come on!!!!"

I have a cold. It is about time, I haven't been sick in nearly a year, the flu shot did its job as long as it could. I view sickness as a way to be quiet, get some more sleep and slow down. I can't taste anything so I'm not really hungry. I do crave noodles, though, one of the few times you'll find me eating ramen noodles and a rare time you won't find me eating chocolate.

Springtime is also the time you'll find me watching one of my favorite movies, Key Largo. It is not a great drama, it is labelled in the noir category. But oh, the delicious fact is that John Huston loved filming his actors and creating this world. I always try to see it once a year, being sick is as good a time as any. I watched it this evening and enjoyed every moment. I love this movie for lots of reasons - men wearing high-waisted pants and shorter ties, every fantastic close-up, the gangster sidemen - dumb Toots who laughs at the inappropriate time and yes-man Curly chewing gum. I love old Lionel Barrymore, sultry Lauren Bacall, quiet and handsome Humphrey Bogart, and fascinating Edward G. Robinson. Now he is the consummate underworld leader, I can't take my eyes off what he'll do next, chomping his cigar, nattily dressed, giving orders, dangerous, and losing control. But the real reason I watch this film is Claire Trevor as the gangster moll, Miss Gay Dawn. She won the Oscar for best-supporting actress in this part and she is remarkable. She nails down every detail, I just love her. A role like that is a gift for a female actor and she knew it, she revels in Gay Dawn's uncomfortable, past-her-prime boozy reality. The scene when she is forced to sing her old club number will rip your heart out. Even after all the times I've watched this scene and know the outcome, I'm drawn in and want to make things better for her.

So take a look sometime, spend an hour and 45 minutes watching a classic. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

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