Returning from the Spanish Civil War, disillusioned vet Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) makes the trek to a Florida keys hotel to pay respect to a fallen soldier’s widow (Lauren Bacall). Meanwhile, gangster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) and his band of thugs have overtaken the ramshackle hotel and a massive hurricane is approaching. This lustrous noir gives director John Huston a platform to explore the corruptive powers of capitalism as well as the authoritarian climate of Hollywood in the McCarthy era. While the film was well-received in the U.S., it has an interesting reception history in the movie-loving capital of Havana, where audiences had a complex relationship with film noir as well as North American stars
THE MANY PLACES OF KEY LARGO, OR WHAT’D MIAMI HAVE TO SAY?
KEY LARGO (1948)
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Edward G. Robinson.
with a presentation by MEGAN J. FEENEY, PH.D.
American Studies professor Megan Feeney will explore the reception of Key Largo through two lenses, that of South Florida and that of Cuba, in an effort to better understand audiences’ various forms of response and, often, resistance to the ideas voiced in the film. What does Key Largo say--or signify--about the multiple places it represents and what do audiences “say back” to the film?
Dr. Feeney is Visiting Assistant Professor in Media Studies at St. Olaf University in Minneapolis, MN. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation, Hollywood in Havana: Film Reception and Revolutionary Nationalism in Cuba before 1959, examines U.S.-Cuba relations through the exportation and reception of U.S. films in Havana during Cuba’s republican period (1902–1958).
Directed by John Huston. Unrated.
USA, 1948, Digital Projection, 100minutes.
Sponsored by the American Studies Department, the School of Communication, and Norton Herrick Center for Motion Pictures Studies.