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Episode 10 – John Huston’s Key Largo (1948)

Author Lesley Brill, “John Huston’s Filmmaking”
Jason Taylor, The Bogie Film Blog

This month we are waiting out the storm with Bogart, Bacall and Robinson as we look back at John Huston’s 1948 home invasion thriller Key Largo.

This podcast is non-profit and has been broadcast for educational purposes. Excerpts from the following material has been included to enhance the listener experience:

Key Largo (1948) dir. John Huston, USA
The African Queen (1951) dir. John Huston, USA

“Main Title” [Score] (1948) w: Max Steiner
“War” (1969) w: Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong, p: The Temptations
“Moaning’ Low” (1975) w: Ralph Rainger, p: Barbra Streisand


Our first special guest this month is Lesley Brill, author of “John Huston’s Filmmaking” first published in 1997. Lesley is a Professor of English and Film Studies at Wayne State University.

Our second special guest this month is Jason Taylor, who created and writes The Bogie Film Blog. It’s an invaluable source of information on Humphrey Bogart, so check it out.

Variety magazine from January 1949 listed the top box-office grossers of 1948. This is interesting just for historical purposes; the number one movie grossed $4.5 million that year, equivalent to about $45 million today. Key Largo came in 18th with $3.25 million.

Hollywood’s Golden Age looks at, well, Hollywood’s “golden age” from 1930-1959, and has lots of great trivia about Key Largo and many other films from the period.

One of our favourite podcasts is Karina Longworth’s You Must Remember This. We’ve referenced it numerous times, including in this episode and in our Baby Jane episode. Check out their episode on The Blacklist, HUAC, and Humphrey Bogart’s very bad trip to Washington in 1947.

Den of Geek call Key Largo the “definitive post-war film”, and we couldn’t really disagree as far as American films go. Just as Bicycle Thieves in Italy captured the post-war depression of that European country, so does Key Largo capture the triumph of patriotism and the defeat of Communism.

Movie Diva looks at Key Largo in the context of not only the film, but Hollywood at the time and the careers of all of the film’s major players, including Huston, Bogart and Bacall. Worth a read.

“4’33 The Movie” is a 2012 edit of Key Largo set to ‘music’ by John Cage. This experiment by Cage looks at creating music with the atmosphere, wherever and whatever that may be. Key Largo is a sophisticated mix of sound and action, and when the dialogue is removed, as it is here, it takes on a sinister quality. Check it out on Vimeo.

If you want to follow us on Letterboxd, we’re always logging and rating films we’ve been watching and occasionally Luke will do some pretty in-depth reviews, too.

Luke Kane: http://www.letterboxd.com/overbreakfast/
Damien Heath: http://www.letterboxd.com/jedikaos/
Cameron Crothers: http://www.letterboxd.com/crot00192/

You can find Celluloid Junkies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. Luke is also on Twitter, as is Damien.

Thanks for listening to the first season of Celluloid Junkies. We’ll see you next season with a debut episode discussing Dario Argento’s Italian giallo horror masterpiece “Suspiria”.

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