Key Largo (1948; USA; B&W; 100m) **** d. John Huston; w. Richard Brooks, John Huston; ph. Karl Freund; m. Max Steiner. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor, Thomas Gomez, Harry Lewis, John Rodney, Marc Lawrence, Dan Seymour, Monte Blue, William Haade. A man visits his old friend’s hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other. Tense thriller extracts maximum impact from its strong cast who are well directed by Huston. Bogart and Robinson’s antagonistic interplay is electric, whilst Trevor also excels as Robinson’s alcoholic mistress. Bacall and Barrymore offer good support. Rousing Steiner score and effective photography from Freund give added atmosphere to the production, which at times betrays its static stage roots until its exciting climax on the fog bound ocean. Won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (Trevor). Based on the play by Maxwell Anderson. [PG]
Double Indemnity (1944; USA; B&W; 107m) ***** d. Billy Wilder; w. Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler; ph. John F. Seitz; m. Miklós Rózsa. Cast: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather, Tom Powers, Gig Young, Richard Gaines, Fortunio Bonanova, Edmund Cobb, Byron Barr, John Philliber, Clarence Muse, Bess Flowers, Sam McDaniel. An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator’s suspicions. Classic and highly influential film noir with a tight script, hardboiled and witty dialogue and first-rate performances. Stanwyck is the deceptive, but alluring, femme fatale and MacMurray the smitten salesman. Robinson is superb as the eccentric investigator. Based on the novel by James M. Cain. Remade as a TV Movie in 1973. [PG]
Soylent Green (1973; USA; Metrocolor; 97m) *** d. Richard Fleischer; w. Stanley R. Greenberg; ph. Richard H. Kline; m. Fred Myrow; ed. Samuel E. Beetley. Cast: Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Edward G. Robinson, Chuck Connors, Joseph Cotten, Brock Peters, Paula Kelly, Stephen Young, Mike Henry, Whit Bissell. In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff. Ecologically themed sci-fi tells a depressing tale of corporate greed and oppression. Heston is commanding as the square-jawed cop and Robinson has a strong supporting role. The script doesn’t succeed in maximising potential from the premise or its source material, but there are poignant moments to be had. Based on the novel “Make Room! Make Room!” by Harry Harrison. Robinson’s last film. Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.