Listening to the dialogue in John Huston‘s Key Largo (’48), based on Maxwell Anderson‘s play but re-shaped for the screen by Huston and Richard Brooks, is like savoring a perfect dessert. It’s tethered to character and therefore substantial in the usual ways, but the flavor is rich and marvellous. I don’t know why you can’t find clips on YouTube so I captured a couple myself. Thomas Gomez is fantastic in the “can you blame us for gettin’ rude?” scene. And the bit in which Edward G. Robinson whispers vulgarities to Lauren Bacall is one of the few “suggestive” scenes from the big-studio era that still feels “dirty” by today’s standards because it prods the viewer into imagining what he’s saying.

Here’s a recently unearthed alternate ending, which I initially posted last year: