(Review originally written at 14 January 2008)

The movie got based on a stage-play by Maxwell Anderson. The movie its story and setting really all have the typical stage-play ingredients but thank goodness the movie does not feel like a stage-play. Yet the movie knows to maintain all of the elements that make a stage-play powerful. The movie has some great written dialog and constructed story and one great cast that knows how to handle it all.

What an incredible dream cast this movie has. It's the fourth (and last) collaboration of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and it even isn't their best but that says something more about their other movies than this one really. It's above all a perfectly cast movie, in which all of the actors suit their roles. Edward G. Robinson is of course great as the big, mean, tough gangster boss. The movie also features other acclaimed actors such as Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor and Marc Lawrence.

It's a movie that is mostly set at one location (a small hotel), which allowed the writers to use their creativity to make the movie interesting and intriguing to watch and gave the actors as well the opportunity to let their talent shine. The end result is also an extremely well constructed and intriguing movie to watch, from start till finish. Never a slow or dull moment here! It's of course also thanks to John Huston's professional directing that the movie and its 'simple' concept works out so well.

In my opinion this is not really a film-noir, even though it uses some of its elements. It's more a 'modern' crime thriller, that lays its emphasis mostly on the dialog and characters, that get deepened out a lot.

A fantastic John Huston classic.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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