- Award Snub: It can be said for Edward G. Robinson's entire career, since he never even received an acting nomination from the Academy Awards. But his role as the ruthless gangster Rocco was critically acclaimed and iconic.
- Evil Is Cool: Johnny Rocco is considered one of the most iconic portrayals of a gangster in Hollywood history.
- Fair for Its Day: The portrayal of the Seminoles is pretty stereotypical, but they are shown as very sympathetic and unique characters. The deaths of the Osceola brothers is treated as a serious tragedy, and Temple even acknowledges the difficulties their culture faces in current American society.
- Fan Disservice: Humphrey Bogart, Silverheels, and plenty of other decent-looking males in this movie...and who gets a bathtub scene? Edward G. Robinson.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The white cop casually shooting the Native American brothers because he suspected them of a crime, and expressing minimal guilt later, which is brushed off as being entirely the main villain's fault for lying to the cop. As if taking a random stranger's word as reason to shoot first and ask questions later is standard police procedure. Hopefully harsh for any viewer of any time-period, definitely harsher for Americans post-Trayvon Martain shooting.
- James Temple's closing lament about how Americans seem to hurt Native Americans "even when we try to help them" stings more today with awareness of the growing poverty on many federal Indian Reservations.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The criminal Johnny Rocco does business with is named Ziggy. Makes one wonder if his last name was Stardust.
- In a similarly musical vein, the climax takes place on a boat called Santana.
- Retroactive Recognition: Jay Silverheels (a.k.a. Tonto) appears as John Osceola.
- Signature Scene: The climax on the boat, where Frank outsmarts the gangsters. (This scene was later homaged in the film Mitchell, best known for its appearance in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode.)
- Special Effect Failure: The models used for the hurricane mostly work pretty well, but there's a couple shots where you can clearly see the strings controlling the palm trees.
- The Woobie: Frank definitely counts. He came back from the war, aimless and drifting without purpose. The incident in the hotel only further reveals his fears.
YMMV / Key Largo