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The Glass Key (1942)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  23 October 1942 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,348 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 31 critic

During the campaign for reelection, the crooked politician Paul Madvig decides to clean up his past, refusing the support of the gangster Nick Varna and associating to the respectable ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Richard Denning ...
...
...
Frances Gifford ...
Nurse
Donald MacBride ...
Margaret Hayes ...
Moroni Olsen ...
Ralph Henry
Eddie Marr ...
Rusty
Arthur Loft ...
Clyde Matthews
George Meader ...
Claude Tuttle
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Dugan ...
Jeep (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

During the campaign for reelection, the crooked politician Paul Madvig decides to clean up his past, refusing the support of the gangster Nick Varna and associating to the respectable reformist politician Ralph Henry. When Ralph's son, Taylor Henry, a gambler and the lover of Paul's sister Opal, is murdered, Paul's right arm, Ed Beaumont, finds his body on the street. Nick uses the financial situation of The Observer to force the publisher Clyde Matthews to use the newspaper to raise the suspicion that Paul Madvig might have killed Taylor. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Tougher They Are - The Harder They Fall


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der gläserne Schlüssel  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The always aloof Alan Ladd, a former laborer, preferred the friendship of film crew than he did with other actors or studio execs. Yet he was able to form lasting friendships with a few of his costars, no one more notably than with his "Glass Key" co-star William Bendix. Bendix accidentally cold-cocked Ladd during a particularly vicious fight scene in this film. Ladd was so taken aback by the sincerity of Bendix's apologies that they formed an immediate and unlikely friendship. They even purchased homes across the street from one another at one point. According to Bendix's wife Tess, the bond was strained in later years after Ladd's wife and manager, Sue Carol, made an offhand remark about Bendix's lack of military service. Stuck in the middle, it would be a decade before the wounds healed between the two. By then, Ladd was career down and self-destructive, leaning heavily on Bendix, who was thriving out of town frequently in the 1960s with stage work. Bendix's heartbreak was evident in the wake of Ladd's premature death (and probable suicide) in January of 1964. Bendix's health failed quickly and he too died (of bronchial pneumonia) a week or so before Christmas that same year. See more »

Goofs

In Farr's office, when Ed is slowly tucking the anonymous letter in his inside pocket, Farr tells him he expects a visit from Nick. The camera is on Ed who abruptly takes his hand out of his inside pocket and turns to Farr, but then the camera cuts to show both him and Farr and he's still tucking the letter in his inside pocket. See more »

Quotes

Paul Madvig: -to hospital doctor- Look... If that guy dies, I'm gonna turn this place into a warehouse.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Alan Ladd: The True Quiet Man (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

I Remember You
(uncredited)
from The Fleet's In (1942)
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Played as background music when Opal meets Taylor
See more »

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User Reviews

A legendary film noir
4 July 2004 | by (Le Carbet, Martinique FWI) – See all my reviews

Paul Madvig (Brian Donlevy), a crooked politician has decided to give up his corrupted past to team up with the respectable candidate Ralph Henry for the ongoing election. As an example of his new ethics, he refuses to protect the clandestine place of Nick Varna by giving a call to the Police in the presence of Nick Varna and Paul's personal hired man Ed Beaumont telling the cops to prepare a visit to this gambling place. Things get complicated when Ralph Henry's son is discovered dead by Ed Beaumont probably murdered in front of Paul Madvig's place. Taylor had a gambling problem and was in love with Paul Madvig's young sister Opal ‘Snip' Madvig. Paul is a first choice suspect, at least to the local journal but did Paul really do it? Who is he protecting? And who is writing these nasty anonymous letters?

This is truly a classic Hollywood film noir. The plot is harder to follow than in the Blue Dahlia, but this is nonetheless a high standard movie. The acting, the dialogues and the directing are all good and playful. This is one of the movies where Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake chemistry first exploded. Just have a look at the first scene when they meet: she gives Ladd sultry looks when Paul Madvig is doing all the talking. I had a hard time concentrating on the discussion at this point. You know that these two will go a long way, even when at some point in the movie, she becomes engaged to Paul and that their relationship becomes more difficult. Veronica Lake is absolutely beautiful in this movie. Her looks are very suggestive and her husky voice is the sweetest. During this movie, you will see Lake kissing Ladd, but it's only a one way kiss. I just saw this movie last night in Oak Street Cinema (Minneapolis) and the audience enjoyed it very much until the very end, and so shall everybody. A classic film noir. Highly recommended 8/10.


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