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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 3,165 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 28 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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Title: The Glass Key (1942)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Richard Denning ...
...
Nick Varna
...
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)
Edit

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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of the scenes where William Bendix is punching Alan Ladd's character he actually connected and knocked Alan Ladd unconscious for real. 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

[On the phone to the police chief]
Paul Madvig: Look, Rainey, I just got the tip that Nick is opening his Golden Club, tonight. Yeah, slam them down so hard they'll splash.
[Hangs up]
Paul Madvig: Well, Nick, now you know where you stand.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Queen of the Blues (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Want to Walk Without You
(uncredited)
from Sweater Girl (1942)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Played on piano and sung by Lillian Randolph in the Basement Club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This "Key" Is Hard To Fit, But It Does If You Persist
24 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of a handful of films I kept giving chances to like and finally did on the third viewing. Maybe I expected too much on the first viewing, when I first began to appreciate film noir and had become a fan of Veronica Lake. In The Glass Key, though, Lake didn't have her usual snappy dialog, and that was one of the disappointments, along with too-confusing a storyline.

By the third viewing, I guess I finally understood what was going on in this Dashielle Hammet story. Hammet's stories weren't always the easiest to understand.

Even with knowing what to expect, William Bendix in this film still is so brutal in here he almost makes me uncomfortable. Well, he DOES make me uncomfortable. He plays one of the meanest, sadistic thugs I have ever seen on film and one of his punches literally knocked out Alan Ladd when they were filming this.

Brian Donlevy is perhaps the best character in here as the slightly-corrupt politician. It's an okay Ladd-Lake film but nothing special. If you're a collector of film noir, then you should have it, but don't expect the zip in here that the other Ladd-Lake noirs possessed.


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