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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 3,372 users  
Reviews: 60 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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(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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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

Nick Varna: I'm too big to take the boot from you now.
Paul Madvig: You may be too big to take it laying down, Nick, but you're gonna take it. You are taking it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Best of Film Noir (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

 
Sordid, Realistic and Timeless Film-Noir
13 December 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

During the campaign for reelection, the crooked politician Paul Madvig (Brian Donlevy) decides to clean his past, refusing the support of the gangster Nick Varna (Joseph Calleia) and associating to the respectable reformist politician Ralph Henry (Moroni Olsen). When Ralph's son Taylor Henry (Richard Denning), who is a gambler and lover of Paul's sister Opal (Bonita Granville), is murdered, Paul's right arm Ed Beaumont (Alan Ladd) finds his body on the street. Nick uses the financial situation of The Observer to force the publisher Clyde Matthews (Arthur Loft) to use the newspaper to raise the suspect that Paul Madvig might have killed Taylor. Meanwhile, Paul proposes Ralph's daughter Janet Henry (Veronica Lake) and Ed is intrigued since he knows that she hates Paul.

"The Glass Key" is a sordid, realistic and timeless film-noir with a story that is not dated. All the characters with no exception are filthy: the dirty politicians; the manipulative newspaper publisher; the corrupt district attorney; the trifling women. The motivation of the loyalty of Ed Beaumont to Paul Madvig is blurred and never clear. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A Chave de Vidro" ("The Glass Key")


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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