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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
The title of this book and movie is most obscure; thankfully its meaning is described by Richard Layman in his book, Shadow Man: The life of Dashiell Hammett. A glass key symbolizes an act or experience which cannot be reversed or forgotten. It is a key made of glass which allows one entry to a room or a building but which shatters after one use. Skeleton keys were used for many years before and after this story to lock doors from both sides; hence, a skeleton key made of glass which breaks in a lock will prohibit the locking of a door and will prohibit one from leaving the room. Hence, once in the chamber one is subject to see one's choice through. See more »
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 »
I'm too big to take the boot from you now.
You may be too big to take it laying down, Nick, but you're gonna take it. You are taking it.
See more »
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")
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