Ed Beaumont is the personal friend, advisor and bodyguard to Paul Madvig, the political boss of a large city. When a mysterious murder is committed---the son of a Madvig political opponent-... See full summary »
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
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Seattle 14 March 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), and, not surprisingly, it soon became a popular local film favorite as it first aired in Milwaukee 17 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Omaha 30 April 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), in Minneapolis 1 August 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Chicago 8 September 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), in St. Louis 19 September 1959 on KMOX (Channel 4), in Philadelphia 25 September 1959 on WCAU (Channel 10), in Pittsburgh 1 October 1959 on KDKA (Channel 2), in Asheville 11 November 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), in San Francisco 1 January 1960 on KPIX (Channel 5), in Grand Rapids 9 January 1960 on WOOD (Channel 8), and, finally, in New York City 10 April 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 10 June 2013 by Turner Classic Movies as part of the Universal Collection, and again 10 November 2014 as part of Universal's Film Noir Movie Spotlight Collection, and, since that time, has also enjoyed occasional cable TV presentations on Turner Classic Movies. 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 »
In watching this and the first film version of The Glass Key you have to wonder why Brian Donlevy is making an alliance with the 'reform' forces led by Senator Moroni Olsen. The way I see it, Donlevy is a mug and he knows it, but he figures he'll step up in society if allies himself with the right people. It's the only explanation that makes sense for Donlevy to cut loose from gambling czar Joseph Calleia.
Everybody in Donlevy's family is getting involved with Olsen. Donlevy's taken a shine to daughter Veronica Lake who can't stand him, but will put up with it for her father's sake. Donlevy's sister Bonita Granville is involved with Olsen's playboy son Richard Denning, not something that Donlevy approves of. When Denning turns up dead all kinds of questions are raised.
Donlevy has someone on his payroll who takes care of these problems, Alan Ladd and Ladd's not particularly squeamish about the legalities of things. He starts investigating and at the same time tries to protect his boss's reputation. Not so easy as he finds out.
This was the second teaming Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd and they clicked as well as they did in This Gun For Hire. It was also the first time that Alan Ladd and William Bendix worked together on a film. Bendix became one of Ladd's best friends on the Paramount lot and his widow Tess Bendix was a prime source for Beverly Linet's revealing biography of Alan Ladd. Bendix portrays a truly malevolent thug who works for Calleia and he's pretty frightening. One of the best examples of a sadist ever done on the screen.
My personal favorite in this film besides Bendix is Joseph Calleia the racketeer kingpin of the city. He's one slick article as he usually is in most of his films and his fate is determined by something he really could not have foreseen.
The story by Dashiell Hammett on which this is based really does show how close politics and the criminal element mix, even the so-called 'reform' element. Even law enforcement is afraid to move here as typified by the very political district attorney Donald MacBride. He's not one to move against the local power structure unless he has to.
This version of The Glass Key is not too different from the 1935 version that starred George Raft and Edward Arnold. This one is seen more often and shows that corruption can be quite systemic in some of our local governments. Pity the poor voters.
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