Glass Key, The (1935)

“That’s between me and Shad and the lamppost. And you ain’t no lamppost!”

Synopsis:
The loyal bodyguard (George Raft) of a politician (Edward Arnold) in love with the daughter (Claire Dodd) of another politician (Charles Richman) tries to protect his boss when he’s accused of murdering Richman’s son (Ray Milland).

Genres:

Review:
This first of two cinematic adaptations of Dashiell Hammett’s novel is less well-known than the 1942 version co-starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, but the only one of the two listed in Peary’s GFTFF. It’s an efficiently told tale of a reasonably complex murder mystery; you’ll need to pay close attention to who’s who, who loves who, who protects who, and who is trying to get who. It’s interesting to watch Raft in what amounts to a nice guy role, doing what he can to get to the root of the mysterious murder. Note that Milland is only on-screen for about 10 minutes

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • George Raft as Ed Beaumont
  • Atmospheric cinematography

Must See?
No, though Hammett fans will surely want to check it out.

Links:

One Response to “Glass Key, The (1935)”

  1. First viewing. In overall agreement with the assessment given. Not must-see but it’s not a bad film, it’s nicely complicated and Hammett fans will want to see it.

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