“That’s between me and Shad and the lamppost. And you ain’t no lamppost!”
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).
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
No, though Hammett fans will surely want to check it out.