Glass Key, The (1935)

Glass Key, The (1935)

“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).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Amateur Sleuths
  • Edward Arnold Films
  • George Raft Films
  • Murder Mystery
  • Ray Milland Films

This first of two cinematic adaptations of Dashiell Hammett’s novel — less well-known than the 1942 version co-starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake — is 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.


5 thoughts on “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.

  2. I just got a new “used” copy of the FF book on Amazon, and this one has both the 1935 and 1942 versions listed.

  3. The book isn’t listed as a 2nd edition, but it does include a list of additional films on the last page.

    With that said, “The Glass Key” is is in the “Additional Must See” section directly below the 1935 version.

    I emailed you a scan of the page where it shows up!

  4. Funny that I would have noticed “The Glass Key”, but the 1942 version is about to expire on my cloud DVR from You Tube TV. I looked to see if anyone reviewed it, and I see that Peary only listed the 1935 version while I see the 1942 version in my book!

Leave a Reply