The Glass Key was originally released in 1942, the golden era of film noir. It is based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man) and directed by Stuart Heisler (The Lone Ranger, The Star).
“If you must be a nit wit, don’t go around with a megaphone!”
It tells us the story of Paul Madvig (Brian Donlevy – Wake Island, Dangerous Assignment), a corrupt political boss who is up to his neck in trying to influence the race to become governor of Baltimore. His motivation, he has fallen for Janet Henry (Veronica Lake – Sullivan’s Travels, The Blue Dahlia), the daughter of Ralph Henry, the reform candidate.
Paul’s right hand man and best friend Ed (Alan Ladd – Shane, The Great Gatsby) has serious reservations, as Janet seems far more keen on him than she does on Paul.
Just to complicate matters further, Paul’s sister Opal (Bonita Granville – Lassie, Nancy Drew… Reporter) is dating Taylor Henry (Richard Denning – Michael Shane, The Flying Doctor), the useless brother of Janet, who happens to owe money to local gangster Nick Varna (Joseph Calleia – Touch of Evil, Gilda), an old enemy of Paul’s.
All of this comes to a head when Taylor is found dead one night and Paul automatically becomes the prime suspect in his murder. It is up to him and Ed to try to prove his innocence and find out who the real culprit is.
The Glass Key is a very enjoyable film. It’s a great story, with lots of twists and turns that keep you guessing right to the very end and feels just as current now, with it’s tale of political deceit and intrigue.
The earliest collaboration between Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd, the unmistakable chemistry is already present and the acting is superb and makes the story all the more thrilling.
With lots of special features, this timeless thriller will grace any collection.
“If Paul Madvig didn’t kill Taylor Henry, how did his best friend happen to find the body?”
The Glass Key is available to buy now on Blu-ray and will be released on 19th September 2016.