The Glass Key 1942

The Glass Key

Critics Consensus

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78%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 801
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Movie Info

In this slick updating of Dashiell Hammet's crime novel, political boss Paul Madvig (Brian Donlevy) falls for reform politician Ralph Henry's attractive daughter Janet (Veronica Lake), despite the caution of his best friend, Ed Beaumont (Alan Ladd). Paul's efforts to disassociate himself from the criminal underworld backfire, however, when he is accused of murdering Janet's disreputable brother, and a casino owner Paul had offended sends his sadistic thugs after Ed in revenge.

Cast & Crew

Brian Donlevy
Paul Madvig
Alan Ladd
Ed Beaumont
Veronica Lake
Janet Henry
Bonita Granville
Opal "Snip" Madvig
Richard Denning
Taylor Henry
Donald MacBride
District Attorney Farr
Margaret Hayes
Eloise Matthews
Jonathan Latimer
Writer (Screenplay)
Fred Kohlmar
Associate Producer
Buddy G. DeSylva
Executive Producer
Theodor Sparkuhl
Cinematographer
Victor Young
Original Music
Walter Scharf
Original Music
Haldane Douglas
Art Direction
Hans Dreier
Art Direction
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News & Interviews for The Glass Key

Critic Reviews for The Glass Key

All Critics (9) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for The Glass Key

  • Jun 03, 2017
    Dashiel Hammett's story is a big, fat juicy steak of a story about tryna get ahead the American way. Only there's a body in the way to be accounted for - who's gonna take the rap? The juice is delivered with loads of tough talking poetry, noir style, with Ladd as the story's focal point, the only one interested in seeing justice done. For that interest he takes some heavy duty beating (considering the year this came out - it's brutal). At the heart of the tale, a noir mind you, is friendship over love, which is cool beans. Only some plot points stretching credibility keep this from being higher rated, but it's still an action Jackson ticket.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2009
    Brian Donlevy's crooked, McGinty-ish politician angers a criminal associate (Joseph Calleia, effortlessly sinister) by pledging his support for a reform candidate whose beautiful daughter he has taken a fancy to. Murder, political chicanery and a smouldering love-hate relationship between the would-be governor's daughter (Veronica Lake) and Donlevy's right-hand man (Alan Ladd) ensue. <I>The Glass Key</I> falls a little short of being one of the true classics of <i>film noir</i>. Tonally, I found it rather peculiar and the ending was one of the corniest I've seen for a long time. In general, the movie is several shades lighter than pure <I>noir</I>, although there are a couple of extraordinarily perverse moments that really do hit the spot, not least the sadomasochistic beating Ladd receives from one of Calleia's goons. In one of the other darker scenes, Ladd prevents a hostile newspaper editor from running a defamatory story about Donlevy by canoodling with the guy's trophy wife until he commits suicide. It's fair to say that Ladd was not ideally suited to this sort of material, but the film contrasts the benignity of his features with the ruthlessness of his character's actions to excellent effect.
    Stephen M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2009
    this was really damn good and an inspiration for both yojimbo and miller's crossing. i could definitely rate it higher except that i always have difficulty buying alan ladd as a tough guy...when he tries to look hard it's funny
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2008
    Not as good as This Gun for Hire but a solid crime drama with the Lake/Ladd pairing as potent as ever.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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