HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Glass Key, The The Craft Of RaftBuy this film here.
Year: 1935
Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: George Raft, Edward Arnold, Claire Dodd, Rosalind Keith, Charles Richman, Robert Gleckler, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Ray Milland, Tammany Young, Harry Tyler, Charles C. Wilson, Emma Dunn, Matt McHugh, Pat Moriarty, Mack Gray, Ann Sheridan
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: There's a commotion in the street when a car careens out of control, almost mounts the pavement narrowly missing a young girl and her mother, then smashes into a car going in the opposite direction, killing the driver. The man behind the wheel is drunk, but when a friend recognises him he tells him politician Paul Madvig (Edward Arnold) will rescue him, but it turns out Madvig is set on leaving the shady life behind and putting all his support behind Senator Henry (Charles Richman) who is strictly on the level. But Madvig's past may be difficult to leave behind, which is why he needs the presence of right-hand man Ed Beaumont (George Raft) by his side as a fixer...

There were two versions of The Glass Key, a Dashiell Hammett novel, released within a decade, and this was the first. The second starred the none-more-nineteen-forties couple of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake and emphasised their relationship for boffo box office, but this one was more interested in the tough guy leanings of its leading man, Raft, and downplayed the romance in favour of dialogue that was so hardboiled it was rock solid. Raft, of course, had an edge in attracting the public to his movies: in the era where gangsters were the latest big thing to bring in the crowds, both at the movies and in the newspapers, the rumour was that he was actually a hood as well.

Whether he was or not (there's no stories about him having anyone killed, for example), this criminal allure guaranteed audiences were interested in seeing him portray dodgy characters who for some reason were often also the heroes, and Beaumont here was the epitome of those. Nowadays, if you have heard of Raft it was either because you're aware he had underworld connections, or more problematically for his career thanks to his way of giving Humphrey Bogart a few major breaks in his profile, turning down blockbusters like The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca and thus giving Bogie the chance to shine in some of the greatest films of the forties, while Raft's screen career dwindled.

Not to say Raft fell into obscurity in his lifetime, there were plenty who knew who he was even if they didn't call themselves fans, and he did get a chance to riff on his gangster persona when Billy Wilder cast him in the gang boss role for Some Like It Hot some time after Raft's heyday. But he never had much range, and the novelty brand was likely the motive for his casting (either that or he used some muscle to get his roles, but studios seemed content to employ him for his star power), so he was never going to be drinking cocktails with his elbow resting on the mantlepiece in a drawing room comedy (though funnily enough he was an excellent dancer - you just cannot imagine him as a Fred Astaire type). Hammett's crime thrillers were all the rage in this era, and as a tough guy who is not above taking a few knocks, Raft was very decent casting.

The plot here saw Arnold (one of those rotund character actors of sizeable and refined presence who peppered the period's Hollywood productions) get into a spot of bother when his daughter's boyfriend, who he did not approve of, is found apparently murdered in the street. With an election coming up it's imperative that Madvig not be linked to anything as scandalous, so Beaumont heads off on the trail of the killer which involves a dive into the seedy underbelly of the city, getting badly beaten (and attacked by a huge dog!) in the process. Some interesting performers showed up in support: Ray Milland was the murder victim, just before he acquired top billed status for himself in his own projects, posh Claire Dodd was one of the two main females, and Ann Sheridan popped up in one scene as a nurse, threatening to break Ed's jaw if he gives her any trouble (!). Yes, everyone was hard as nails in The Glass Key, and their lines matched that, clich├ęs and all (a reporter really does say, "That story will bust this town wide open!"). Pacey, rough round the edges, typical of the day but a cut above most B-movies.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 202 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: