The Glass Key

  • 1935
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Mystery, Political

Dashiell Hammett's hard-nosed novel about political corruption saw a solid production in its first film outing. Raft is a close-mouthed henchman of political bigshot Arnold, who always does the boss's bidding--right up to the brink of death. Arnold makes a deal with crooked senator Richman which Raft thinks will end in disaster. Kingmaker Arnold agrees...read more

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Dashiell Hammett's hard-nosed novel about political corruption saw a solid production in its first film outing. Raft is a close-mouthed henchman of political bigshot Arnold, who always does the boss's bidding--right up to the brink of death. Arnold makes a deal with crooked senator Richman

which Raft thinks will end in disaster. Kingmaker Arnold agrees to help Richman get re-elected. Inexplicably, Arnold gets religion, abandons his corrupt ways, and uses his contacts to close down a notorious gambling casino run by Gleckler. Crime boss Gleckler is not happy with this move and, in

retaliation, murders Richman's playboy son, Milland, who's been going with Arnold's daughter, Keith, and then frames Arnold for the slaying. Raft goes to the rescue, taking on Gleckler's goons to find the real killer.

For his pains, he's beaten to a pulp by Williams in one of the most brutal scenes in film history, a sado-masochistic ritual that amazingly made it past the 1935 censors. The plot lags a bit in the film's second half, but Raft makes an expert thug of few words; he's bolstered by Arnold, especially

before the latter's character goes soft. This was a money-maker for author Hammett who was paid a then substantial $25,000 for the rights to film his novel. But the definitive version is the 1942 remake.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Dashiell Hammett's hard-nosed novel about political corruption saw a solid production in its first film outing. Raft is a close-mouthed henchman of political bigshot Arnold, who always does the boss's bidding--right up to the brink of death. Arnold makes a… (more)

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