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MOVIE: The Glass Key (1942)

Based on a book by Dashiell Hammett

Screenplay by: Jonathan Latimer

Directed by: Stuart Heisler

Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy, Veronica Lake, Moroni Olsen, Richard Denning, Bonita Granville

This is a political/crime/film noir movie. Crooked political boss Paul Madvig (Donlevy) decides to back politician Senator John T. Henry (Olsen) not because he believes in him, but because he is in love with the man’s daughter, Janet (Lake). But, Janet only has eyes for Ed Beaumont (Ladd), Madvig’s friend, advisor and bodyguard. Beaumont rebuffs the lady’s advances.

Beaumont doesn’t like Madvig’s relationship with the family. He feels his friend is being used and laughed at behind his back for his lower class upbringing. When Madvig brags that the Henry’s have practically given him a key to the house because they like him so much, his friend warns him to watch out for glass keys because they tend to break off in locks.

The senator’s son, Taylor (Denning) is a gambler and drinker, who just happens to be dating Opal (Granville) who is Madvig’s sister.  Madvig is livid with the couple and doesn’t want them together. When Beaumont finds Taylor dead on the street fingers start to point to Madvig. The man doesn’t deny his involvement. Suddenly Janet shows up wearing a $15,000 dollar engagement ring from Madvig. Beaumont wonders why and  begins to investigate. Trouble abounds for Beaumont, as the plot thickens.