Movie Review: The Glass Key (1942)

Synopsis: Corrupt political boss, Paul Madvig, falls for the beautiful Janet Henry and decides to back her father, Ralph, as candidate for governor, putting him at odds with a local gangster. When Ralph's son, Taylor, is found murdered, Paul becomes the primary suspect and it is up to his right-hand man, Ed Beaumont to clear his name.

Who's in it? The movie stars Brian Donlevy, Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, Bonita Granville and Richard Denning.

Review: Still licking my wounds following the Green Bay Packers' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday, I decided to stay up a bit later and watch a movie. This film looked interesting, so I gave it a shot and, overall, didn't think it was too bad of a choice.

This ended up being an intriguing mystery that proved to be less predictable than expected. The victim, Taylor (Denning) was family black sheep with multiple people with motive to kill him and Paul (Donlevy) easily made it to the top of that list because of his reaction to his sister (Granville) being in love with Taylor.

The fact the movie centered more around Ed (Ladd) than Paul also helped. Had Paul been the primary character, it would have been easier to believe he was innocent. Since Ed was the one investigating, it left the door open. I also thought it was interesting how Ed would both risk his life and willingly turn down Janet's (Lake) affections out complete and total loyalty to his boss. It's not the type of thing you see a lot of in today's movies.

I also have to admit, it was kind of interesting seeing Granville in a role that wasn't Nancy Drew. Her portrayal of Paul's sister was much more sincere and dramatic than I've seen from her in other movies and it did help me gain a bit more appreciation for her as an actress.

My only real complaint about the movie is I thought Donlevy's Paul and Joseph Calleia's gangster character, Nick, looked a little too much like each other. I had a hard time telling them apart at times as a result of this, though, to be fair, I might have just been getting a bit tired by that point too. I might have to re-watch this earlier in the day sometime to see if I have the same problem.

Final Opinion: This is an interesting film noir movie that offers a decent murder mystery. I enjoyed watching it and would recommend it if you are looking for something to watch to take your mind off of a disappointing football game.

My Grade: A


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